transitions

It’s been a fantastic voyage for me this past four years as part of Mozilla Corporation. I wanted to let you all know that next month, I’ll be moving on to join Automattic, where I’ll be working on user growth and development.

I’m extremely proud to have been a part of the Mozilla project, and to have worked side by side with so many of you in our community to accomplish things that seemed at one time audacious and improbable. From the launch of Firefox 1.5, through too many outreach programs to count, and as the number of people exercising a choice in the way they got on the Web climbed past 300 million, I’ve always been struck by the essential human-centeredness that permeates Mozilla.

You can see this spirit in the shared excitement on our blogs as new Web features get activated and in the personal touches groups of Mozilla supporters all over the world display in welcoming a new release. For me, this is at the core of how Mozilla, a tiny organization (really!), can compete and win against titans. In the years to come, the Web will need entities like Mozilla, that exist solely to advance the public benefit and the interests of the people, more than ever.

I have no doubt Mozilla will keep surprising the world.

Going Live with Firefox 3.5

mozilla marketing

This morning Mozilla released Firefox 3.5.

It’s a terrific upgrade for the 300 million+ current Firefox users, and will radically improve the Web experience for everyone who migrates to Firefox in the months to come. Most of all, Firefox 3.5 is a compelling expression of the values that underlie Mozilla’s ongoing mission to improve the Web itself.

I’m extremely proud of the hard work everyone in the Mozilla marketing community put into making this a stellar product launch. Each launch I’ve been a part of has felt unique. This year, and with this release, we’ve crossed into operating within a new, more intense competitive environment. One that we’ve had a huge part in creating, for the benefit of everyone on the Web.

Much <3 to everyone in the Mozilla community on a fantastic release, and to upgrading the Web.

Spread Firefox: New Day Rising

The third major redesign of Spread Firefox, Mozilla’s community marketing hub, just went live tonight.

Big ups to the amazing team that made this happen, across our design, IT, marketing, web development, and QA communities: Jamey Boje, Paul Booker, Alex Buchanan, Mary Colvig, Lucy Connor, Akash Desai, Otto de Voogd, Stephen Donner, Alix Franquet, Aravind Gottipati, Neil Lee, Jeremy Orem, Jay Patel, Krupa Raj, Ken Saunders, Matthew Zeier, and The Royal Order.

Much respect for your skills and dedication on the path to browser enlightenment. 🙂

three, is a magic number

mozilla interns 2007
mozilla interns 2007

Summer 2009 is just around the corner, and with it the third year of Mozilla’s intern program. This year, the marketing and PR team has three US-based internships available:

If you’re working towards an undergraduate degree and love Firefox and the Web as much as we do, we invite you to join us at Mozilla this summer!

P.S. Check out past Mozilla intern experiences here, there and elsewhere.

three years

Just realized tonight at dinner that today is my three year anniversary with Mozilla.

It’s been a life-changing experience, for the good, to be a part of this band apart. Still so much to do, and I’m happy to be right where I am now.

Thanks Mozilla!

keep it human

Another mind workout from Clay Shirky, this time a riff on why imperfection invites participation; and why the belief in marketing circles that we only have one shot to capture attention induces a reliance on very expensive photo shoots on Corfu. (Not that there’s anything wrong with Corfu, per se.)

Some of the choicer quotes as they relate to the marketing corpus:

Brands don’t interact. Brands are inert. People interact.

Over and over again what we see in interactive environments: if something looks too good, people won’t touch it.

The messiness, the openness, these kinds of human characteristics tell people it’s ok to interact.

Errata
1. More Shirky on the blogs of Messrs. Blizzard and Kanai.
2. This video originally sourced at Influx Insights.
3. Since you asked, the summer was aces. My blog holiday was mostly spent on a whirlwind tour of Twitter, Tumblr, Flickr, and Managr.

Joining the Band

Since I last wrote about the folks on the Mozilla marketing and PR team, we’ve been lucky enough to have some great new people join us.

Meet them here now, and then live at the Firefox Summit next week.

