Monthly Archives: April 2012

Webmaker Recipes 101: How to host your own kitchen table hack jam

How can we make coding and webmaking a family affair?

As part of Mozilla’s big Summer Code Party (kicking off June 23), we’re inviting the world to host teach-ins and learning events. Everywhere. At their local library, at partner events, at Mozilla offices, and with small groups of family and friends around their own kitchen table.

Recipes for webmaking: testing the “Kitchen Table” event kit

the new "Kitchen Table event kit" prototype

This new Kitchen Table Event Kit is a draft “how to” for hosting your own kitchen table hack jam. We invited you to help prototype and test it in preparation for going big this summer, using Mozilla webmaking tools like Hackasaurus and Popcorn.

8-year-old Amelia liked remixing images and text to create her own web page

More than fifteen awesome groups of families and friends got together to test it out — from five-year-olds making web pages about snails with their dad, to adult friends getting together for a “mimosas and making” party.  Here’s what we learned together.

What was your favorite moment?

Here’s what our brave beta testers said was their favorite part of the experience:

  • “The SQUEAL when my friend first hacked Google.”
  • “When my mom replaced an image of a chocolate chip cookie on a webpage of a  kitchen table with an image of matzo so it was kosher for passover.”
  • “When (5 and 6-year old) Lucas and Kai saw themselves in a web page with their freshly captivated snail, they so began to get the idea of how info gets into the web.”
  • “Watching my boyfriend and my mom work on something together.”
  • “When  my friends started ignoring me completely so that they could make their  remixes more remixy. I was talking about something and they were like  ‘What?'”

What we learned:

  • People enjoyed the format. But sometimes found it awkward to get out of a traditional “teacher” role.
  • Keep the activity asks simple. But be familiar with the specific skills and interests of participants.
  • Grow a leadership community of people who’ve done the events and can support others.
  • Make it interest-based. Start with something people are already interested in. Or a web site they use all the time and are familiar with — then have them take it apart and remix it with the X-Ray Goggles.

What we’ll do to improve:

  • Continue to refine the Kitchen Table Event Kit. Polish it up for our May 15 announcement bout the campaign.
  • Create clear communication channels for hosts. Before, during, and after events.
  • Provide more simple learning projects and curriculum.  Offerings that help people find activities that fit their interests.
  • Smoother “share” functionality. Create a gallery of hacks and completed projects, so you can see what others made.

Going deeper: your analysis and feedback

There’s lots more great analysis and feedback from our testers, with take aways from:

Get involved

Mozilla and Hot Docs: geeks and filmmakers reinvent storytelling

Hot Docs + Popcorn = awesome

This weekend, the Mozilla Toronto office will host six leading documentary  film-making teams. Their mission: pair up with web developers to push the envelope of documentary storytelling — using cutting-edge new open source software created by the global Mozilla community.

Run in conjunction with the prestigious Hot Docs documentary film festival, the teams will use Mozilla Popcorn to create prototypes that push the limits of storytelling online — pulling context, interactivity and other web elements right into the narrative. The result: a new form of “web-native” cinema that lives, breathes and changes just like the open web itself.

Hot Hacks projects: prototyping the future of story

The six “Hot Hacks” projects are:

 The Message: the (r)evolutionary power of climate change — a multi-platform (book + documentary + web + events) project by author Naomi Klein and director Avi Lewis.

Immigrant Nation: Using Facebook and other social media, Immigrant Nation will present a dynamic representation of immigration statistics from across the city.

Turcot: Turcot  looks at Montreal’s largest highway interchange, currently  scheduled  for a complete demolition and rebuild. The interactivity will give residents a voice, using geo-tagging, narrative slide shows, onionskin maps  and a chronological historical timeline.

Following Wise Men (working title): Building  a community  around astronomy through a searchable, community-sourced  science web  site. The project will chart astronomers and their discoveries in the  context of their  professors, mentors and students in an “astronomer’s  family tree.”

Looking at Los Sures: Using  an archival documentary (Los Sures by Diego Echeverria, 1984) about the  South Williamsburg neighborhood, the project brings together new short interactive projects from thirty different  artists over three  years. It will annotate and expand on the original film in new  ways, allowing viewers to move fluidly between the past and present.

The Last Hijack: For over 20 years Somalis have faced the horror of famine and war. The Last Hijack is a story about survival in this failed state, and about the rise of piracy and how it affects the people around it.

Part of The “Living Docs” Project

Hot Hacks is part of the Living Docs project, a series of events, projects and code to bring openness and innovation to documentary. Living Docs is a collaboration between Mozilla, ITVS, the Tribeca Film Institute, BAVC and the Center for Social Media at American University.

Get involved:

Meet the “Web Arcade:” hackable games that teach the web

Mozilla’s big upcoming Summer Campaign is all about making it easy and fun for anyone to learn basic coding and webmaking.

To that end, the Mozilla Webmaker community has been hard at work on curriculum, learning missions and starter projects — including a new “Web Arcade” packed with hackable missions and games.

Mini-games that bake in HTML and CSS

“Enter the Web Arcade to explore the Open Web, a world of serious cats, planking videos and minecraft  empires. The Web Arcade offers mini-games that help you level up your HTML and CSS skills — and MAKE your very own web masterpieces.”

As Jess, Laura and Chloe explained in yesterday’s Mozilla Webmaker call, the arcade includes mini-games like:

  • “Make Me Pretty.” Update ugly webpages. Go back in time to 1999 — and update ugly pages for today’s web. Read about it. Or try it out now.
  • “Internet Famous.” Use your HTML and CSS swagger to mix and match elements, creating an internet meme to conquer all internet memes.
  • SansComic Killer. Format this typography — please!
  • Webstructable. Make your own tutorial, sharing what you’ve learned.

Get involved