MozillaZine

Former Netscape Product Manager Rafael Ebron Contracted by Mozilla Foundation

Sunday June 20th, 2004

Former Netscape employee Rafael Ebron has joined the Mozilla Foundation as a contractor. Rafael will be helping with the marketing for Mozilla Firefox and Mozilla Thunderbird, using his previous experience as the product manager for several Netscape 7.x releases.


#1 netrscape[sic]?

by ratman

Sunday June 20th, 2004 5:36 PM

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a little post-downsizing hostility unleashed at last?

#5 Re: netrscape[sic]?

by AlexBishop <alex@mozillazine.org>

Monday June 21st, 2004 8:36 AM

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a little post-downsizing hostility unleashed at last?"

No, just a simple typo. I didn't even notice until after it had been corrected.

Alex

#18 Re: Re: netrscape[sic]?

by trashcan

Tuesday June 22nd, 2004 8:55 AM

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Insert snobbish comment removed from last story here.

#2 Netrscape

by mlefevre

Sunday June 20th, 2004 5:44 PM

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Alex in the previous story "I type things into a textarea. I spell check occasionally."

Evidently this was not one of those occasions :)

#6 Re: Netrscape

by AlexBishop <alex@mozillazine.org>

Monday June 21st, 2004 8:37 AM

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"Alex in the previous story 'I type things into a textarea. I spell check occasionally.'

"Evidently this was not one of those occasions :)"

Correct.

Alex

#3 Perfect timing

by permanentE

Monday June 21st, 2004 1:47 AM

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I think this is a perfect time to get serious about marketing. If you look closely at the latest Google zeitgest graph, <http://www.google.com/press/zeitgeist.html> you can see a definite uptick in Mozilla usage in the last couple of months. Firefox 1.0 could provide a real boost if marketed right. Can you imagine how much better the web would be if mozilla had, let's say, 20% share? Can you imagine if WebForms 2.0 convinced some websites to require Firefox and MS would be forced to play catch up and actually improve their CSS compliance? I can dream can't I?

I do have a reservation that mozilla.org would hire a Netscape guy, Netscape made some really dumb marketing decisions, though the 7.x problems weren't nearly as bad as the 6.x disasters. Hopefully that was all bad AOL influence and Mr. Ebron will do us all proud. Welcome aboard!

#7 Re: Perfect timing

by AlexBishop <alex@mozillazine.org>

Monday June 21st, 2004 8:38 AM

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"I do have a reservation that mozilla.org would hire a Netscape guy, Netscape made some really dumb marketing decisions, though the 7.x problems weren't nearly as bad as the 6.x disasters. Hopefully that was all bad AOL influence and Mr. Ebron will do us all proud. Welcome aboard!"

You really don't want to know how much AOL screwed up Netscape. Right now, all of the Mozilla Foundation's employees are ex-Netscapers.

Alex

#9 Re: Perfect timing

by pbreit

Monday June 21st, 2004 10:43 AM

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Now that Firefox isn't hobbled by being part of a suite, it'll be much more difficult to screw it up.

#14 Screwed up-How?

by pkb351 <pbergsagel@shaw.ca>

Monday June 21st, 2004 8:46 PM

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"Now that Firefox isn't hobbled by being part of a suite, it'll be much more difficult to screw it up."

Some feel the browser has is like a refugee without a country(to use an analogy) when when it was force to leave its country (suite).

Lets hope that there continues to be choice for all -those who want a suite as well as those who do not.

BTW pbreit How is the browser"screwed up" by being a part of the suite. My Mozilla browser seems very happy here to be a member of a suite. It is the best browser I could want. Tell me, how is it screwed up? I don't get it.

#15 Re: Screwed up-How?

by pbreit

Monday June 21st, 2004 11:30 PM

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Well, if you've used Firefox recently, you know that it is finally a legimitate day-to-day browser option. If you don't use Firefox, you've no doubt read all the extremely positive reviews of it. You've perhaps noticed the up-tick in Gecko-based browser usage. Etc.

This 100% the result of unbundling it from the suite. The importance of focus cannot be over-stated.

You don't get it and neither has Mozilla until about a year ago.

#19 So you say...

by durbacher

Tuesday June 22nd, 2004 9:30 AM

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"Well, if you've used Firefox recently, you know that it is finally a legimitate day-to-day browser option."

No doubt.

"You've perhaps noticed the up-tick in Gecko-based browser usage. This 100% the result of unbundling it from the suite."

Says who? You? And why is Gecko usage rising all the time for years already?

"The importance of focus cannot be over-stated. You don't get it and neither has Mozilla until about a year ago."

Ah, but you got it? It sounds a bit narrow-minded when you don't acknowledge that there are people who use all the suite's components and are far better off (wrt resources usage, overall speed etc.) using the suite. And for some people it's not even too difficult to use the suite's oh-so-horrible UI.

#23 Re: Screwed up-How?

by f_cassia <fcassia@gmail.com>

Friday June 25th, 2004 6:58 AM

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I agree with you PKB... the Suite should continue to be enhanced/developed. Some of us don't like the dumbed-down UI in Firefox, and prefer to have an integrated suite.

