Idea: The Drumbeat Toolbox

Drumbeat is Mozilla’s effort to keep the web open by means other than Firefox. It’s part community, part project accelerator, part innovation platform. Drumbeat offers all kinds of benefits, tangible and intangible, to get good ideas off the ground. But that’s been hard to communicate.

One of the things that’s connected most with people is Matt Thompson’s Five Dance Steps for Drumbeat. It’s a clear, straightforward how-to for starting a Drumbeat project. More than any other resource, the Dance Steps have helped people understand how Drumbeat and open innovation processes work.

This got me thinking: how can we offer more tangible things like the Dance Steps, but in recognition of different project’s unique strengths/paths to success? There are probably certain ideas for which doing the Five Dance Steps doesn’t necessarily make for a dance party.

Here’s a braindump of some resources we could develop and offer the Drumbeat community. Some of these are practical steps you can take—theories of starting a Drumbeat project, like the Dance Steps. Almost like “how-to” documentation. Others are little initiatives that people can plug into. Which of these are interesting to you? What are your ideas?

The Five Dance Steps
What is it: a guide to roadmapping and leveraging community participation
Who’s it for: Projects that have a strong lead/core of volunteers

The Snowball
What is it: a guide to accumulating interest over a period of time
Who’s it for: big-scale, visionary projects that need a lot of participation

The Constructor
What is it: a guide to building a project framework that people can plug into
Who’s it for: projects that have several moving parts

The Skills Exchange
What is it: a place to trade your skillset for help from others with different skills
Who’s it for: projects that need a specific kind of help

Geek Speed Dating
What is it: a monthly web meeting to rapidly meet and greet active projects
Who’s it for: people who want to volunteer time but don’t know how

The Innovation Showdown
What is it: a quarterly innovation challenge hosted by Mozilla. Enter to win fame, glory, and project support
Who’s it for: advanced open web warriors who want to compete to solve big problems

Big Brother/Big Sister
What is it: project proposals are matched to authors of Firefox add-ons and other volunteer developers.
Who’s it for: project leads who have a great idea and need a strong technical mentor

The Project Audit
What is it: an application for a one-on-one, comprehensive examination of your open web project
Who’s it for: project leads who want help evaluating project design, and need help identifying funding leads

Which of these resources click with you? What else can Drumbeat do to help projects get off the ground?

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