When I say ‘maker’, most people understand what I mean: a DIY ethic, a hankering to create. Often, makers are into robots and gadgets. Physical things. But the web is also filled with people who love to tinker, create and make.
In my last post, I argued that Mozilla should engage these ‘web makers’ as we refine and evolve what we started with Drumbeat. Which begs the question: who are the web makers?
Looking at the people who have joined our community recently, I see teachers, filmmakers, journalists, artists, game makers and curious kids who a) want to be part of what Mozilla is doing and b) are making things using the open building blocks that are the web. I believe Mozilla has alot to offer these people, and vice versa.
To understand this, it’s worth looking at the people who have gotten involved Mozilla as a result of Drumbeat. Here are three examples:
Jess Klein is a designer who teaches kids about technology. She’s designed games. She’s worked for Sesame Street. And now she’s helping Mozilla bring Hackasaurus to life, designing a whole new way for kids to learn about the web.
Kat Cizek is a documentary filmmaker. She’s chronicled the participatory media org Witness. She’s won an Emmy for a web documentary she made in Flash. And now she is making a whole film with Popcorn and WebGL, a film made for the browser and solely with the open building blocks that make up the web.
Cathy Davidson is an iconoclastic professor at Duke University. She let’s her students choose their own grades. She wrote a book about how the web is rewiring our institutions. She also built out a huge part of last year’s Mozilla Festival, and now is helping us figure out where to go next in education.
These people have some things in common. They share Mozilla’s open spirit and maker ethic. They see the open web as a canvas for their ideas. They are building things with the web. And they are all actively contributing to Mozilla.
I like to think Mozilla offers these people something special: a chance to build — and learn– alongside people from Mozilla’s more traditional community who are creating the cutting edge of the web. This is what we’ve started with Drumbeat.
On the flip side, these people clearly have something to offer Mozilla: help building a world where millions more people understand that the web is about making things.
This is why I want these people actively involved in shaping where Mozilla goes in the future. In my next few posts, I will talk about how these people can help us build on the work we’ve started with Drumbeat, especially how we teach and build tools for web makers.
A question in the meantime: what do others think about the role the people I am describing here can play in Mozilla?