Tagged: Festival

Reflections on learning from #Mozfest #mozbug

This weekend I spent quite a lot to time glued to my screen, but I was interacting with people from all over the world through the marvel that is Mozilla Fest. This is a conference and event, celebrating all the things which Mozilla do (the festival ran in London, but I was able to interact via Twitter and also through watching the Keynotes online (live stream video), and audio on SourceFabric).

I deliberately sought out ways to get involved from afar, as I wanted to learn some new things and find out about all the great things which people were doing around the web.  I love projects which integrate analogue and digital elements, I recently did a project which retraced the steps of my family history using illustration, photography, writing and a book on iBooks (look under the tag “are you here” on this blog for more info). With this in mind, when I found out that there was a Mozilla scavenger hunt at the event, which allowed for remote participation, my first challenge was to draw the Mozilla Fest logo:

This was an easy one for me… and a few points!  I also started following others who were taking part and browsed some of the great online info.  The evening keynotes had some really interesting points about the concept of digital natives, yes, many people who have grown up with the internet (and never done homework without it) are comfortable with using all sorts of online platforms and sharing posts with friends, but do people look underneath “the box” and see what is going on?  (Mozilla makes it easy to do this with various online tools such as Webmaker, Thimble and Xray Goggles).  You can view this (and other evening keynotes, including the launch of a new tool called Lightbeam for checking where your data is being shared) here.

That evening I also tried out some code in a collaborative storytelling project.  I am not a natural coder (I know the simple things like embedding codes, changing fonts and links etc, which I have learnt from years of tinkering with things like basic web design editing alongside  WYSIWIG tools as early on as Netscape Composer up to Adobe Muse combined with Dreamweaver but I have never been “taught” it in a structured manner, I’ve just picked things up here and there and like to play with the results, which is why I like Mozilla Webmaker so much as it gives you challenges to remix or start from scratch).  I have not yet made my Github project join up with others, I think I am a little stuck on the terminology at the moment, but one learns over time, so any hints how to make this work, add and collaborate welcome!

The Twitter feed #mozfest was really busy all day, and people were getting creative with the Firefox logo in their coffee:

One off the challenges was find a fox.. soon a new papercraft analogue-digital Firefox will be gracing my desk:

If you would like to make one, there are a few variations on a theme here

I also tried out the challenge on HTML poems, using mixtures of code I know, an HTML cheat sheet from web monkey and the visual interface which highlights things when you make errors (forgetting “/” to end things, or putting things in slightly the wrong place) but also changes as you edit on the right hand side of the screen so you instantly see the results of your input.  It was fun to try and make things rhyme and add the real text to make code.

The next challenge was to open source your food.  As I couldn’t give away a coffee and muffin to a fellow conference attendee, and wanted to do something digital, I used Webmaker postcard creator to make a recipe card.  I uploaded a photo to Flickr, then worked out how to embed this with the instructions in the remixer… I rather like the results and reckon I might send a few more of these.  You can remix it yourself too, it’s open source… go play!

Amazingly, I found myself with a little short lived mozbug glory at the top of the leaderboard at one point.. please don’t think I’m boasting, I just hope others will see more of the project and join in! There’s still time… go to  #Mozbug on Twitter or check out the Mozbug adventures for more details on the challenges.

I am hoping to have a play with some more of the challenges before the end of the day, it has been a lot of fun trying out creative ways to respond to the scavenger hunt, and explore more of the amazing things going on.  Thank you Mozilla and all the volunteer Mozillians for a great interactive weekend of inspiration and web making, but most of all learning through play; I do like a challenge.

Brighton is bright in all this lovely sun!

From when I first woke up in Brighton (and all bank holiday long) I have been treated to a wonderfully sunny day, with a beautiful blue azure sea and the occasional group of white yachts sailing on the horizon.  Fantastic art territory!  I can see why artists are attracted to this city.  Photographs almost do not do it justice, it actually reminded me of the sea in the Outer Hebrides, as it was so deep turquoise in parts.

Beautiful sea

Beautiful Brightonian sea

Brighton yachts

Brighton yachts

When I booked this journey away I did not notice that it was bank holiday time (and also English half term) so perhaps I am getting a little of that “totally full beach with barely a pebble to see” Victorian holiday experience, as is shown in this Photo History of Sussex website!  To add to the bustling atmosphere, it has been the last few days of the Brighton Festival and also the last week of the Brighton Fringe… the Lanes and North Laine are full of entertainment and Fringe City is a feast of entertainment.

fringe city street

Fringe City street in the sun

Fringe city

Fringe city

The reason I am in Brighton is part of my Art Project “Are You Here”, to retrace the steps of my ancestors Marmaduke and Stella Langdale; artists who were born in Middlesex but stayed in Brighton for a number of years.  In researching census and other archival information, I discovered that Stella went to Brighton School of Art, and then Glasgow School of Art whilst Marmaduke was a Turner travel prize winner.  Stella’s work can be seen in the Maltwood Art Gallery in Canada, although I am also retracing some of the views in illustrations which she did for a book called “Unknown Brighton”, detailed online here.  I found the Black Lion yesterday, but it is now adorned with a little gold as well!

The Black Lion

The Black Lion