MozillaZine

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."


#10 Re: Official post crediting

by AlexBishop <alex@mozillazine.org>

Friday May 18th, 2007 12:13 AM

You are replying to this message

I agree. It can mean the project, the software, the community and no fewer than three organisations (the past mozilla.org and the present Mozilla Foundation and Mozilla Corporation).

I can usually figure out which one it means but I sometimes get stumped by references to plain "Mozilla" as an organisation, a shorthand initiated by the press and increasingly picked up the Foundation/Corporation itself. Does it mean the Foundation or the Corporation? The distinction is sometimes important.

Plus, using the over-arching term "Mozilla" to refer to the Foundation/Corporation does somewhat downgrade the importance of the wider community.

Alex