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In the tech space right now you can’t have missed the news about the EC and Microsoft’s landmark settlement, and the Browser Choice screen. Its a historic first step in placing choice directly in the hands of the user. But it is just that, a “first step”.

Creating choice, and advocating for it has been integral to the Mozilla mission since its inception (you will recall going back to a time when there wasn’t another solid browser choice to IE). But choice is nothing if you haven’t been able to learn about the options, and therefore ultimately make a decision that’s right for you.

Last week in association with YouGov in the UK, Mozilla commissioned a survey which concluded 77% of Britons did not know the Browser Choice screen was coming, and that they would soon be asked to choose their browser. So what’s the good of choice if (i) no-one knows there is one and (ii) what’s the right choice for them?

If you’re reading my blog via the Mozilla planet blog, it goes without saying that you understand the implications of the choices you make online, and I bet you’ve been bent on helping those around you understand this for many years. You’re tech savvy and web smart — but how does that lady in the next town from you learn more about why choice matters online? How will she learn why her browser is so important to her online experience, and how will she then make the right choice for herself when the times comes?

Its clear much, much more needs to be done to help citizens understand the online choices which are available, and their implications for the individual and the Web. Everyone should have the right to make an informed choice which is best for them.

I’m proud to be part of Mozilla, who has chosen a path to educate people about the Browser Choice Screen. We started our campaign with an Open Letter from John Lilly (Mozilla CEO) and Mitchell Baker (Mozilla Chair), calling for wider discussion around Web choice and in particular the Browser Choice screen.

I believe we all – as individual custodians of the Web, (and just darn nice people!) that it’s our obligation to make sure more people know how best to choose for themselves. In the case of the Browser Choice screen, it doesn’t matter to me which browser is chosen, or if a decision is made not to make a choice. But it is important to know how a choice of browser affects one’s experience online, and that its important a decision to based on a person’s individual needs, and belief.

What can you do?

  • If you’re a journalist – I urge you to write about the browser choice screen, and help your readers make an informed choice. Provide the facts and raise awareness, you have their ears.
  • If you are a blogger and Internet commentator, also please inform your fans and readers. Everything you can do to help people educate themselves, will ultimately better serve the Web.
  • If you’re an individual who has already made your browser choice,  please help educate someone in your school, office and family to make theirs.

opentochoice.org has been started by Mozilla as a place to learn and discuss online choice. Browser choice is simply the beginning, much more needs to happen to ensure Web users are fully in control of their online lives, and can make choices which best serve their needs. Join us there.

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There are some things in life you need to learn … such as learning to walk, to read and knowing that pie is ‘off’ in your fridge (though all of that is hopefully instinctive)

And there are also some things in life in worth learning well … such as speaking French, having patience, and making great brownies!

Then there are those things in life which by learning, you just know are going to make your life a whole lot better! Learning about Firefox is one of those, and for the last few weeks, we’ve been working on a new fun learning destination for Firefox – called the “School of Firefox”. We’ll soon be able to take you through lessons, tips and videos on all you need to know about using Firefox.

Its going to help new Firefox users get set up and familiar with Firefox features fast, and for those of us who think we already know the deal, we hope there’s lots more besides to learn about your fox!

We’ll be sharing more about the site in the next couple of weeks. So get your pencil’s pencils sharpened – a new fun way to learn Firefox is coming soon!

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Marketing is funny at Mozilla. Whenever, I’m asked what do I do, I’ll very often say “marketing” — and that always feels strange when it tumbles out of my mouth. The next question is usually “… so what is marketing at Mozilla then?” … and further questions about “If you do all that, how big is the team?”

Let me try to answer…

What is marketing at Mozilla?
Well, this would be a very long answer if I went into even half the detail. But let me say in short – our job is all about…
– Sharing and advocating for a more open and better Web
– Spreading Firefox, and having people enjoy a modern browsing experience
– Help build and work together with Mozilla communities, and other open source communities to make great software

and we do this in so many ways which are not typical to marketing. We …

- Work together in the open to craft, build and run campaigns
– Empower and encourage communities to hold their own events and campaigns
– Share results in public, and talk about both our achievements and findings to take on board in future

- and much, much more…

How big is the Team in Europe?
In Europe there are 4 people including myself who help do the above. But actually, our team is much bigger than this. In each country there are scores of Firefox and Mozilla fans, and community members who each day advocate and share the importance of the open Web. Our wider team reaches in the hundreds, and that’s the way we like it!  Anyone can join, and anyone can get involved regardless of skill. The only requirement is a passion for open source and a desire to make the Web better.

