What the frak is Drumbeat?



What is Mozilla Drumbeat?

Drumbeat is a global community of innovators like you, building a more awesome web and world. Connect with others. Find projects that need your help. Or share your own.

Mozilla is all about shaping the future of the web for the public good. With Drumbeat, we’re moving beyond Firefox to build more things that make the web better, not just software. We’re doing that by reaching out to new kinds of people — educators, filmmakers, journalists, scientists, artists — to work together on open projects and design challenges that build a better web and world. We did that with Firefox. Now we want to do it on a broader scale, with new projects and people like you.

How can Drumbeat help you?

By connecting you with like-minded collaborators and projects. Our online community and project platform are all about enabling collaboration and “working in the open” on projects that build a better web and world. Drumbeat’s web site makes it easy for you to:
  • Connect with other innovators like you. Find like-minded people who share your passion, skill-set or subject area. Raise your profile and let others know about your work.
  • Find projects that need your help. Contribute your skills, knowledge and feedback to projects that do good. Help build a more open web and world.
  • Share your own project. Setting up a project page on Drumbeat.org makes it easy for others to help. By understanding what your project’s about, accessing the project tools you’re using, and keeping up with the latest project news.
  • Connect with Drumbeat events. Learn about the annual Drumbeat Festival, find events near you, or start your own local Drumbeat event.

Anyone can share a project on Drumbeat. Sharing your project on Drumbeat makes it easy to connect with our growing community of innovators and technologists, get feedback and help, and raise your project’s profile. What makes for a great Drumbeat project? The best Drumbeat projects:
  • Make it easy for others to participate and get their hands dirty. Drumbeat is all about co-creation. Making and building together.
  • Drive innovation for the open web and the wider world. Showing how open technologies can improve other parts of life.
  • Bring together people with diverse backgrounds and skill-sets. Non-technical people working with techies. Educators collaborating with engineers. Translation experts jamming with Javascript developers. All scratching each other’s backs.

What areas does Drumbeat focus on?

Open collaboration on projects that matter. In areas like education, media, science, accessibility — or your own personal passion or area of expertise. You can check out featured Drumbeat projects like:
  • WebMadeMovies — bringing filmmakers and hackers together to invent the future of video.
  • Universal Subtitles — creating subtitles and captions for every video on the web.
  • The School of Webcraft — peer-based web developer training that’s free, open, and globally accessible.
  • Learning, Freedom and the Web — a global community of educators and hackers reinventing the future of learning.
  • Batucada — Designing and developing drumbeat.org as part of the social web, together.
  • New media and science projects — coming soon.

How does Drumbeat make the world better?

Through open web tools and thinking. Applied to your personal passion or project. Mozilla believes the internet is a shared public resource and force for good. If we care about the web’s future, we need a diverse range of people involved in shaping the web in their world — especially those trying to disrupt and innovate. Drumbeat provides open web tools and thinking to help do this. And connects innovators in areas like education, media and science with smart hackers and technologists. The result? Drumbeat helps you build new projects the same way Mozilla built Firefox — by working in the open, collaborating through open web tools, and enabling participation from contributors around the world.

How can I get involved in Drumbeat?

Whether you’re a hardcore geek or everyday web user, Drumbeat is for you. Here’s how you can get more involved:
1) Join drumbeat.org. Sign up and dive in.
2) Follow Drumbeat projects. Stay up to date on your favorite Drumbeat projects and innovation challenges.
3) Stay in touch. Join our community mailing list. Or follow Drumbeat on Twitter, Identi.ca or Facebook.
4) Join our weekly community calls. Our weekly “Drumbeat Monday” conference calls are open to all, and a great way to get your feet wet.
5) Learn more. Check out our Frequently Asked Questions (F.A.Q.) page, Planet Drumbeat blog, or “Dance Steps for Drumbeat” — a “how to” for new Drumbeat projects.


  • This is great!

    I had one small thing that popped in my head as I was reading:

    With Drumbeat, we’re moving beyond Firefox to build

    -and support-

    more things that make the web better, not just software.

    I don’t know if the support is accurate, but I feel like that is more important than building at times. From what I’ve seen and experienced, Drumbeat creates a supportive environment/community/platform that encourages people do be disruptive and innovative by using the open web.

    I’m excited about the new site!


    • “Drumbeat provides a supportive environment, community and platform for people to be disruptive and innovative using the open web.”

      I like that a lot.

      I quoted one of your tweets from the Festival the other day:

      “Yesterday someone asked me about Drumbeat. I told her I’ve found people who understand my work — and are doers, 
not just talkers.” Nice.

  • Honestly, as a technical guy, you lost me at “innovation challenges” (in bold, no less), at which point I decided Drumbeat was likely all airy fairy hippy hipster marketing speak and quit reading. I assume the word “synergy” is in there somewhere too, but I can’t be bothered to check. Good luck though! 🙂

    • Hey, Chris. Good point. We should make it clearer that we mean “design and developer” challenges, like the kind Mozilla Labs runs:
      Drumbeat wants to learn from Labs on how to run these, and get better at them this year.
      In this sense, “innovation challenges” is meant to be a short-hand for both design *and* developer challenges. But I kinda agree with you — it can come off sounding a little buzz-wordy.

