Archive | February, 2009

Better Late Than Never: FOSDEM ’09 Wrap-Up

I was in Brussels last weekend for my first-ever trip to FOSDEM and thoroughly enjoyed the experience from start to finish…big thanks to the Mozilla folks and other conference organizers who made it happen.

The best part for me was meeting lots of people from our European community and getting to witness firsthand the tremendous energy that they bring to the equation. The conference room was packed, the merch table was swarmed and the level of enthusiasm was high throughout.

I gave a talk about the Mozilla Creative Collective, and also participated (along with William, Jane and Barbara) in an open session about Mozilla marketing. That was a big highlight…FOSDEM is a developer’s conference, obviously, but the session was well-attended and it was great to hear people’s ideas, answer their questions and get a fuller understanding of their dedication.

Good times all around. Also, for anyone who’s interested, I’ve posted some pictures from the weekend as well as the slides from my Creative Collective talk (although my presentation style largely involves putting up a picture and talking about it, so some of the slides won’t make a huge amount of sense without the voiceover).
Merch Table

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Announcing the Mozilla Creative Collective

As I’ve mentioned in the past, building up Mozilla’s visual design community is one of my (and Tara‘s) top priorities for 2009. There are already designers out there doing good work, of course, but the larger scale possibilities are nearly limitless if we get more organized and continue to bring more people into the fold.

With that in mind, I’m excited to announce the Mozilla Creative Collective. The idea is to build on what we started with past projects like the Firefox 3 T-shirt Contest and the Community Store by creating an online hub where our community activity can take place.

In some ways this is inspired by the concept behind wartime propaganda posters (although I should be clear that this is neither war nor propaganda): using widely distributed and well-made art to convey a message. In this case, we want to make it possible for people to cover the web with art inspired by Firefox (and other Mozilla products). We also want to create an online social environment where designers and non-designers alike can connect and collaborate in a positive, communal atmosphere.

Right now we’re still in the planning stages and are dreaming big. One way we want to encourage participation is by building in functionality that allows for regular design challenges. For example, we might issue a challenge to create art that represents Firefox’s speed, with the ‘winner’ to be determined by the ratings provided by others in the community.

Another component would be a job board of sorts, where non-designers can request design work for their Mozilla projects. The idea is that a student in India who’s hosting a download party at his college’s computer lab could request a design for a promotional flyer and have it be created by someone in, say, Poland. Then, that design could be posted publicly and be reused by community members for their own campaigns.

You can read more details about our plan on its wiki page. It’s ambitious and will be a lot of work, but should be a fun process. We’ve enlisted Airbag Industries to help us design the site, and of course the amazing Mozilla Web Dev team has proven time and time again that they can build literally anything that we can dream up.

Lastly, if you like the sound of this and want to be more involved with the Mozilla visual design community, I highly recommend signing up for our mailing list or following us on Twitter. I’ll be blogging more about this project, of course, but the list is a good way to stay very up-to-date on all the latest happenings.

That’s it for now…more to come!

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