** New Open Community Marketing position **
So if you got this far in my post — I’d say you are interested in marketing and community at Mozilla. And we are very lucky to have an open full time job opportunity available for a European Community Marketing Manager. The position is based in Paris. Here’s a quick round up of the job spec:

European Community Marketing Manager
Primary responsibilities include development of new programs to engage community and activism, as well as promote Firefox mindshare throughout Europe. Defining and implementing regional community campaigns and activities, market research, and day-to-day efforts in order to support community marketing, growth and effectiveness.

The ideal candidate will be highly organized and self-motivated, a strong communicator with experience managing marketing programs and campaigns.

** Primary Responsibilities:
* Lead, develop and implement new community grassroots  initiatives and marketing campaigns
* Support and initiate activities for Mozilla Campus reps program in Europe
* Contribute to overall community marketing programs with “real-world” components (eg. Meetups, Campus events, launch parties, etc)
* Conduct and assist with regular community surveys
* Review, share, participate and provide information on Spreadfirefox, forums, marketing mailing lists, IRC and blogs
* Communicate across a diverse community of project contributors and volunteers
* Assist with other marketing related activities and where needed, participate at key trade shows and events
* Provide support for Mozilla Mission-focused community initiatives

So, if you want to be a part of this amazing movement. Read more about the job and apply here.

** Photo courtesy of homardpayette on Saturday February 7th 2009 at FOSDEM ’09

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I blogged a few days ago about how many people talk to me these days about the web, and how it impacts their and their families’ lives. Almost all the folks over 35 want to talk about how their kids interact with the Internet, and are generally more worried than they are thrilled by kids spending more and more of their time online.

We all have to admit, that we have become like our own parents (when we were young), and do not fully understand the world of our children. Thankfully there are many tools and bits of software which help parents protect their children whilst browsing the Web. Firefox Add-ons such as Glubble allow parents to set which sites children can visit, whilst youngsters can safely play games, chat, surf and find information.

That said, a worrying development of the Web has been the rise cyber-bullying in our children’s lives. Beatbullying, is a UK based charity who works tirelessly to help Britain’s youngsters deal with and protect themselves against bullying. Earlier this year they launched their CyberMentors Program, offering help and advice from trained mentors to anyone who is being bullied online. Mozilla supported CyberMentors project straight out of the gate, whereby members of the Mozilla community volunteered to be trained as CyberMentors. Yesterday, we took our partnership a stage further for this worthwhile cause by building and launching a new custom Firefox browser for CyberMentors.

The new browser offers:
• Chatting with victims of bullying and other CyberMentors
• Reporting online bullying
• Providing tips for online safety
• Accessing the Beatbullying media centre

The Firefox browser has been customised with building-in buttons and a media-player which links easily to CyberMentors video and audio. There’s also a persona (skin for your browser) which kids will love.

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Beatbullying campaign to make ‘the web a safer environment for youngsters’. We are proud to work side by side together with a fellow public benefit organization, advancing our mission to improve the online experience for people everywhere, whilst keeping the web safe and open for everyone.
Get Firefox for CyberMentors on the PC, Mac & Linux,  and if you already use Firefox, you just need the Add-On >>

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Over the weekend I did a lot of fun things, and one not so fun thing (guess which one!):

Why am I telling you all this? Well, it never, never ceases to amaze me how many times I end up talking about Mozilla and about how much people want to listen. It doesnt matter if I’m completing a horrendously long application process for a new bank account, or introducing myself to my friend’s brother — as soon as people hear the word Firefox they want to talk.

Now, I meet a lot of tech people, so I its natural that the conversation leads to tech talk — and they are 99.9% always Firefox fans. But time and time again, meeting new people who are teachers, lawyers, writers, film makers, banking staff – whether they are Firefox users or not, they want to talk about the Web.  And they always have a glut of questions:

  • Is Facebook safe for my kids?
  • What about content? How do I stop someone pirating my film, music, tv show?
  • What do I think about Google?
  • What’s the future of the Web? Where will it end?

