Community Marketing Initiative Week 5

Wednesday August 25th, 2004

This week's Community Marketing Initiative is a campaign to engage college students with the marketing of Firefox. o do that, the marketing team has come up with a few ideas to help tackle marketing on campus, including a college poster campaign, starting a college rep program, and a steering committee for college issues. Read more on Blake's weblog.

#1 Timing

by thelem

Wednesday August 25th, 2004 11:00 AM

Um, wouldn't this work better once term has started?

#2 Re: Timing

by roseman

Wednesday August 25th, 2004 11:12 AM

some places term has started already. also, wait till it starts and everyone is studying and bombarded with offers to do toommany other things. marketing should continue well after terms start, but should get underway before that

#4 Re: Timing

by Smigit

Wednesday August 25th, 2004 1:33 PM

it depends where you live, here in australia its mid semester currently. Besides they probably want 2 or so weeks just to organise things.

#3 Putting up posters!

by Grauw

Wednesday August 25th, 2004 12:07 PM

Heh, putting up Firefox posters throughout my college, sure thing! ^_^

I'll also be sure they install Firefox 1.0 when it's out. At the moment (at least, last time I checked) they still have Firebird 0.7, which is a bit outdated by now I guess :).

p.s. term starts in exactly one week from now overhere in Holland.


#5 Theme work

by aaron

Wednesday August 25th, 2004 3:54 PM

I've been asked by someone at the University of Iowa to make a theme with school colors. I'm recoloring the Smoke theme in Black and Gold and calling it Hawkeye.

#6 Do-it-yourself theme kit

by calroth

Wednesday August 25th, 2004 5:06 PM

This is a cool idea. Perhaps someone could make a do-it-yourself theme kit where you can assign two or three colours, a logo and a URL to link it to. Just something simple, on the order of what you can do with IE.

It'd make it more likely for sysadmins to roll out Firefox on lab computers, for example.

#9 Re: Do-it-yourself theme kit

by Gnu

Wednesday August 25th, 2004 7:07 PM

Yeah, those are all brilliant ideas. It would probably be surprising how much that would impress a lot of universities. Heck, I don't see why that idea can't be extended to corporate environments, as well -- brand colour schemes, throbbers, and the like with corporate identities. Indeed, on top of a "theme kit", maybe the Foundation could even start a service where they can help roll out professional-quality branded themes to educational institutions and businesses for a small donation to Mozilla. Small regional ISPs would love that, as well.

#18 Re: Do-it-yourself theme kit

by ronin65

Thursday August 26th, 2004 9:27 PM

That would be a slick project. A "shake and bake" theme kit which would allow the school to use their colors and the University/School emblem and/or mascot and a Department individualize it to whichever department had the computers. That and a "lockdown" so that the browser could not be messed with without appropriately high clearance once it was set.

#19 Re: Do-it-yourself theme kit

by WillyWonka

Friday August 27th, 2004 11:03 AM

And you could call it chameleon ;)

#7 Firefox devs and the community

by thomas

Wednesday August 25th, 2004 5:46 PM

Firefox devs do not care about the community anymore, why should we care about Firefox?

I spent a lot of time contributing to Mozilla and Firefox in the past (QA/Testing, translations, marketing, maintaining a large Firefox installation on an univsersity network (> 10,000 user), tech evangelism, ...), but the last descissions of the devs (new default theme, removing view source and especially the stylesheet switcher UI) and the way Asa, Blake & Co. reacted to our doubts, really pissed me off. Why should I spent my time on a project, that always proclaims how important the community is, but doing exactly the opposite - letting us community contributors get the feeling that we don't care, that our ideas are unimportand and that we are not the people Firefox is aiming.

#8 Re: Firefox devs and the community

by Waldo_2

Wednesday August 25th, 2004 6:50 PM

Repeat after me:

"View Source is not going away. View Source is not going away. View Source is not going away. View Source is not going away. View Source is not going away. View Source is not going away."

How long ago was it that they reversed the decision? Why do I feel like I'm the only person around who knows this?

#10 Re: Re: Firefox devs and the community

by Gnu

Wednesday August 25th, 2004 7:18 PM

I don't think it was as much the ideas as it was how much of a struggle they were to convey in the first place, as well as the handling of the community backlash.

I'm vividly aware that Mozilla, no matter how community-centred and open-sourced it is, still requires the resources of a traditionally managed project, and some unpopular decisions are going to be made. But the way that criticism is handled by some senior Foundation members -- just look at some of the recent suggestions and criticisms for the marketing initiatives as a minor example -- has been a bit unpleasant. Just about everyone here is a "shareholder" in Mozilla, in some respect -- be it by donating money, donating time in QA or coding, or what have you -- and we all have a right to know what goes behind these decisions, instead of being told "because we say so", which is the vibe a few folks have been getting lately. It's not just that we may disagree on the decisions that are being made, or feel like we aren't getting heard (it's hard /not/ to get heard around here); it's that we're often left out of the loop entirely, no matter how civil our debate is. We /do/ have a right to know, even if we can't do anything about it directly.

#12 Re: Re: Firefox devs and the community

by thomas

Thursday August 26th, 2004 2:24 AM

I know that »View Source« is not going away, but I was really sad about the reactions - especially from Asa - when we told him, that removing this feature is a really bad idea.

What about the stylesheet switch UI? I have heard no _real_ argument from Firefox devs why it was removed, only pseudo-arguments ("it is broken") that are definitely not true (there are only enhancement or minor bugs for altSS).

#20 Re: Re: Re: Firefox devs and the community

by VManOfMana

Saturday August 28th, 2004 10:19 AM

And that's where the problem is. Major or minor bugs, there are still bugs. Firefox is approaching 1.0. If something is going to be released with 1.0, it better not be buggy. It's just common sense. Even if the feature is important, it is better to not put it at all than an implementation that still has issues. Such bugs can really make 1.0 looks like an unpolished product, and what Firefox does not need is an "unpolished" feel.

