Mozilla, messaging and innovation. Interview w/ Ascher.
March 25, 2009 § 6 Comments
The Internet is abuzz. Tweets. Status updates. 17 flavours of IM. A zillion RSS feeds. Good ol’ email. With each nifty new innovation, we see more messages — and more types of messages.
Mostly this is good and useful. It’s certainly fun. But it’s also a bit of a mess. As our messages cluster on a few big servers using their own formats, we have less and less control over our own information. Our data — and our attention — is fragmented.
David’s point at the end of his FOSDEM talk: this is a big opportunity for Mozilla. As our mission is to promote the open Internet. We’re one of the few players with a compelling reason to innovate and put users back in the driver’s seat. What this might look like is a pretty interesting conversation topic.
At the moment. David’s heads down getting Thunderbird 3 (which I love for its speedy IMAP) out the door. I stole him away from this for a couple of minutes to get a video snapshot of the big picture messaging space and the opportunities for Mozilla:
In case you’re video dis-inclined, or maybe offline on an airplane, here are the highlights from the interview:
- The Internet has been open since it started. It helps people innovate in a distributed way. Mozilla’s job is to make the Internet more open.
- The link between the open Internet and the messaging space is a mixed bag right now.
- Most of the exciting things happening on the Internet right now relate to messaging — Facebook, Twitter, MySpace.
- There are lots people innovating and creating new things that are interesting from a cultural point of view.
- At the same time, things are not as open as they could be.
- Messages are getting centralized with a few players, which in turn means people don’t have as much control over their own information as they used to.
- We need to figure out how people can get the benefits of all these innovations in messaging, which at the same time getting back more control over their data.
- An example: it would be great if people could search all of their messages easily without having to log into 50 different sites. but people need all of their data to do this.
- This is the kind of thing that Mozilla could make happen because of our central place on the Internet, and because giving people access to their own data fits with our mission.
The idea of pushing pushing Mozilla’s mission even further in the messaging space is pretty interesting to me. I wonder what other people think? What does Internet messaging look like from where you sit? What kinds of things could Mozilla do to make Internet messaging more open?