Which Mozilla blurb works best?

June 4, 2009 § 14 Comments

The response was great when I asked people ‘how would you describe Mozilla in one sentence?‘. Over 30 people responded, and other people also contacted me directly with feedback and interest. This was all really helpful.

Mozilla in One Sentence

As the last week’s Wordle image demonstrated, there were a few common words that came up over and over — community, internet, people, open, better, innovation, choice.

Drawing inspiration from all of these ideas plus other core Mozilla mission docs, I went back to the task of playing with boilerplate text we use for press releases and other things. I came up with three fairly different versions:

Take #1 . Mozilla is a global community of people creating a better internet. We build public benefit into the internet by creating free, open source products and technologies that improve the online experience for people everywhere. We work in the open using a highly disciplined, transparent and participatory development process under the umbrella of the non-profit Mozilla Foundation. Everything we create is a public asset available for others to use, adapt and improve upon. Join us at http://www.mozilla.org.

Take #2. Mozilla is a global community of people building a better internet. Together, we create software and spread ideas that foster openness, participation and innovation online. Our work is supported by the Mozilla Foundation, a non-profit public benefit organization headquartered in California. Join us at http://www.mozilla.org.

Take #3. Mozilla is a public benefit organization that exists to make the internet better. We believe that the internet is an integral part of modern life. It enriches education, communication, business, entertainment and society as a whole. We work with a community of thousands of people around the world to build software and spread ideas that foster openness, participation and innovation online. Join us! http://www.mozilla.org.

None of these is quite right yet, but it does feel like there are some strong elements emerging. People and Mozilla’s global community. The importance of an open, participatory web. Mozilla’s public benefit nature. These are all simple and obvious ideas but, as I said when I started this thread, a good chunk of the 300 million people who use Firefox don’t associate Mozilla w/ these concepts. We need to work on that.

I’d be interested in hearing which if any of these directions resonate with people. They probably won’t get used for anything exactly as is. But reactions are super helpful in coming up with things we’ll actually use in the end. I’ve created a short survey with this in mind — if you’re interested in this topic, please take 30 seconds to fill out the survey. Also, if you’ve got alternate riffs on the text above, feel free to post them here as a comment.

§ 14 Responses to Which Mozilla blurb works best?

  • Lukas Blakk says:

    Filled out the survey – checked “other” cause there was no button for Mozilla employee.

  • Mozilla is the open system for building the web experience of the future.

    Shorter = more win.

  • Pascal Finette says:

    Question 4 has a missing verb:
    “What words and concepts do you most in these blurbs?”

    Love? Hate? 🙂

  • chofmann says:

    looks like take #1 comes closest to covering the 7 important dimensions (or as pascal says “words and concepts”) of mozilla as an organization. http://people.mozilla.com/~chofmann/chofmann-curve2.png

    covering all these important dimensions in something that’s not long and wordy looking is going to be hard if not impossible. something like “Mozilla is the platform for the web experience of the future.” just focuses on “the hot product dimension.

  • Really like this version: “Mozilla is a global community of people building a better internet. Together, we create software and spread ideas that foster openness, participation and innovation online. Our work is supported by the Mozilla Foundation, a non-profit public benefit organization headquartered in California. Join us at http://www.mozilla.org.”

  • kilinkis says:

    firefox is the kilinkis of the web browsers

  • […] Which Mozilla blurb works best? I’d be interested in hearing which if any of these directions resonate with people. They probably won’t get used for anything exactly as is. But reactions are super helpful in coming up with things we’ll actually use in the end. I’ve created a short survey with this in mind — if you’re interested in this topic, please take 30 seconds to fill out the survey. Also, if you’ve got alternate riffs on the text above, feel free to post them here as a comment. […]

  • I think these are close, but not quite right.

    Mozilla building a “better Internet” is only part of what we do. I was explaining this to David using a “web” metaphor, but I figured out puzzle pieces is better.

    The Internet is a large, immense puzzle with hundreds of pieces. Mozilla is a very different puzzle, also large (but not quite as large!) and with dozens of pieces. Some of Mozilla’s pieces fit into the Internet puzzle, but others don’t. Mozilla Education, for example, is a piece of the Mozilla puzzle that might produce an Internet puzzle piece *or* it might produce an open source one.

    Sure, you might say, technology is completely surrounded by the Internet now. But that’s only partially true. Just because the Internet is how we communicate doesn’t mean that it’s all of what we do.

    A big part of Mozilla is about building and sustaining communities in all parts of the world, across industries. Some of these communities will grow to help the Internet, others won’t.

    I understand that the manifesto speaks mostly about the Internet (although Principle 8 is more about openness and transparency), but there’s a big portion of what Mozilla is that’s not entirely Internet-related. If you had to ask people throughout the community if openness, transparency, and “freedom” (loose word, I know) are part of Mozilla, I bet everyone would agree. Carrying those things to the world might be done through the Internet, but merely because that’s the best communication medium right now, not because it’s part of who we are.

    This might be nitpicking, but I think Mozilla is more than the Internet and what we’re doing, while heavily vested into the Internet, isn’t *only* about building a better Internet.

    I can also argue that “better” is subjective. Our idea of a “better” internet is likely very different from the Microsofts, Yahoos, Googles, and Apples out there. I’d prefer to see a 1-2 liner (not as long as you have now) that encompasses this. I’ve been thinking through it and haven’t come up with something good yet, unfortunately…

    A large comment with nothing to show for it then. 😉

  • Can I take a stab at trying to write something that I think captures the best of all 3, that’s less wordy? Yes? Okay:

    Mozilla is a global community of thousands of people working together to create a better internet.

    We work in a way that is open and participatory, to create public assets that freely available for others to use, adapt and improve upon. We are motivated by a passionate belief that a better internet can lead to a better society. Our work is supported by the Mozilla Foundation, a non-profit organization headquartered in California. Join us! http://www.mozilla.org.

  • Gerv says:

    Each of them is longer than it would ideally be, and there’s stuff in there which is a side-effect of what we do rather than the core (e.g. the fact that we are a non-profit, or we are “headquartered” (urgh!) in California).

    Here’s my take:

    “Mozilla is a global community of thousands building a better Internet from cool software and great ideas. Better means open: transparent, participatory, distributed and hackable. You can help – visit http://www.mozilla.org.”

    I picked up those four factors from Mark’s slide in a previous blog post, but we might want to pick different words.

    Gerv

  • I like Gerv’s suggestion, because it would give me a better idea of what Mozilla *does*, if I were an outsider. The current three blurbs are great summaries of the functions of Mozilla for people who already know what Mozilla is. When I read a paragraph about a company, all too often I find a lot of words that sound really nice but don’t tell me what the actual activity of the organization is, or what products it produces.

    -Max

  • Bloom says:

    The internet, to start with, was built upon the concepts of participation, human goodwill, and innovation. As with all human initiatives, somewhere along the evolution of this exciting technology, it was mutated by short sighted, profit motivated organizations to become just another human technology that ended up, say, like Marat Safin. In short, zbundant potential, blighted growth.
    We at Mozilla look to put the Internet back on its original evolutionary path. We realise that the Internet is basically human interaction based and thus the maxim of minimum management, maximum enthusiastic effort is the best way forward. Let us join together, trade respect for respect and change the world. YES, WE CAN.

  • […] back: describing Mozilla, briefly July 27, 2009 Early last month, I posted a number of blurbs describing Mozilla asking which blurb worked best. The plan was to get as many people as possible […]

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