They never said the features are not coming back when they polished (unless I missed something).

I am not defending the lack of the styles UI. I am just defending the Foundation's reasoning.

And saying that following that reasoning is ignoring the community is a little exagerated. How many times has this been done before? Anyone remember the flames the Firefox developers got whenever they removed an UI option that is available in Seamonkey? Same thing with all the flaming the Gnome developers got when switching to spatial Nautilus. you != community. The Foundation listens. They put back view source, right?

#21 Re: Re: Re: Re: Firefox devs and the community

by thomas

Saturday August 28th, 2004 11:53 AM

These bugs were mentioned by Asa as the reason for removing the AltSS UI: (this is not a real bug, only an enhancement request) (RESOLVED FIXED) (no real bug, easy to patch, fantasai is working on it) (RESOLVED FIXED) (patch ready for check-in) (same as 216537) (RESOLVED FIXED)

You see, there is no "real bug" left, nothing is broken, there are only two things, which I would call enhancements (making AltSS accessible with the keyboard and making the selected stylesheet sticky).

If you remove every feature that has minor bugs or enhancement request, we will have a true "bare bone" browser...

#11 Re: Firefox devs and the community

by GuruJ

Wednesday August 25th, 2004 11:04 PM

I'm a Mozilla suite fan, so I suppose I don't have the rights to comment on this, but ...

Firefox serves a specific purpose -- a fast, SIMPLE browser with high production values. By all accounts, it is an astounding success in that regard.

If you want the advanced features ... use the suite. It's a power users browser, unlike Firefox. If you want something in between, I'm sure there's room for a MozillaLite browser somewhere if you're prepared to put in the development effort :)

#13 Re: Re: Firefox devs and the community

by thomas

Thursday August 26th, 2004 2:28 AM

View Source (yes, I know, it will not be removed...), stylesheet switch and offline browsing are *basic* features of a browser and should be always available, not only through extensions or in Seamonkey. I agree that advanced features (like the googlebar or the web developer toolbar) should be provided as extensions, but not the basic stuff.

#14 Re: Re: Firefox devs and the community

by leafdigital

Thursday August 26th, 2004 2:31 AM

That's not what is supposed to happen. The suite is being phased out - not that they'll stop producing it or anything, but development work specific to the suite has already faded away. Serious UI problems that remain with the suite are not likely to be fixed. (For example, you can't delete bookmarks by right-clicking and choosing 'delete'.)

What's supposed to happen is that everyone, certainly including power users, uses Firefox. The intention is that they'll remove every possible useful feature from Firefox then let you install ten thousand extensions that add them back in. (Ok, that was a slight exaggeration - but I do think they've gone a bit too far in some cases. For some cases I think there needs to be a concentration on official extensions that are always updated simultaneous with each release and perhaps can be obtained as part of the installer process [even if the installer actually just downloads them as normal].)

I also think it's worrying if too many 'passive' features - features that are activated by webpages, not by users, such as a styleswitcher - are removed from the default installation. (I don't know whether this has happened or not, I haven't been paying attention to Firefox, as I still use the suite.) These are quality-of-web features that Mozilla should provide as a responsible network citizen, and not just provide them to 3 users who know they need them but to the millions of ordinary users. Some of whom might find out they can be useful, but they'd never know if they don't get an indication that the feature is available...

Anyway, I don't think they've made any hugely poor decisions re Firefox (maybe a few minor poor decisions, see above, but nothing very serious) and it looks like the 1.0 will be ok. So, yay. Oh and I installed Firefox for somebody at work yesterday. :)


#16 Re: Firefox devs and the community

by andkon

Thursday August 26th, 2004 11:47 AM

I noticed the same when I asked why Mozilla is waiting until the very last minute before FF's 1.0 to make changes to the site, changes that amount to only a freaking new stylesheet. The response was that the new site has been "in development for months and in collaboration with companies you don't even know about". Months sounds wrong, but multiplte unknown compan*ies* (mind you, to do a CSS change) sounds wasteful of the dozens of people who have good ideas about making an enduser website. URL:

I still think there's absolutely no need for these community marketing efforts *if* the focal point (the website each marketing goal is advertising) is still in a non enduser state it is in now. I mean look: someone looks at an ad or poster and goes to Oops, the site is not enduser friendly and some people would tend to get lost and not download anything. Seems like wasted effort on the part of anyone doing any marketing...

But then I again, I probably don't have a right to bitch since my Mozilla adventures take only a few hours at most each week.

#17 Re: Re: Firefox devs and the community

by Smigit

Thursday August 26th, 2004 2:28 PM

I think that what they are intending with alot of these community advertising things is to just get the people and everything organised so they can do something when 1.0 rolls about. Most of the missions so far have been to contact people just to tell them its comming or requesting advertising space in the future. the real exception was weeks 1 mission that was more or less centred about on that week.

Anyway, I think its likely, or intended at least, that the site will be finished before 1.0 is here. Last time they had a site in beta it wasnt too long until it was completly rolled out. So I think that it will be done before 1.0 and thats when the core community work begins anyway. Granted the site needs a bit of work but its nothing too bad and I doubt would take too long (since they obviosly arent going to redo the entire site because some dont like it, just fix small problems)

#15 GaTech

by grayrest

Thursday August 26th, 2004 9:32 AM

Blake may not think that just sending posters to a college would work for firefox evangelism, but I guarantee that any number of posters sent here to gatech would disappear. I get "awesome shirt" every time I wear my mozilla 1.0 shirt and I've been asked where I got my firefox poster a number of times. Just send what you've got, we'll take them. ;]