As I dig out from post-#mozfest sleep deprivation and wade through my head cold, three words float big in my mind: WOW! Thank you!
The 600 people who came to Ravensbourne College last weekend filled London with the spirit of Mozilla: making things, working together, and weaving a maker ethos into more parts of the web. And, having fun all along the way.
There is lots of good coverage. More reports plus info on what’s next will be coming out on the #mozfest website and the @mozilla twitter account. Watch those, as they are a better source than I am for specific next steps.
From my side, I want to quickly highlight a few things from #mozfest that give me great hope that we can indeed build the next generation of web makers:
1. It’s working! eg. popcorn
Management theorist Jim Collins talks about the fly wheel: all good ideas or companies need many hard pushes on the fly wheel before they catch and get their own momentum. At the Festival, it felt like the fly wheel has caught for Popcorn, and that it’s gaining momentum for other new Mozilla projects like MoJo and Hackasaurus.
2. The glimmer of games
Games that embrace the spirit of the web may be the next big thing as Mozilla explores more ways to work with web makers. We saw Paladin and 3d modelling in the browser at the Festival. We also so Jono’s very prototype-y easy to expand side scroller engine: just add URLs to add elements to the game. All of these things feel like the seeds of something bigger.
3. Kids in the house
Thanks to the Hive London Pop Up, we had over 60 kids participating in MozFest. I’m more and more convinced that it’s the 12 year olds that see the Internet as it really is today, good and bad. Mozilla needs to hang with these 12 year olds more, and learn from them. We took another step towards this in London in London. (side-grrrrrrrr, re: hiccups of getting kids into whole event, need to fix next time).
These things — and almost everything that happened at #mozfest — give me hope. They give me inspiration. They make me think we’re working on the right things.
This hope isn’t based on blind optimism, but rather on that fact that new kinds of people getting involved in Mozilla. Some of them are coders, the kind of people who’ve always been involved. But many are filmmakers, educators, DJs, journalists, scientists, kids. People who make things on the web, even if they don’t code.
These are the people who made the Mozilla Festival what it was, and who can help us make the future of the web. It’s the fact that they’ve shown up and want to make things with us that gives me such great hope.
Again, to all of you who came: WOW! Thank you!