Category Archives: Weekly Updates

Making Webmaker: what’s next?

Mozilla India community members made this by hand on Saturday using beautiful festival colors called "rangoli"

A lot has happened since we launched Webmaker. Since the initial launch announcement on May 22, we’ve seen:

More important than the numbers: we’re building global community. New people are showing up in our community calls. Photos and projects are coming in from around the world. We’re gathering valuable feedback on how to make the new Webmaker tools and projects better.

Who’s participating?

  • People from 68 different countries. People like this.
  • Learners with a broad range of web skills. Erin Knight’s early survey data suggests most users are coming in with more expertise than we originally anticipated — but still report learning new things.

  • Communities of mentors and instructors. As Jacob highlighted in yesterday’s community call, we’re seeing mentors and community instructors grab onto our tools and curriculum (like Popcorn and StoryCamp) and adapting them to their local programs and needs — a key goal for all our work.
  • Partners. Two of the most popular projects on have come from partners: the “Customize your Tumblr theme” project, for example — made possible by our partnership with Tumblr — and the Awesome Animal Builder from the London Zoo. And great partners like Black Girls Code and others are running events under the “Summer Code Party” banner all summer long, deepening relationships with Mozilla and teaching us.
Black Girls Code #MozParty in Oakland, June 30
  • High-profile speakers and mentors. Like Cory Doctorow and OK Go’s Damian Kulash.
  • Lots of new people introducing themselves on the Webmaker newsgroup. New community members have been sharing their background and experience there daily.

What’s new and improved?

Better Summer Code Party search. Users asked for improved ways to search for Summer Code Party events. This week we shipped them. They include:

Great stories and projects on the new Webmaker Tumblr. The Mozilla Webmaker tumblr has become one of the best ways to grok the overall story. And also shows some of the best examples of what people are making using Thimble, Popcorn, the X-Ray Goggles and other tools. Like using your first lines of HTML to tell someone important you love them:

Love hidden in the code. Thimble project from #MozParty

Coming soon:

  • A refresh of the front page. To showcase the new global reach of the project, reflect our community more, and push participants to the right channels for conversation.
  • Easier ways to see and share what people are making. We need to make it easier for people to share and submit great work into the Webmaker Tumblr. And eventually through more automated user-generated galleries.
  • Incorporating user  and community feedback into a larger re-design effort. Chris Appleton will share more on this in Tuesday’s community call. (Here’s a sneak peek.)
Click this image to watch this Summer Code Party Invasion video -- then make your own using Mozilla Popcorn.

What are people making?

Mozilla Webmaker projects and beyond. Some highlights:

  • Robot Invasion videos. The new Popcorn templates make it easy to produce a winning result fast. It feels like people are now intuitively “getting it” and seeing the creative potential for Popcorn in ways that were harder before. (See Jacob’s latest post on the sights and sounds of Popcorn’s StoryCamp, for example.)
  • Customzing Tumblr templates. As a gateway to learning HTML and CSS.
  • Making the web physical. MozParty Dundee, in Scotland, focused on hands-on hacking that blended the digital and the physical. From a physical blue bird that flaps its wings every time someone tweets “#MozParty,” to maneuvering Google Maps street view with a joystick. (This mix of physical and web hacking feels super rich — lots to think about for this year’s Mozilla Festival in November.)
Every time you tweet #MozParty, this bird flaps its wings
  • Making mobile apps. At MozParties in Zurich and Bucharest.

  • Tying in Mozilla’s larger mission and work. The Mozilla India team and ReMo members, for example, have been using the Summer Code Party as a tie-in and jumping off point for Firefox localization work and more.

What do the numbers tell us?

So far we’ve got:

  • Survey feedback on the new Mozilla Thimble projects. Erin Knight’s post tells the story and take-aways from the survey feedback we’re getting.
  • Social media and email growth. We continue to see good growth, plus the addition of Tumblr, with 2000+ followers in our first two weeks. Not bad.
Mozilla Webmaker social media channel growth
  • Early web metrics. Ross shared some early metrics from in yesterday’s community call. But we have lots of work to do on improving how we collect this data and make it actionable.

What’s next?

Roadmapping. Mark Surman has outlined some thinking, questions and next steps around the roadmap for Webmaker tools. In Tuesday’s community call, we’ll dive into this in more depth.

The Popcorn, Thimble and teams have been doing roadmap work as well. More on that in the coming weeks.

Get involved

Get excited and make things: beta test these new Mozilla Webmaker projects

The best way to learn something is by making something. So as part of Mozilla’s campaign to help the world learn coding and webmaking this summer, we created these new Mozilla Webmaker projects. Their mission: help anyone (especially youth) make something amazing on the web fast.

Help test them out?

Can you take a few minutes to beta test the projects below? Are they easy to use? Helpful for learning? Fun? Flammable?

What’s the idea?

It’s all part of the Mozilla Summer Code Party. Blast off is June 23, with local events and teach-ins running around the world all summer long.

Mozilla will provide curriculum and fun starter projects like these. Tools anyone can use to make and learn together, just about anywhere. At local partner events, Mozilla spaces, libraries, or gathered around their own kitchen table.

Try ’em out now. Kick the tires on these beta webmaker projects below and let us know what you think:

Make your own meme

Got what it takes to go viral and become internet famous? Prove it. This project lets you use your HTML and CSS swagger to create your own web page — featuring a meme to conquer all internet memes. Let your inner serious cat or Ryan Gosling “hey girl” shine.