At a time when Microsoft is talking about "Office System" and making the e-mail program part of the "Office suite" it's silly and dumb for the Mozilla Foundation to embark in a "war to create the smallest browser" with Opera.

Because you if you add up the size of Firefox, and Thunderbird, and add NVU and you get... the same size as the Mozilla Suite! (if not larger).

Like I said it in my article:

Mozilla 1.7 Suite: A Role Model Against Browser Anorexia <http://www.theinquirer.net/?article=16686>

...some in the Foundation wish the Suite would just go away... yet for their horror, users keep downloading and using it, which makes them quite mad... when reality doesn't fit their wishes.

Just my $0.02 Fernando

#26 Re: Re: Screwed up-How?

by Blake <blaker@netscape.com>

Monday June 28th, 2004 8:19 PM

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Fernando,

The "war to create the smallest browser" as you describe it has nothing to do with Opera. Opera is barely a blip on the radar. The goal is to create a better browser--nothing more, nothing less.

And as far as the suite, I hate to burst your bubble, but as I have access to its download numbers, I can ensure you that they unequivocally show one thing: the suite is seriously dead. There are very few users still downloading it.

Blake

#27 Re: Re: Re: Screwed up-How?

by DavidGerard <fun@thingy.apana.org.au>

Thursday July 1st, 2004 4:23 AM

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You're still @netscape.com?

#28 Re: Re: Re: Screwed up-How?

by DavidGerard <fun@thingy.apana.org.au>

Thursday July 1st, 2004 4:27 AM

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By the way - is there any public access to those numbers? They'd be interesting to know.

#4 How will Mozilla be managed?

by wvh <wouter-mozzine@fort-knox.rave.org>

Monday June 21st, 2004 6:22 AM

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I think it's a good idea to get the word out on alternatives to inform the people who didn't get further than using the default browser (read: IE) - on the default OS - no matter how crappy. But I sincerely wish "the word" would be in a respectable form, and not in an overly cheap and irritatingly overcommercial way like most products - especially in the US (no flamewar intended). I don't think we need to offend people's intelligence or cheapen high-quality software like Mozilla with dumb commercial slogans, ridiculous testimonials or BEFORE (hell! terror! pain!) / AFTER (heaven! best thing ever! how could I ever do without it!) comparisons.

Mozilla isn't really a commercial product in the traditional sense, and I think a more factual approach (it has many things going for it) will be appreciated much more than a typical desperate dot.com attitude of trying to sell, sell, sell. I mean, why would you want to sound as if you desperately try to sell Mozilla (like all zillion other products on the web) while it's free? These days, people are bombarded with ridiculous claims and commercial one-liners to get them to check out some crappy site or product, it might really help to attract people if it's clear Mozilla is free, why it's free, and that they don't have to jump through hoops to download it. More facts and less air (more contents, less commercial BS) will also show both the application and the Mozilla foundation as a dependable, long-term 'partner', something they can trust, now and for years to come.

Just my thoughts...

(Hiring someone to 'market' a free, opensource product, confuses me for the oxymoron it is...)

#22 Re: How will Mozilla be managed?

by slxception

Thursday June 24th, 2004 2:55 AM

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The best form of marketing doesn't come from any marketing source, but as in the form of word-of-mouth. However, that only works so far. Eventually you'll hit people that are either too stubborn, skeptical, or unknowledgable to switch. That's where marketing can take some effect. Of course, you're not going to win the entire population to use Firefox (without doing things illegally), but if it encourages more people to actually use Firefox, then it's a good sign.

#29 Re: How will Mozilla be managed?

by DavidGerard <fun@thingy.apana.org.au>

Thursday July 1st, 2004 4:31 AM

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A marketer doesn't just market to the public, but to companies. Corporate use, download partners, bundling with hardware, et cetera.

#8 Not an Oxymoron

by gids

Monday June 21st, 2004 8:57 AM

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I don't think open-source and marketing are oxymoronic. How are people meant to switch to Mozilla if they don't know about it? It's important people are made aware of Firefox otherwise they simply don't know they have a choice. So I guess it's terrible that IBM put Linux ads on TV, how dare they market open source ideas?!?

It's not unlike the government advertising pension credits. Even though they are freely avaliable if people don't know about them they won't take advantage.

#21 Re: Not an Oxymoron

by wvh <wouter-mozzine@fort-knox.rave.org>

Tuesday June 22nd, 2004 5:10 PM

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I obviously don't mind, as I clearly stated, to "get the word out". It's just the way Mozilla or opensource software as a whole -not just a 'product'- is marketed. It should be more or less in line with the principles of the people contributing to it, and not cheapen the effort of all these people. You're not selling weight loss products. In fact, you're not selling anything. It doesn't need dumb slogans; it doesn't need lies; it doesn't need to be hyped or pimped. I would think less of Mozilla if it were to be miss-marketed like a second-hand car, in a way that degrades the Mozilla software, developers and contributors (or, more important, their individual goals and motivations).