I’m refreshed to have these conversations, and am very happy to talk about the Web in all shapes and sizes.  I come away happy that at some point, I’ve had another chance to evangelize for a more open Web. But, what strikes me is people are hungry for information. They *want* to have conversations about the Web. They want to debate and so they can have informed opinions, and learn from anothers’ differentiation point.

People are not naive, they know about the Web, and they have concerns and fears — and excitment and loves. But they also often need to talk it through, as well as read about what’s going on. Dont be afraid to strike up a chat on a flight, over supper, in a cab — each time you do, you’ll be helping someone better understand the beauty of the Web.

I’m delighted to see the Web play such a large role in people’s lives, and am proud that the work we do at Mozilla is directly impacting them.

** picture courtesy of soylentgreen23

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Over the past few months we’ve mentioned several times about our plans to launch a technology related volunteer week, and today we are very proudly unveiling mozillaservice.org

During the week of September 14-21 we are asking people all over the world to step up and make a difference in their local communities by using the beauty of the Web.

We want people to come forward and volunteer their time, to seek out opportunities to do good in their communities, and make a real difference to people’s live with technology.  We’re looking for people who want to share, give, engage, create, and collaborate by offering their time and talent to local public benefit organizations, non-profits and people who need their help –

i) you could be a coder, or do testing, localize, or you might know networks etc

ii) you know how to use the Web, and are Web savvy

Here are some ways you could help:

* Help a full time working Mum learn how to buy groceries online when her kids are sleeping
* Connect with your local community centre and offer to build a website, or a calender of events
* Reach out to a local library and offer to write a tutorial on how to use the Web
* Design a twitter background image for an NGO
* Go to your local school and volunteer to help set up wi-fi network
* Refurbish an old laptop and donate it to a senior citizens retirement home
* Call a family meeting and explain to everyone why the Web is important
* …. the lists are really endless.

Everyone should have the opportunity to know how to use the Internet, have easy access to it, and have a good experience when they’re online. As you know, Mozilla as a public benefit organization has a firm mission to make the Web better for everybody. In fact, the Mozilla community already has an incredible track record of doing amazing things. So we know, that however big all small people’s action are — they will make a serious difference.

We’ve so far launched mozillaservice.org in English, however, over the coming weeks with the help of the Mozilla community, Mozilla Service Week will be available in many languages and with additional partners.

So what should you do next?

You can learn more on how to get involved by either volunteering or listing your, or your organization’s needs. You can also already pledge how many hours of support you would like to volunteer.

Giving and creating are so much of open source life, we are very proud to bring those skills, the energy, and the caring nature of people into the lives of as many people as possible.

Please get involved with Mozilla Service Week – Everyone can help build a better internet.

Go to mozillaservice.org

Add Mozilla Service Week Twitter

Tag anything related – mozservice09

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Credits:
Mozilla Service Week so far has been made possible by scores of people – Mary Colvig, Austin King, Stephen Donner, Krupa Raj, Jeremy Orem, and Peter Deitz. There are many, many more people Austin has mentioned on his blog as well.

NB: We are building Mozilla Service Week out in the open with the help of many volunteers – there will be many more people to thank over the coming weeks.

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After many months of careful research, pulling and planning, the Mozilla Community Marketing Guide is LIVE!

Go to http://contribute.mozilla.org/Marketing and check it out!

This is a great milestone for us as a team, and as a marketing community. If you are involved in marketing Mozilla and Firefox, you will have known there was no shortage of information lurking around on SpreadFirefox, Mozilla.org, SpreadThunderbird etc – but there wasn’t really a single place where you could find all the dos and a few don’ts about marketing Mozilla, our mission and our products. So – we are very glad to say that’s all changed since 6pm GMT today!

You can now find an array of information, everything from blogging and tagging about Mozilla, to talking with the press, attending and organising events, Guerrilla Marketing Activities and so much more!

If you are just getting started this site will act as your guide to kick off your first campaign or event, and if you are an old pro like many of you are – then we hope this will make your life easier, and you’ll learn something new to boot!

