Moving on from CivicSpace

Round Two logoAfter much deliberation and careful consideration, I have decided to move on from CivicSpace.

Though there were many, many things that weighed in to my decision, the clincher came last week when I received an offer for a senior position within Round Two. The position puts me in a strategic position to advance the culture of open source as one of my duties will be to act as an ambassador of open source to other projects, organizations, officials and wider audiences, extending the work I started with Spread Firefox. I am very excited about this part of my duties as it will enable me to create allies and forge the kind of networks that open source will need to become the dominant development standard throughout the world (yes, big goals!).

Indeed, I see this new opportunity for me as both a necessary step forward for myself as well my work on CivicSpace. As such, I have every intention of maintaining a close relationship with CivicSpace and making sure that my work will continue to benefit the CivicSpace and Drupal communities.

It’s truly been a privilege to work for CivicSpace and to have made as many good friends as I have. I continue to believe that the CivicSpace concept will continue to grow, mature and empower communities the world over.

The Commons gets spread

spreadCCSo after a false start at a guerilla marketing campaign to spread the Commons, Creative Commons seems to have bitten by the Spread bug.

This is truly fantastic and something I couldn’t have hoped for sooner. In fact, I really really want to get involved, but I’m biting my tongue for the moment since there are other pressing projects at hand… and, frankly, the CC guys typically know what they’re doing and well, I’m clearly already overstretched. What else is new?

…But man, talk about a project near and dear to my hear. If they do happen to be interested in any of my experiences with SpreadFirefox, I’d be happy to share. Consider that an open invitation.

Spreading Firefox viral style

Firefox makes everything look betterA while back a project was thunk up to do a viral video marketing campaign for Firefox. The original idea was something like MoveOn’s Bush in Thirty Seconds, but that idea was scrapped when it turned out MozEurope already had something setup with guerilla marketing firm Pozz.

Well, it’s finally landed and I have to say, it’s pretty damn clever. How do you spread a browser? Certainly not by showing it! Let people’s reactions do the convincing. I mean, when was the last time you ate a cell phone by accident?

Egggzzactly.

P.S. And it appears to be getting quite a bit of press in Europe and around the web. Sweet.

P.P.S. SpreadFirefox also apparently hit 100,000 users but you wouldn’t know it because of the weird changes they’ve been making to th design and content of the site. I think Robert Wiblin’s got it right (third comment): “Now if only spreadfirefox.com actually did more things and kept itself updated it would be a really useful resource!” Patience… yes… patience.

It’s been one hulluva week

One of those weeksWhat can I say other than it’s just been one of those weeks? I can’t even characterize it so much as sense the depth of the changes happening in and around me. Nor can I chalk it up to any singular thing, there’s just a lot goin’ on!

So first off, lemme give props to Matty Mullenweg, for topping 200K downloads of WordPress, the software the powers this very blog. 200K. That’s just friggin’ sweet.

Moments before and in no way diminishing Matty’s accomplishment, Firefox hit the big 50 mil. Even if the quality of design at Spread Firefox seems to tanking since I left, I’m really proud to have been part of the effort to get the word out about the Fox. And having a hand in the launch of the rather successful syndicated download counter thing feels pretty tasty too (to use an Ericism.) Oh, and it seems SFX just hit the 99,000 member mark. Day-mn…

Ok, so other schtuff.

Well, I’m deep into rewriting my CivicSpace themes from the ground up, gutting all my previous code and aiming at a consistent codebase. I still don’t know how big a project this is and I’m having some trouble keeping focus on it. The good news is, this overhaul will have very positive results, both for CivicSpace, Drupal and, I hope, themers in general. We shall see.

In other news, my nascent work on SpreadOpenOffice seems to have suffered a bit of a blow, with one of the originators of the project being blown off by the OOo proper folks. I mean, it never makes me happy to see people fight, and it makes me even less so when having seemingly silly disputes over apparent falsehoods. I mean, Charles Schulz’s line “It is a very smart attempt to fork the community.” just seems preposterous. In an all the discussions about this effort I’ve been privy to, it’s never seemed like an effort to fork anything… The way I see it, if the OOo community doesn’t develop a way to harness the efforts of its grassroots supporters, there’ll eventually be more forks than a UN dinner party anyway…

So while I have a few other related projects going on, none warrant much discussion… except the nascent SpreadCC discussion and SpreadButter

…which is, mind you, yet another CivicSpace site. Speaking of… this week was probably one of the most tumultuous for us so far. But I’m not too worried; from adversity and conflict usually springs innovation and clarity, which is precisely what we’re in need of. I’m willing to give it some time and see what happens, but between balancing theming, module improvement, Drupal development, relationship building, promotional efforts, and business model planning, it’s been a helluva week.

Oh, and in the meantime, the Web 2.0 arrived. Backpack, Rojo, and hmm… something else… all launched… Firefox got SVG, Tiger finally dropped and… oh yeah, I moved (which has nothing to do with anything).

I forget what I was going to write next. But oh yeah, it’s really been one helluva week.

The full dish on the “Always Use Protection” poster

Always Use Protection PosterIt’s fascinating how much of a treasure trove of interesting historical tidbits the silverorange intranet is. After all, that’s where the birth of the “Always Use Protection” poster occurred. And since there has been a lot of mystery surrounding the project, I thought I’d set some facts straight.
Continue reading “The full dish on the “Always Use Protection” poster”

Making it better

WordPress Woodtype WordmarkMatt writes eloquently about the kind of user experience he seeks to create in WordPress and how it leads to a much larger goal:

“We all love software that is a joy to use and elegant to work with. As far as WordPress can become that software to more people, I think we’re doing a good job.

“It’s tough work — it hasn’t been easy and it won’t get any easier. There are proprietary and commercial companies trying to do the same thing, except with millions of dollars and dozens of full-time employees. However they don’t have the community or passion that we have, and I think we can do a better job and make the world a better place in the process. I truly believe this, otherwise I would have given up or sold out long ago.”

That Matt and I share such similar moral aesthetics contributes to how well we get along. Having similar long-term goals also helps. It’s interesting to read Matt’s characterization of the development of WordPress; in spite my dayjob, he makes it sound so epic, I almost can’t but pitch in…

…Which is perhaps the reason I’ll be turning my attention to a new and exciting (as yet unannounced) venture very soon… working directly with Matt and the WordPress community… details as they develop!