Ask MDN follow-up: HTML5 Gaming & Creative JavaScript

Just over a week ago we gathered 8 experts in the field to answer your questions about HTML5 gaming and creative JavaScript. This was our first Ask MDN event and, although it had a couple of teething problems, it went really well.

In this post I want to follow up on the previous event and outline our plans for the future, taking into consideration all the lessons that we’ve learnt so far.

Thanking the developer community

Without you the first Ask MDN would have been completely pointless, so I’d like to thank those who submitted questions and took part in the discussion. You keep our experts on their toes and sparked some great conversations on Twitter.

We were actually a little overwhelmed with the amount of questions coming in, so we’re sorry for not answering them all. It’s one of the things we want to improve on, which you can see in the section further on on this post.

Thanking the experts

Our intrepid group of experts did a fantastic job at answering the questions as they came in. I’d particulary like to thank them for their patience as we dealt with changes in procedure during the event.

Find out more about our experts:

Learning from our mistakes

We learnt a lot from the first event, so much so that we’re taking steps to make sure we don’t repeat the same mistakes. Here are just a few of them.

Tweaking the format

Originally we wanted Ask MDN to be a weekly event, and we still do, but we’ve decided to move to a bi-weekly format for the near-future. This will allow us more time to work on the other issues we encountered, with the ultimate aim of making the event even more awesome.

We’ll move to a weekly format once we’ve got everything working how we’d like. It shouldn’t be too long.

Archiving the event

We’re going to start archiving each event ourselves, but in the meantime you can check out this great transcript from Andrzej Mazur. Thank you!

Tracking the live conversation

Related to the archival of the event is tracking the conversation on Twitter as it happens live. We noticed that a lot of people were finding it hard to know which questions were being answered, particularly as there were often more than one question being answered at a time.

We plan to make the conversation on Twitter easy to follow with a dedicated Ask MDN dashboard website. This will aggregate all the information you need to know about the conversation; like the current questions and their hashtags, answers to each question displayed in a threaded format, the ability to submit questions directly, and more!

Cutting redtape

Originally we thought that a solid procedure for answering questions would be best. This was wrong and it meant that more time was being spent delegating questions to experts and waiting around than actually answering questions.

In the future we plan to relax the procedure and allow the experts to answer any question they want at any time within the hour.

Dealing with unanswered questions

Something we hadn’t thought about was what to do with all the questions that didn’t get answered during the hour. In the future we will be posting these all online, probably on the dashboard, for experts and the community to answer at a later date.

Have feedback?

We’re doing this for you, so please let us know if you have any feedback about how Ask MDN could be better. Leave a comment below and we’ll consider them all as we evolve the event in the future.

Next up: The History API

This Friday we’re convering the History API, which is also the focus of this month’s Dev Derby.

We’re now open for questions, so send them to us now on Twitter or use the the #askmdn hashtag.

This event will occur at the following times around the world:

  • 10am in San Francisco (PDT)
  • 1pm in New York (EDT)
  • 7pm in Paris, Berlin and Madrid (CEST)

Find the time where you live to make sure you don’t miss out.

About Robin Hawkes

Robin thrives on solving problems through code. He's a Digital Tinkerer, Head of Developer Relations at Pusher, former Evangelist at Mozilla, book author, and a Brit.

More articles by Robin Hawkes…


  1. Tom Schuster

    We need some way to carry out some of think made in the irc channel. We had really great discussion and i think we should have somehow published them.

    August 8th, 2011 at 04:43

  2. Debloper

    0. The dedicated dashboard will be a huge welcome.
    1. Answering all the questions, even if not within the hour – it’s awesome.
    2. If possible, make AskMDN a one-stop for web-devs’ advanced queries (& don’t make them wait for the related topic session) – let them ask, answer them in a day or the next; it will still be appreciated (and buy enough time to get to an expert for the answer).
    3. Using co-tweet allows contributors (experts, in this case) to assign a tweet to himself & reply.
    4. In the heading “Next up: The History API” there’s a typo “convering”.

    August 8th, 2011 at 12:39

  3. Davit

    Is the transcript here: the whole thing? :|

    August 24th, 2011 at 07:09

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