The idea for this came together some time ago now, when I first joined Mozilla and as a newbie (new person), I was trying to find my way around all our marketing materials and activities. There was so much to learn, and so many places to remember this or that bit of information — I could appreciate how hard it would be for a community marketeer who wanted to get involved in the project, but not know where to start! The idea of a toolkit came to mind, and when Patrick and William joined late last summer, and along with Mary they took up the challenge to make it happen.

A huge Thank you to everyone who has contributed, and made this happen – its an amazing example of working together in itself.

It’s a ‘work in progress’ area, one we’ll keep adding to – and so please let any of us know if you have suggestions to add to the Guide.

So.. good luck, enjoy and we hope it will help spur many more marketeers, and marketing activity!

Join us for our open Community Marketing call – February 25 at 10am PST / 6pm UTC.
Call information:
Dial in  +1.650.903.0800, followed by 92# and then 7391#.

Or you can use our toll-free number: +1.800.707.2533, followed by 369# and then 7391#.

For those that can’t make the call or want to participate online, join us in #marketing on IRC (for an easy way to login, visit the CMT IRC page).

Here’s the agenda:

Look forward to see you there!

PS: The meeting will air on Air Mozilla (http://air.mozilla.com/) using Theora.  Please use the 3.1 beta (http://www.mozilla.com/en-US/firefox/all-beta.html) or the nightlies to access it!

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Please join us for our 2nd community marketing call today at 10am PST / 6pm UTC.  Find the call info and agenda below.

Call information:
Wednesday, February 11 at 10am PST / 6pm UTC.  +1.650.903.0800, followed by 92# and then 7391#.  Or you can use our toll-free number: +1.800.707.2533, followed by 369# and then 7391#.   For those that can’t make the call or want to participate online, join us in #marketing on IRC (for an easy way to login, visit the CMT IRC page.

Agenda:

* 3.1 Launch
– Messaging & Objectives:
— Drive consumer awareness & trial of 3.1
— “Fastest Firefox Ever”
– Any marketing ideas for 3.1?

* Community Marketing Guide
– Launch update
– Purpose & feedfack

* Community Marketing Team
– Roles & format:  Feedback needed on what you’d like to see as we
develop a more structured program

* Spread Firefox
– New design planned for early March
– Triaging bugs now — any usability issues we should be aware of?  Mary is tracking critical ones here:  https://wiki.mozilla.org/Spread_Firefox_Revamp#Critical_Usability_.26_Ot…
– Anyone interested in helping? Check out our bug tracking thread.

* Valentine’s Day
– Any activities planned?
– Check out FuzzyFox’s Firefox Valentine email tool.

* Campus Reps
– Brainstorm on ideas to expose Fx to college students

* Marketing Firefox success stories:
– Any to share?

* Events
– Europe update, including FOSDEM
– India is underway:
http://blog.mozilla.com/blog/2009/02/09/heading-to-india/
– SxSW:
— Still fleshing out Labs meetup

Read more and add comments for the agenda at: http://www.spreadfirefox.com/node/3453

Love to see you there!

Are you a Firefox fan? A loyal user who has wanted to get involved in the project, but thinks you need to have coding skills and bug fixing skills to help out? Think again! :)

The Mozilla community is in fact made up of hundreds of people from around the world who all contribute differently to the success of Firefox, and the Mozilla project. We all work together to make the Internet better for everybody.

If you’ve always wanted to get involved with Mozilla, or are looking for new ways to contribute, now is your chance to connect with other passionate, creative, and dedicated people as part of the Mozilla community marketing team.

Why not join us this week, at our first open Mozilla marketing meeting of the year?

It will take place on Wednesday, January 28th @ 10am PST / 6pm GMT / 7pm CET.

Agenda:

1) Community Marketing call:
* Purpose/goals
* What do our community members hope to accomplish as part of the team

2) Firefox 3.1
* Launch timing
* Site changes
* Feedback wanted:  Are you using it?

3) Community Marketing Guide
* Purpose
* Feedback

4) Spread Firefox Redesign

5) Marketing Firefox Success stories

6) Mozilla Events
* European update
* Techkriti
* GNUnify
* Scale
* SxSW
Find out more details on how to join the call and the marketing team – here: http://www.spreadfirefox.com/cmt

Come along, share your ideas, or simply listen in – we’d be delighted to have you aboard!

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