I spent my entire weekend making stuff in collaboration with newbie and oldie Webmakers. It was fun. Here’s my (brief) roundup on the three separate events.
Friday Night: Kitchen Table with Kids
All I had to do was offer “real” American Cheeseburgers to get an 8 year old and a 5 year old to let me show them some web stuff. I introduced them to the Hackasaurus XRay goggles. The five year old was interested for about two seconds, but then the ants in his pants must have started biting him because he decided to get up and run around. The eight year old spent some time hacking the zoo’s website and changing the names of the animals profiled there. She needed a lot of help and was a bit afraid of the code aspect. We hacked for about thirty minutes, and in the end she said (loosely translated)
“It’s pretty cool that you can mess the Internet up.”
Saturday: Popcorn Learning Lab – The next morning I got up early and headed to Berlin to help out Michelle and Cole. We started with some demos, then broke into groups. Group A took a look at the Popcorn Maker and Group B took a look at Popcorn JS. We hacked for awhile getting used to the tool/code and then we had lunch. When we returned, whomever had an idea for what to make pitched the idea. Then we formed groups and spent the rest of the day hacking on six ideas. Everyone hacked, everyone brainstormed, everyone made things and had fun.
Sunday: Earth Day Online – Headed towards Hamburg Saturday evening. Spent the night in a tiny German village and then Sunday morning I headed into the city. After hanging around in a cafe for a couple hours, I headed to the Betahaus Hamburg to hack. We had a VERY intimate group taking up the donated Betahaus space. Betahaus was wonderful, and a perfect address to gather webmakers in Hamburg. I hope we can work together in a more formal way in the future (Betahaus was kind enough to donate the space and have someone work on a Sunday, despite the fact that they are a young startup). HUGE THANK YOU! Admittedly, we spent a lot of time yakking, and just a little time hacking, but there was enthusiasm for the Mozilla tools and ethos. People are EXCITED about our work, and they want to help us.
In short, met a lot of potential contributors, got great feedback on tools and ideas and had fun webmaking all weekend.