How To MozFest: An Open Book For the Internet Health Movement
“At last year’s MozFest, Mark Surman proposed an idea for a MozFest book to celebrate our 10th anniversary. Would you be interested in helping me create something like this?”
I’ve had the pleasure of working on MozFest’s production team supporting communications for the past several years, so when Sarah Allen, the Executive Director of the Mozilla Festival, asked me to help with a book, my response was an easy one. Not only do I love writing, I love Mozilla.
“Yes! When do we start?”
That was back in March. Since then, over 180 people from around the world submitted content for this unique book. Dozens upon dozens of people submitted thoughts and memories via our survey asking these three questions:
- What makes MozFest different from other events?
- What makes you want to come back to MozFest?
- What is your favorite MozFest memory?
There were also the stars we boldly asked to make a larger contribution, whether it was to sit down for marathon meetings to recount details and happenings of festival’s past, take part in an interview, or author an entire chapter outlining a topic or project that touched the festival. There were also designers, advisors, approvers, legal-process supporters, image editors, and many, many more roles without whom, the book would not be nearly as grand.
The book curation timeline was ambitious, given the number of contributors. As the Senior Editor and Curator of the book, the months leading up to our print deadline consisted of a lot of asking, waiting, editing, waiting, more editing, waiting. The more contributions we received, the more our memories were jogged of more people, projects, and topics to include. Mere weeks before the print deadline, our patient designers were waiting for the green light to start laying out the content as additional contributions rolled in. Once all of the content was received, it was a race to the finish with final approvals for both content and photos. There were several nights that went past midnight as we went through the book cover-to-cover before the book went to publication.
Editing a book that contains dozens of voices speaking with different styles, tones, and local spelling preferences was quite challenging. While the main decision was to keep Mozilla’s voice and British English spelling for the overall narration, the decision to honor each individual’s voice and way of writing and spelling in their contributions speaks to the unique, collaborative, and connected community that is MozFest. It’s a celebration of beautiful differences, and how we all bring value to the larger picture.
I saw the book for the first time the Wednesday before the festival. I literally fell to my knees and hugged my copy. I’m so proud to have been a part of such a special piece of history.
Here’s a quick overview of the book:
- From Open Source to a Healthy Internet: The How To MozFest story begins with the festival founders calling us to action to roll up our sleeves and do something about the health of the internet. Come on, let’s go!
- The First Decade: Soar over the past ten years, getting a bird’s eye view of how the festival is an experiment and an evolution of the one that came before.
- 10 years of Activism, Community, and Collaboration: You’ll discover how the web has changed, how our community used the festival platform to advance, shape, and rally around their key projects and disciplines to bring internet health awareness and work to all corners of the globe.
- Creating Participatory Events: For those interested in learning about building a participatory event, you’ll take the MozFest backstage tour. The shared ownership and collaborative design practices of MozFest, of planning and leading the event with many in the community, is important for us to share. We didn't come up with this concept on our own, but we certainly made it our own. Learn how we build an event in a participatory fashion.
- Peer to Peer Interviews: And finally, for all of you asking insightful questions about the current state of the internet health movement and where it’s going, you’ll be a fly on the wall, overhearing conversations regarding the most pressing issues of our time between some of the most brilliant and influential minds in the movement.
The work for a healthy internet isn’t done yet, which means neither is the book. We are seeking even more contributors to help us write the next chapter that looks ahead to the next ten years of the festival and the internet health movement. Where do we go from here? There are many paths the future offers the digital world - which one we choose will shape the festival and the web for everyone. For this next chapter, we want to hear your ideas on:
- The Future of Internet Health. What do you hope the internet will look like in 10 years? What do you foresee being the five biggest issues affecting internet health over the next decade? How will your work contribute to the health of the internet?
- Your Internet Health Story. How do you identify with the internet health movement? Why is it important to you? What will you do in the next ten years to participate in the movement?
- The Future of AI. Why is building Trustworthy AI important for the future of the internet? How do you see AI impacting the internet health movement in the next ten years?
We will include five submitted essays in full with a byline. We may also quote from or excerpt other submitted essays with attribution.
If your essay is selected for inclusion in the MozFest Tenth Anniversary Book in full, we will also invite you to present a session about the topic of your essay at MozFest in 2021.
The deadline to submit an essay is 29 November 2019. If you have questions, please consult Kristina Gorr at [email protected]
To find out how to get your very own copy of the book, keep an eye on our website, our Twitter Feed (@MozillaFestival), or subscribe to our newsletter.
The How To MozFest book is one way we celebrated the last ten years of the festival. But we aren’t ready to close the book and call it quits. There is still much work to be done to advance internet health and we want you to stand alongside us in your awareness, your work, and your local community.
To receive updates on the book’s progress, MozFest 2021, and other working open opportunities and resources from community members just like you, sign up for our newsletter.
You can also connect with Mozilla and other internet healthy advocates by joining our upcoming community call on Thursday, November 14 at 2 PM - 3 PM ET.