Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Seeding Mozilla around the world

When prioritizing Mozilla’s efforts to increase Firefox adoption, our ability to scale is very important. We have a small team for a product that about 100 million people use worldwide. Firefox’s amazing growth to more than 15% market share has been a result of the hard work of the entire Mozilla community, but we still recognize that continued growth is vital for our goals of a free and open web.

As John mentioned in his blog post earlier this week, the majority of Firefox users are now not in the US and that the fastest growing segment of Firefox users is the “long tail” of the languages (marked “other” in the chart.) My post today (with more to come over the next few weeks) is on how we help the non-US localizations grow faster.

Mozilla currently has a presence (and by that, I generally mean a Mozilla office) in the United States, France, Japan and China. We also have PR agencies in the UK, Germany and Poland. But Mozilla employees are not the only—or even the main—drivers of Firefox marketing. We are fortunate to have very strong marketing communities, particularly in Europe. For example, our community in Italy has driven almost 16% market share by attending conferences, localizing Firefox and providing user support—all things they have done since the early days.

Currently, communities close to Mozilla offices are better able to take advantage of Firefox marketing efforts than those who are not. That must change. We also haven’t been able to support our most vibrant communities to the extent we would like—and they deserve. That too must change.

This doesn’t mean Mozilla will be able to “run marketing programs” in new countries, but that Mozilla will develop scalable marketing platforms as well as identify, support and help build marketing leaders who can in turn leverage these platforms to evangelize Firefox.

We have lots of great resources at Mozilla: pr, events program, brand efforts (community t-shirts, Mozilla store, etc.), user education and Firefox support, spreadfirefox.com, college reps program, in addition to many others (and some that need to be developed). We need to make those programs and platforms available to communities worldwide and do it fast.

Looking at the chart below of the top 20 countries by Internet population and Firefox’s market share, you can see the many growth opportunities.

(WorldInternetStats.com and Xiti.com)

High Level Goals:
-Don’t mess things up!
As I mentioned before, we know there are already awesome communities evangelizing Firefox all around the globe. How do we help you do your job better and more easily? We also know there are communities with limited to no marketing community. How do we help build marketing community there? Mozilla can’t and shouldn’t “run” a global marketing program, but Mozilla can and should support and seed global marketing communities.
-Identify and support existing communities and develop where they don’t exist
See “Don’t mess things up!”
-Build platform for localized community marketing based on best practices
With shared resources, we can learn from each other. If Poland tries a new program that is very successful, other communities should be able to know about it and decide if it will work for them.
-Develop and publish global metrics and analytics
Everyone likes to know whether stuff works or not, we aren’t any different. When things do work, we want to be able to fund more of them.
-Promote healthy competition between marketing communities around relevant and fair metric
A little fun rivalry never hurt anyone!
-Establish tools for effective communication with community members
Communication is key for collaborative and efficient worldwide evangelism community

My next post is on what we think are the first steps are to better empower our communities to spread Firefox and the timeline of this project.

Future discussions:
1. First steps and timeline to seed communities for global marketing efforts
2. More focus, more impact: prioritize efforts in locales with biggest possible impact
3. Brazil: what we know, what we don't and what our early plans are
4. India: what we know, what we don't and what our early plans are

Your feedback is an important part of this process. I look forward to a very open discussion about how we can accelerate the growth of Firefox adoption worldwide by seeding marketing communities.

Want to get involved? Email me at jt at mozilla dot com

Thursday, May 17, 2007

Firefox Help Needs Your Help

To date, Mozilla community volunteers have provided Firefox user support that has met, and often exceeded, the needs of the tech and the early adopter users of Firefox. As Firefox’s market share grows beyond early adopters, our user support needs also to evolve. The Firefox Support Working Group has spent the last month doing research and community outreach on how Mozilla should evolve user support through a community based approach.

We've had dozens of community volunteers participate through open phone calls, in person meetings, forum posts, blog posts and emails. As a result of this process, we have developed a draft overview and product requirements document for Firefox Support.

In order for this to be successful, we need your feedback and your help. Please check out the overview and give us your thoughts. If you want to be more involved, you can join the support planning mailing list. To see others' comments, check out the Google Group.

Thanks for your help. We look forward to hearing from you.