A marketing person should be more like an informer or messenger than a seller or pimp, especially in the case of Mozilla or other opensource software. Not like the overly cheapening commercial banner-popup-spam-sleazy-ambulance-chaser style in today's temporal, overhyped world. (I don't know what 'your government' advertises, but it's indeed a good example of a more tasteful way of marketing - info-mercial style rather than commercial.)

I'm not at all implying opensource software is 'sacred', but most people are not doing it for money, they are doing it for "some other reason". Be it freedom, (self-)education, interest, experience, boredom, to show off, idealism, providing an alternative, a desire to construct, to build, to create. Respect that reason.

So we can all keep our dignity.

Or, in short: just remember it's .org, not .com. :)

#10 "Marketing open source" is not an oxymoron

by raiph

Monday June 21st, 2004 1:23 PM

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> I think it's a good idea to get the word out on ... I sincerely wish "the word" would be in a respectable form

Agreed. I'm working on a marketing project called FANS. A part of its activity is creating marketing material. Much of that material will be written according to Wikipedia style NPOV -- Neutral Point Of View (<http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/NPOV>). Anything that isn't NPOV is called Propoganda. Propoganda may only be posted in "friendly territory". I chose the word Propoganda to remind authors that it ought to be conscious of its non-neutral nature. It's important that all Propoganda still has great integrity, so that most fans, especially someone like you, would be comfortable posting it (in friendly territory). Assuming that NPOV and Propoganda authoring guides are good enough and authors follow them, FANS output should be "respectable".

> dumb commercial slogans

For US readers: Mozilla Firefox. Free. A great slogan? Priceless. Mozilla. It's everywhere if you want it to be.

> These days, people are bombarded with ridiculous claims and commercial one-liners

Agreed. FANS Debunking (where NPOV Debunks are posted as replies to Myths/FUD etc.) feeds on these pollutants. The more blatant a pollutant is (in publically searchable cyberspace), the easier it is to detect it. Where-ever it spreads (in publically commentable cyberspace), FANS Debunks can follow.

#11 pft

by Butters <tim@dgwh.com>

Monday June 21st, 2004 3:04 PM

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What's needed is some coders to work on stopping firefox from crashing so bloody often. There's no point marketing it the way it is at the moment, buggy piece of crap.

#12 Re: pft

by buff

Monday June 21st, 2004 4:54 PM

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"buggy piece of crap" hmm, it rarely crashes for me. I know of the right-click flash bug will usually bring down Firefox on linux but I just avoid it. Overall I feel it is very stable. Contrast that to IE; the latest time I booted in Windows mode the first message I got was a warning that Explorer had crashed because of a type x error. Sure, IE is nice and stable too.

#13 Re: pft

by arielb

Monday June 21st, 2004 5:23 PM

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#17 Re: Re: pft

by raiph

Tuesday June 22nd, 2004 3:14 AM

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Whoa, that's powerful, powerful meme:

Want to steer clear of a child-sex-offender rap? Then worry about your browser's security!

That's WAY stronger than worrying about merely getting ripped off financially, or having someone spot your porn preferences, or whatever. Wow.

This is another good example of how FANS will, hopefully, operate.

According to the FANS view, we would not promote such a meme. (FANS is against promoting FUD, which is what excessive attention to a fear inducing meme would amount to, regardless of its merit.) Otoh, we can't stop the press and public doing whatever it chooses to do, and having and posting quality NPOV material *in response* to this meme would ensure that we serve the public to the best of our ability. And if Mozilla is all that it's supposed to be, then that NPOV material will result in casting a favorable light on Mozilla's technology and products.

#16 Debunking Pft

by raiph

Tuesday June 22nd, 2004 2:58 AM

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A perfect example.

> What's needed is some coders to work on stopping firefox from crashing so bloody often. There's no point marketing it the way it is at the moment, buggy piece of crap.

Nothing is said in that statement that hasn't been said and responded to many times before. If the responses had been filed away in a suitably organized fashion, the best could be reused with minimal effort. That's what FANS is about.

#20 Debunking Pft

by raiph

Tuesday June 22nd, 2004 5:02 PM

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A perfect example.

> What's needed is some coders to work on stopping firefox from crashing so bloody often. There's no point marketing it the way it is at the moment, buggy piece of crap.

Nothing is said in that statement that hasn't been said and responded to many times before. If the responses had been filed away in a suitably organized fashion, the best could be reused with minimal effort. That's what FANS is about.

#24 Congrats Raph

by dpark <dyp@yahoo.com>

Friday June 25th, 2004 7:00 AM

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I'm sure you'll be a great addition to the team. Look forward to seeing great improvements in the near future.

David Park

#25 Who is the competition?

by ckjnigel

Saturday June 26th, 2004 10:18 AM

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Did I not hear Redmond to say there will be no IE 6.5, 7.0, whatever...? BTW, I know that one Xanga blogger reported that more than 20% of visitors to their page use Firefox. My suggestion is that special attention be devoted to enlisting high school and college age users. Actually, providing more blog page design support that complies with standards would be a major boost, reforming the too many teens who use Front Page and IE-centric design.