Around The Web Mozilla Tech (General)

Blog Marketing

I do have a business degree, so occasionally I like to discuss how tech and business collide (yes it does happen). This time it’s about blogging and business.

Most corporate blogging is pretty poor. For the most part it’s slightly reworded press releases put on a blog-styled webpage. A few companies on the other hand break this model such as Lenovo, Sunbelt Software, Sun, and Google’s various blogs (though the official Google blog is rather lame, the product blogs are pretty good as are some prominent Google employees such as Matt Cutts). Even Microsoft has blogs. Apple so far has not been blogging with the exception of WebKit. There are others, but these are my favorite of the tech sites.

Then you have some who have used blogging for grassroots marketing, most notably the Firefox marketing effort. There is also blogging among the people behind it that give anyone interested a good detailed look at what’s coming. In my personal opinion that has been extremely successful in a marketing sense, and as a form of sharing information.

Some companies apparently try to get into blogging through a concept called Pay Per Post. