Pop goes Mozilla

Game changing innovation by the Mozilla Foundation

Up until a year ago, the name Mozilla was to me the name of an internet browser. Then came the excitable tweets from a journalist friend who was in Ravensbourne, London attending #MozFest. The tweets enticed me to find out more about my friend’s discovery.

A year on and several tweets later, I now know that Mozilla is so much more than browser. The Mozilla Foundation is an organisation that has grown over the past fifteen years with a mission to drive change and innovation by enabling the open web. The Mozilla festival organised by the foundation, is a unique gathering for hip geeks enthusiastic about the future of the web and all things tech and shareable. The yearly festival is an opportunity for web developers, journalists, gamers, educators, filmmakers and all those keen to share skills and expertise.

 Mozilla’s cutting edge is its focus on citizen empowerment and the determination to create products that serve the user. Openness and transparency are at the core of the organisation’s mission as expressed in the recently published Mozilla Annual Report:

 “Mozilla’s vision of the Internet is a place where anyone can access information, a place where everyone can hack and tinker; one that has openness, freedom and transparency; where users have control over their personal data and where all minds have the freedom to create and to consume without walls or tight restrictions.”

 Mozilla’s Popcorn Maker, a free web app, is a concrete example of this organisation is creating products with the potential of becoming game changers rather than mere trend setters.

 Web video is rapidly gaining ground, yet until recently it was difficult to create interactive video. With Popcorn Maker users can augment, remix and share web video. The new app allows users to create sophisticated interactive video which can be circulated across the web with great ease and speed.

The TEDTalk by Beau Lotto and Amy O’Toole was augmented by the team Mozilla using Popcorn Maker. This shows how a video or audio file on the web can be enhanced by layering in services and content from the web, using a drag-and-drop interface

Popcorn Maker’s disruptive potential is described in a recent on article FastCompany: “its toylike simplicity is exactly what makes the app as potentially disruptive as YouTube was to video and WordPress was to publishing.”

Change and innovation is about creating possibilities. We have been constantly witnessing how media is changed with the remixing and sharing of simple web tools. However, video was until recently a one way medium – we could make and send web video but not interact with that content. Mozilla recognised that lacuna and worked with the community to create a user-friendly tool to change and innovate video content. 

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