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Global: Mozilla Drumbeat Seeks to Expand the Open Web

Categories: Latin America, Western Europe, Brazil, Arts & Culture, Language, Technology

[1]The Mozilla Foundation [2], creator of the internet browser Firefox, has launched Drumbeat [1], a project that seeks to gather people with the most diverse backgrounds and from many parts of the world to think up projects that promote the openness of the web. Teachers, technologists, designers, developers, lawyers, translators: everyone who uses and loves the web is invited to help make the web a better place, and keep it open and free.

Drumbeat is all about keeping the web open [3], and guarding its open nature:

We want to spark a movement. We want to keep the web open for the next 100 years. The first step: inviting you to do and make things that help the web. That's what Drumbeat is — practical projects and local events that gather smart, creative people around big ideas, solving problems and building the open web.

Among the featured projects, Universal Subtitles [4], a software project and global community to subtitle, caption and translate every video on the web. WebMadeMovies [5] by Brett Gaylor (producer of RIP: The Remix Manifesto [6]), an innovation lab transforming the way we create and experience video on the web, and the P2PU School of Webcraft [7], a powerful new way to teach and learn web developer skills.


Mozilla Drumbeat in São Paulo, June 2010. Photo by Diego Casaes.

A handful of other interesting projects are also listed on the Drumbeat website. Help me Investigate [9], a project for crowd-sourcing investigative journalism, breaks the investigation process in small pieces so volunteers can help investigate and verify news information. Check out the current projects [10] page.

Mozilla Drumbeat was officially launched in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil in March 2010. In addition to gathering people on the web to work on these projects, Mozilla encourages groups to meet in their local neighborhoods and cities to discuss the open web.

Up to now, there were four Drumbeat events in Brazil; the lastest took place in São Paulo [11] [pt] and gathered individuals from 13 different parts of the country: from the far south to the heart of the Amazon forest. There were also Drumbeat events in Paris, Toronto and Bulgaria. Information on past and upcoming events can be found on this page [12].

A closed internet slows down innovation and commerce, and stifles collaboration. The open web is threatened by walled gardens, roadblocks, gatekeepers, centralization and lack of privacy control. For this reason, Drumbeat is reaching out for ideas and individuals to make sure the web will be forever open and free. Start a project [13], or join one [14] that's already rolling!

Disclosure: I'm part of the team that conducts the Mozilla Drumbeat events in Brazil.