As I blogged last week, I see huge potential in Mitchell’s list of characteristics that make a ‘better internet’. If we can nail this list, we will have simple, telegraphic way to explain why both Mozilla and the open web matter. We’ll also have a tool to test ‘is this or that innovation making the web better?’ These are both things we need.
In addition to blogging about this concept, I’ve also talked to a bunch of people about it. With all of this conversation, most people agree on three of the four characteristics: transparency; participation; and shared control. There is also a fair bit of resonance with the idea of ‘open’ as the bottom line concept, although some people have suggested other ideas.
The real challenge seems to be coming up with a simple word for the fourth concept. Most people I’ve talked to agree on the essence: the ability to create, remix and innovate without having to ask permission. There are tons of words that get close. Mitchell used ‘opportunity’ (good when you explain it, but not immediately telegraphic to a broad audience). I used ‘hack’ (probably unreclaimable for a broad audience). Other suggestions are words like ‘remixable’, ‘permissive’ and ‘generative’. The more I think and talk, the more I feel like none of these work perfectly.
So, here is today’s question: can you think of a single word that really captures this idea of hack-remix-opportunity-generative-ness? Ideally, this is a word that gets right to the point but isn’t an academic or insider concept. If not, do any of the words that have come out so far feel good enough to you? I know it’s only one word, but it feels like an important one.
PS. I’m still planning to loop back on the Mozilla in One Sentence thread. Probably tomorrow.