  • Dave Bottoms. Dave brings extensive software and web marketing experience with him to Mozilla, and just blogged his first post to Planet.
  • Nicole Loux. Nicole joins Melissa Shapiro on our PR team after working for several years on the agency side.
  • Laura Mesa. Laura is our first new grad marketing team member, joining us after finishing college this past June.
  • William Quiviger. William was previously introduced on Planet Mozilla by Jane Finette and will work on community marketing out of the Mozilla Europe offices in Paris. William’s blog is at somethin-else.org.
  • Tara Shahian. Tara’s been with us for several months, working closely with John Slater on numerous design projects, including the Firefox 3 T-Shirt Contest. Her blog: MusingT.

We’ve also benefited from the contributions of four rock star summer marketing interns, who’ve been working on market research, metrics, events and affiliate programs: Juliana Chea, Natnaree Chummanon, Blake Cutler, and Ulili Onovakpuri.

Welcome aboard the Mozilla project to each one of you! It’s terrific to have you here.

Kicking off Firefox 3 Download Day with a Boom!

Download Day

It’s been an awesome morning and afternoon here at Mozilla headquarters. We launched Firefox 3 this morning and immediately felt the love from millions of people all over the world joining us to set a Guinness World Record for most software downloaded in 24 hours.

Our systems were quite busy earlier this morning so individual requests may not have gotten through – but they are all up now and serving a tremendous amount of traffic and downloads. We’re currently serving almost 9,000 downloads a minute, which puts us on track to achieve 5-7 million downloads our first day of general availability.

To put some more color behind what’s been happening on this historic day:

  • We exceeded the first day download mark for Firefox 2 of 1.6 million after just five hours of availability for Firefox 3.
  • Net Applications is already reporting a 300% positive change in Firefox 3 market share worldwide just today.
  • Over 500 articles about the launch were linked to from Google News
  • The Firefox 3 launch made the front pages of BBC.co.uk, NYTimes.com, Liberation.fr, laRepubblica.it, Digg, Slashdot, Techcrunch, and Yahoo! News
  • The completely redesigned Mozilla.com launched in over 25 language versions
  • New community activity on SpreadFirefox.com has skyrocketed with dozens of new groups and hundreds of new postings
  • Over 700 community launch parties have been registered on mozillaparty.com

Download Day has already been an amazing demonstration of the power of the Mozilla community. Thank you to each and every one of you who’s contributed to a terrific launch of Firefox 3.

Onwards to a new World Record, together!

Thinking about Brands

businessworld branding case study image Last week, I wrote a branding analysis for Businessworld, India’s top general business magazine. Meera Seth, who edits an ongoing series of case studies for Businessworld, got in touch and asked me to give a technology industry perspective on a case about extending a successful consumer brand into an adjacent category.

Here’s an excerpt from the case, which features Firefox as a jumping off point for thinking about names and branding (The full case is online too, if you’re interested):

Karan Kashyap’s mind was buzzing with the debates over naming the new shampoo at G&TW India where he was the product manager. The marketing manager Sudhir Dhuni had mooted the idea that they launch a shampoo under the deo[dorant]’s brand name, Mali.

Karan sat half-lying on his chair, listening to the music streaming out of his computer. And then his eyes slowly took in what he had been unwittingly staring at, the flaming orange icon of his browser, startling him unusually. Firefox, said his mind; Mozilla, came the echo. Mozilla Firefox, muttered Karan. Why on earth is it called Firefox? For a web browser? What kind of name is that for a product? How do consumers relate to it? And why Mozilla Firefox? Why two names, or is that one name?

And here’s an excerpt from my response (Read the full analysis at Businessworld.in):

Traditional brand building strategies have been disrupted. Industrial era techniques — repetition, saturation and need generation — rely on two aspects of the media landscape that no longer hold sway: concentration of attention; and one-way message push. Pre-internet media relied on scarcity and control over content and channels of communication to aggregate consumer audiences. We were passive recipients of a set of mass market messages. The rise of the internet has introduced choice and nearly unlimited personalisation into the mix of how a consumer chooses to allocate the attention he or she has to give to media. Add contribution of nascent consumer expectations to have an ongoing dialogue with their peers and the world, and what you have is a changed landscape for brands.

It was great to do this, as it helped me get down in writing concepts around attention and brand co-creation that have heavily influenced the marketing we’ve done at Mozilla this past few years. I’m grateful to Meera for the opportunity to share my perspective with Businessworld’s readers in India and beyond.

P.S. Working with a great editor absolves the late night writer of many sins – thanks again Meera!