October has really been a busy month for me and to end that physically and mentally exhausting month, I attended the Mozilla Festival held in London, UK! Mozilla Festival is like the biggest brainstorming ground for everyone passionate about technology, especially the open web. Not only does it involve newbies who want to learn, it is also a place where you put the awesome idea that has been taking up a lot of your sleep time into a pit of interested individuals who can help bring it to reality! I got to admit that my personal motto in this event was “SPEAK UP!”. Everyone was busy learning and creating A LOT of things that you can’t just track everything that was going on.
Around 1500, volunteers included, was there at the MozFest. It was my first time to attend an event THAT BIG in terms of activities and participants. I signed up to become a volunteer at the Reps and FSA booth. In this blog post, I’m gonna share some sessions that I have attended and some snapshots of the event.
The venue was the awesome Ravensbourne College which I must say is PERFECT for the unconventional and very open format of the Festival.
For the pre-event stuff, we had a meeting with all the volunteers (there are SO MANY of us apparently! It’s awesome and alarming at the same time as it made me realize how big this event really is!). We also had a meeting with the Reps at MozFest.
For the first day we had the science fair where people from different organizations presented their amazing tech ideas ranging from the Web to robotics coolness!
I had an awesome time talking with people at the Reps and FSA booths! I found it hard to identify Mozillians from non-Mozillians though! It was fun meeting people interested to promote Mozilla and contribute to the community though. It isn’t hard to promote it as they were the ones actually telling that it seems really fun to be part of an organization who actually cares.
My favorite floor: THE OPEN BADGES FLOOR!
What I really really love about MozFest is the unconventional conference format it adapted. People gather for sessions in such an open setting like this one! They go creating and discussing some serious stuff by just forming a circle in an open space.
MozFest had different tracks enumerated as follows:
- Build & Teach the Web. New approaches for teaching digital skills, coding and webmaking.
- Connect Your City. Building local digital learning networks around the world.
- Skills and Badges. New ways to recognize skills and learning that happen anywhere.
- Look Who’s Watching. Privacy, surveillance and tracking. How do we protect transparency and user sovereignty online?
- Open Games. The web as an open gaming console for the world. Play and create next-generation web-based games.
- Source Code for Journalism. Creating the tools news organizations needs to thrive on the open web.
- Science and the Web. Redefining how we experiment, analyze and share scientific knowledge.
- Open Data for the Open Web. Uncovering and building with data from the web and everyday world.
- Making the Web Physical. Hacking on physcial devices and gizmos connected to the web in exciting new ways.
- Webmaking for Mobile. Making apps and tinkering with your own phone. The web as platform.
One of the most important topics tackled at the MozFest was the issue on privacy, which is highlighted by the demo/announcement of Lightbeam for Firefox, an add-on which aims to let users know who they interact with on different layers.
Some snapshots while evening plenaries are going on:
<rant> I hate it that I forgot to attend the MozFest Maker Party </rant>
October 28 is the birthday of my Mozilla Reps Mentor, Bob Reyes! It was already getting late in the Philippines so I asked my ReMo friends to make a fansign wishing Sir Bob a happy birthday on their own language.
The only sessions that I got to attend at the Festival was a Girls in Technology session headed by the awesome MIT Media Lab who has this idea of holding an online conference and would like to generate ideas for sessions optimized to encourage girls in the field of technology. Another session is about how to improve next year’s Maker Party in terms of improving the events.
I also had an awesome time playing Werefox, which is a Mozilla version of the Werewolf game. (All pictures are from mozillaeu on Flickr)
Some group pictures: At the MozFest I get to know more about my fellow Reps and bond with them. Maybe what really helped is the fact that I am the only one from our country and in the past, I don’t actively bond with them and I had to ask for the assistance of the Filipino Reps to expand my circle and socialize at events. It was fun talking with them about our countries and culture. I managed to get out of my comfort zone this time!
The Mozilla Festival is different from other Mozilla events that I have attended so far because this time, I am here to represent Mozilla to non-Mozillian participants and I have to interact with an unfamiliar culture to do so. I have learned a lot of new stuff and new techniques that I would really love to share with my community in the Philippines! I am really looking forward to discussing new ideas especially on our Webmaker events! Thank you Mozilla for another wonderful learning opportunity and for an A-W-E-S-O-M-E event that really rocked everyone’s weekend! More pictures of the event here.