#Drumbeat and Project Orange

A couple years ago was a huge Linux user. I followed almost everything happening in the open source world online. That time proved well in its ability to give me the ideas I’m now sharing that we can use for Mozilla Drumbeat. This idea in particular is a bit maverick, because goes against how Drumbeat is already organized.

What Drumbeat is, to play off the imagery, is the drumming of many different people working on many different projects, all contributing to the open web. It’s all modeled in this diagram that Mark Surman posted to his blog last week.

Many different practical open web ideas turn into projects, the more active projects are highlighted on the website and at local events, with the best of these projects being funded.

But what if there was only one project.

The model used in Project Orange by the Blender Foundation in 2005, was that they brought together 6 talents from the Blender user and developer communities to Amsterdam. By using only open source tools, their small team would create a movie. The first movie was titled Elephants Dream, and the second was Big Buck Bunny.

From the creative concept to final production, the small team made their movie. They then released it under creative commons, as well as providing the source files to the public. This one project got the attention of the entire Blender user and development community, and the many new features developed during the course of the movie pushing the application ahead. If the tool didn’t have a function they’d need for the movie, they made it.

The beautiful thing about this whole process is the focus. When people talked about Project Orange, they were talking about Elephants Dream. The top people all invested time into the same project. For Tom, the creator of Blender, Project Orange became a day-to-day concern for him, and he gave direct input. At then end when the project was completed, the Blender team rested, then in a few months they started again on something else.


Drumbeat is taking the many model, and Project Orange was the one model.

Is there something in Project Orange that Drumbeat can learn from and adopt into it’s own processes?

What are the other projects and accomplishments of the open source world that Drumbeat can learn from?

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