Shockingly, companies don’t just cede control of their roadmaps to me so I’m left to just blog about what I would do if I did wrest control of them. To continue a recent topic series, I’m tackling Mozilla.
Mozilla appears to be downplaying Firefox as the only thing it does and is emphasizing its mission of creating a Internet that is open. Firefox is currently its largest tool in order to achieve that mission, and likely will be for some time, but I suspect we will continue to see play more of a supporting role and/or means-of-financing other work.
In the place of Firefox the Web Maker meme will become more broadly spread. If I was creating schemes for 2012 and beyond I would look to badges to drive this. In fact, I would make them central. For every project that Mozilla undertakes, the question of integration into the badges idea should be asked.
What spurred this idea was the weekly Community Call yesterday. About 1/3 of it was a discussion around Drone Journalism which is the use of unmanned drones (mini helicopters, etc.) to capture footage for film or citizen journalism. This is kinda interesting for a make-your-own-drone perspective and from being able to capture/disseminate information when it is being controlled by ‘official’ sources, but I’m not seeing how it fits into the Mozilla mission. Sure, it could be a consumer of Popcorn.js, but that’s really about the limits I can see in terms of Open Web and Web Makers.
Let’s go with the notion that the linkage to Popcorn.js is the correct one. If so then there could be a badge series for Drone Journalism:
- Created a Popcorn video using a commercial drone
- Created a Popcorn video using a home-made drone
- Report on a Community event using a drone
Or something similar. Certainly something like the MoJo (Mozilla Journalism) stuff could have a badge sequence, School Of Webcraft already has one, the HTML5 evangelists inside Mozilla also have something I think. Last week Mitchell Baker (Chief Lizard Wrangler at Mozilla) said in a talk at the Toronto offices that Mozilla is not going to be political organization, but even some of its grassroots Open Web/Privacy stuff could have a badge system; Defender of the Internets! badge anyone?
The ideas of Open Web and Web Makers are powerful, and absolutely is where I would point Mozilla towards (not as if Google or someone else is going to do it; ‘evil’ is relative it seems). But without a framework to hang initiatives around they risk being just a collection of independent projects under a large umbrella. Badges, which is also part of the Web Maker idea, could provide an ideal structure to connect all these things.