Official Mozilla Corporation Weblog in the Works

Friday May 11th, 2007

A post on Spread Firefox has announced that an official Mozilla Corporation weblog will soon be launched. A project of the Mozilla marketing team, the new weblog will present the official Mozilla Corporation line on news and developments in the Mozilla ecosystem. The target audience for the weblog will be broad, encompassing users, community members, journalists and weblog authors. It is expected to launch by the end of May.

According to the announcement, the weblog, which does not yet have a name, will include Mozilla news, announcements and commentary. Official Mozilla Corporation position statements and responses to media coverage will also be included. Some weblog entries from Mozilla community members will be cross-posted to the official weblog. There will also be tips and tricks for users.

The announcement states that the weblog will be "authentic, yet humorous" and that "we shouldn't take ourselves too seriously nor be too watered down". When addressing serious issues (security and privacy are explicitly mentioned), the weblog will "temper its voice in accordance with the subject matter". This suggests that the weblog will attempt to emulate the carefully-controlled informality exhibited by many official corporate weblogs.

The content on the weblog will be created by the Mozilla Corporation's Vice President of Marketing and Product Management Chris Beard, Director of Product Marketing Paul Kim, public relations representative Mary Colvig, Public Relations Manager Melissa Shapiro, community coordinator Asa Dotzler and others. Some posts will be attributed to particular authors but official statements will be credited to just "Mozilla". Contributions will be invited from readers but the management team will have the final say on what appears on the weblog.

Though the Mozilla Corporation occasionally issues press releases, it has never had a single, official source of news before. When the Mozilla project first began in 1998, there was virtually no formal public relations effort and important announcements were typically posted to a small audience on newsgroups or MozillaZine (which, contrary to popular belief, has never been an official mouthpiece of the Mozilla project). More recently, major news has increasingly been disseminated by the growing number of weblogs maintained by Mozilla community members. However, this has sometimes led to confusion over whether a weblog post represents an official statement or just one individual's opinion, frustrating both journalists and members of the Mozilla community alike.

By creating an official weblog, the Mozilla Corporation will have the opportunity to improve communication with both its own sprawling community (which has grown to be one of the largest in the open source sphere) and the wider world. However, it will primarily be a marketing and public relations tool, attempting to ensure that news relating to the Mozilla project is seen through a prism favourable to the position of the Mozilla Corporation. "Ultimately," the announcement says, "the blog needs to support the communication of both the Mozilla and Firefox brand story in ways that align with our orientation as an open source project and public benefit organization."

#2 Hmm...

by EyesOnly

Saturday May 12th, 2007 10:19 AM

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When I read this article there were several passages which I had to re-read over again in an attempt to get the "gist" of what was being said and, granted that my caffeine IV hasn't quite taken effect yet to wake me up, I too sort of walked away from this article with a negative feeling. It was especially over that last quote which Mr. Kim made above. I read that and went, "Whoa! wait a minute here!" It woke me up more than my caffeine anyway. ;)

Thanks for coming by and clearing some of this up for readers Mr. Kim. I for one appreciate it!

On a sidenote here: I'm really excited to see the front page here of MozillaZine picking up recently with so much news and reports! This is great and I applaud the person(s) behind the scenes doing all this hard work to bring us this news. This is something else I highly appreciate as well. For the moment the replies have been low, however, I feel this is because there have been so little activity here in the past that people have just sailed on by to get to the meatier forums. Myself, I've always tried to make it a point to keep this page as the MAIN link to get to the forums so as to check on any pertinent news first.

Kudos to those involved in all this work! Please keep it up. "If you make it---they will come." as the old saying goes. ;)