Quick clarification on membership

January 10, 2011 § 6 Comments

Last week, I posted MoFo 2011 planning slides on my blog, including info about our proposed membership program.

In the spirit of transparency, I’d hoped to get high level ideas out early and then do a dedicated membership post soon after. I regularly post slides in this way. It generates more feedback faster.

Unfortunately, starting out this high level (and using a bit of sloppy shorthand in the process) left many people with questions. It also led some people to jump to conclusions (some right and some wrong). In some cases, this led to upset, for which I apologise.

I’m working on a more detailed membership post right now. Hopefully this will clear up a lot of questions and set the stage for a deeper discussion about how this program might work.

As a part of this, I’m drafting some bullets to better explain the overall concept. I would love feedback on what I have so far. While I’m sure it will keep changing, here it is:

  1. Over 400 million people use Firefox every day. Many of these people want to do more: to show their support and help in our efforts to build a better web.
  2. We need simple, fun ways for these people to connect and engage with Mozilla. Join Mozilla is a first step.
  3. Join Mozilla is clear, simple program where millions of people can easily support and keep abreast of Mozilla and the open web.
  4. This massive new community of supporters will back (and cheer on!) the work of 40,000+ Mozillians who already contribute their time and passion.
  5. Member funds go to grants and projects. They help us create new technologies, spread new ideas, and inspire innovation across the web.

One thing I learned from feedback so far: we need to be very clear that membership is about inviting more Firefox users to support our work and our cause. This is very different from the existing community of 40k+ Mozillians who already put their time and passion into Mozilla — and who are the heart of what we do.

Also, it is incredibly clear that the word ‘Mozillian’ shouldn’t be used too casually. While this word means many things to many people, it’s clearly a badge of honour to be earned through hard work.  We’re not planning to use the term ‘Mozillians’ to describe our new supporters. Our team had decided not to use that term for Join Mozilla after those slides were written because of the very reasons many of you raised last week. Sorry if that caused upset or confusion.

Finally, it’s important to say: I’m always impressed and energized by how our community jumps onto a topic, critiques and improves. That’s already happened with this membership concept — and it is still very very early days. More on membership in coming days.

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