      • I read the “Communicate at Web Speed” thing, love those ideas, and I guess I personally am looking to see “What the frak is Drumbeat?” answered in something closer to the length of a tweet 😉

        After reading the whole page, my attempt would be something like this (run-on sentence):

        “Mozilla is dedicated to building an Open Web, free and accessible to all, not just through creating great software like Firefox, but through the “Drumbeat” movement, providing an online platform, community, and promotion, for any and all like-minded projects to innovate and build a better web, together.”

        Followed up immediately by specifics on what exactly you mean by “platform”… project pages, news feeds, forums, etc.

      • @ Chris. When you say, “I’m looking for ‘What is Drumbeat?’ in the length of a tweet” — that’s spot on. It’s also the single most difficult thing to write! 🙂 Still working on it.

        I like what you wrote. If I break it down, I get something like:

        * Mozilla is dedicated to an open web, free and accessible to all
        * not just through great software like Firefox, but through Mozilla Drumbeat
        * Drumbeat provides an online platform, community, and promotion
        * for like-minded projects building a better web [and world?], together

        * The new Drumbeat web site will provide projects with project pages, news feeds, and support for various third-party tools and services (through Atom or RSS). * Anyone can share a project on drumbeat.org.

  • To help answer “What is Drumbeat?”, you can also try asking “What can Drumbeat do for you, the user?”. That way, the answer is more concrete and you’re more directly answering what a user can get out of it.

    The answer to “What can Drumbeat do for you?” is pretty much what you have in the “What is Drumbeat.org” section:

    * Connect with other innovators
    * Find projects that need your help
    * Share your own project

    It wasn’t until I got to that section that I went “Ohh, that’s how this works!” In my opinion, it would have helped to see info like that closer to the top of the page.

    • That’s really helpful, Paul.

      * Use “What can Drumbeat do for you?” as a headline.
      * Include a one-sentence answer up front. In the “What is Drumbeat?” section
      * Maybe something like:
      “What can Drumbeat do for you? Connect you with other like-minded innovators, put you in touch with projects that need your help, or share your own project.”

  • OK, this might sound a little, how should I say it, aaaa fairy talish, out of this world, or beyond this world, utopian, or flaky, or hippy…anyways, after reading about drumbeat here, a big connection happened in my head, of something I have been casually, but passionately thinking about…a WWW human education project, where we educate humans from birth to adulthood, in the hopes to end so much needless struggle and strife that occurs due to the scarcity of it…I envision a day when a child is born in a remote part of the world where (internet access is ubiquitous in that day) the child’s parents create a human education account username and password for the child, and from then on the WWW community implements the “it takes a village” paradigm to educate that child into a productive and happy part of the world wide community. Literally educated by the world for the world. Tears are flowing out of my eyes right now, happy tears. I hope drumbeat is what I understood it to be from this post. Thanks for this moment!

    • Not flakey at all! Thanks for sharing this. Education and the future of learning is indeed a huge focus for Drumbeat. We think the web is reinventing how people learn, and holds massive opportunity for exactly the reasons you mention.

  • This really isn’t very informative. I agree with the poster who used the term “airy fairy.” This is all about the feel good explanations, but I still don’t know what Drumbeat is and what it actually does. It sounds great for people who already buy in, but read it again as a user and ask “but what do you actually *do*? what can I *do*?”

    I think there are a lot of opportunities to apply lessons from here http://www.useit.com/papers/webwriting/

    I can be more specific, but that might be better in a google doc or somewhere else where I can annotate, rather than having to quote.

    • Thanks Lucy. What would be helpful for me would be for you to add a specific question or questions you have about Drumbeat that this page doesn’t answer. And add them in this thread, or to the F.A.Q.?

      In terms of what you can *do*, which I agree is the main question this needs to answer up front:

      1) Connect with others. Like-minded innovators and technologists. Using open technologies to build a better world.
      2) Find projects that need your help. Like the featured projects listed above. Or lots of smaller ones you can discover through the site.
      3) Or share your own project. Anyone can share a project on Drumbeat. To attract followers, get feedback and help, and make it easy for people to contribute.

      • Well let me comment on your answers you gave me here

        1) This is a non-answer. Connect isn’t direct, though I think people might be able to assume this means “meet.” What are innovators and technologists? I guess if they’re likeminded we’re assuming someone already has an idea of what Drumbeat is about. The last sentence isn’t really a complete sentence and it again leaves questions – what technologies, a better world how?

        2) and 3) have the same problem that projects aren’t explained.

        The FAQ explanation of the “Open Web” is equally vague, and I don’t think “why does it matter” is clearly explained.

        “Mozilla is all about shaping the future of the web for the public good” is a good start but the how isn’t explained.

        “build a better web and world” well you have to define better. Better how?

        I understand that we’re hoping the sky is the limit, and we don’t want to constrain people’s vision, but you really do need to get something concrete on paper. You don’t want people thinking they’re fighting for 0 patents/trademarks etc when that’s not necessarily what this is about.

        I *think* a goal of drumbeat is helping people understand what the open web is, and how it affects them. So that would be one thing you can *do.* Another thing that is mentioned is building things other than software, but no examples are given. Is building software part of the goal? If so, what kind of software?

        “we did that with Firefox” – did what exactly? That might be a good starting point for answering some of the other questions.

        I also think the approach I mentioned in the newsgroup – personal, group, big picture – would help answer these questions clearly (re: Open Web, Open Minds, Open World).

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