–> G O <–

Remix cheesy TV commercials. Add your own voice, insert pop-ups, links and commentary to web video. Hack pop culture with the tasty new Mozilla Popcorn tool.

–> G O <–

Go back in time to make these ugly ’90s web pages not suck. Everyone has an embarrassing moment. For the web it was the 1990s, when websites were boxy, ugly and wore flannel. Wrangle your HTML and CSS style powers to change the content, colors and layout to drag these pages out of the grungy past.

–> G O <–

Hack your way through the web arcade

Say o hai to the “web arcade,” a collection of hackable mini-games that test your webmaking prowess. In this first mission, use HTML to fix a broken map of the arcade, unlocking new missions and exploring brave new webby worlds.

–> G O <–

Speak your mind

Got something to shout about? A rant, cause, passion project or block party you want the world to know about? Shout it from the rooftops by making your own web page in minutes, using this handy remixable template. Then share it via email, Twitter, Facebook or URL. Easy! </rant>

–> G O <–

Create your own “Inanimate Alice” episode

Create transmedia mayhem. Use the popular “Inanimate Alice” interactive novel and Hackasaurus to make your own storylines, characters and mashups, remixing the web as you go.

–> G O <–

Create your own awesome-looking “how-to” page. Use your newfound HTML, CSS and Popcorn wisdom to create the world’s greatest web page tutorial. What do you want to make today?

–> G O <–

Even more webmaker projects are on the way:

  • How to make your own animated GIF
  • How to tweak your Tumblr theme with CSS
  • Make your own avatar
  • + lots more interest-based projects from Hive, more advanced HTML and CSS projects, more from the NESTA event and more…

Sneak peek: new Mozilla Webpage Maker

It’s webmaking made ridiculously simple. The new Mozilla Webpage Maker tool will help you make your own fully real web page in about 8 seconds flat. All through a simple two-pane editor that makes the basics of HTML dead easy to learn. Test out the prototype here.

Get involved with Webmaker Projects

Get involved with Mozilla’s Summer Code Party

Mozilla Webmaker: Amazonia sneak peek. Contribution is King. New Webmaker site. What’s your smart phone leaking?

Intrepid news hackers from the the Knight-Mozilla OpenNews event in Buenos Aires last week

Planet Webmaker: weekly update for April 17, 2012

Augmenting Amazonia:” sneak peek at Mark Boas’ new interactive video experiment

This sneak peek interactive video demo uses Mozilla Popcorn to pull interactive notes and context into a beautiful upcoming documentary about the Amazon. It allows viewers to interact with the video and go deeper into the content in whole new ways, including automatically tweet out specific points on the time code for specific moments you want to share.

We have an opportunity to create unique mechanisms that allow deeper interaction, while at the same time sharing a similar experience. Mark Boas, Knight-Mozilla News Fellow

One neat trick: the pop-up boxes and links that appear alongside the video are stored directly in a simple Google doc, which makes writing, editing and updating them dead easy.

The project uses Popcorn.js and the new IE8 shim + jPlayer. It will eventually be embedded in the Al Jazeera English web site, but can also be popped out and added to tablet, mobile device or your TV / home-screen. Mark says this is all a primer for a larger project: a new web app to view Al Jazeera English documentaries.

Get involved:

What’s the metric that matters most for the Mozilla Webmaker project?

In a nutshell: contribution. How should the Mozilla Webmaker project track and measure success? What are the key metrics? Mark Surman and Ryan Merkley prepared this presentation for Mozilla’s Board of Directors last week. The major message: contribution —  in-depth participation from people helping to build a generation of webmakers alongside us — will be the major metric for success.

The new Mozilla Webmaker web site: projects, tools and events for webmakers

Projects | Tools | Events. The upcoming Mozilla Webmaker web site will focus on these three core areas: projects, tools and events for webmakers.

What do we mean by “projects?” We mean recipe cards, how to’s and starter projects for making something amazing. From making your own pop-up video in about five minutes, to designing digital learning badges for NASA, to hacking the future of news documentaries with ninjas like Mark Boas, to tweaking your Tumblr template — while learning a bit of HTML and CSS in the process.

Bite-sized starter projects vs. programs. Individual Mozilla Webmaker programs and standalone web sites will continue to be accessible through a single click from a front-page carousel. But the emphasis of the new projects section will be pulling bite-sized opportunities to make, build or contribute something from across these various silos. Like “” for webmakers.

We’d been struggling around what to call the “projects” section. Recipes? Activities? Missions? Learning challenges? Tutorials? How Tos? But when you look at what other sites call this stuff — whether Popular Mechanics or Make Magazine or Little Bits — they all use the same simple telegraphic word: “projects.”

Get involved

Knight-Mozilla OpenNews Hackathon in Buenos Aires

Hackers in Buenos Aires from the OpenNews Hackathon. Mozilla partnered with Mozilla Hispano, the Buenos Aires Hacks/Hackers group and Blue Via for a day-long event on Friday, April 20, at the NH City & Tower Hotel in the heart of the city. The event featured short talks about HTML5 and friends, Javascript APIs, the Add-ons SDK, developer tools, and our newest offering: Apps and Persona.

Hacking on Mozilla Collusion at the Wall Street Journal Transparency Weekend

Is your smart phone leaking? That’s the question this new “MobileScope” mobile app helps you answer, which won WSJ’s Transparency Weekend “Ready for Primetime” award. There was also lots of exciting new developments on the Mozilla Collusion front — we’ll get a more detailed report back from Gunner in Tuesday’s call.

Next week: make and build with us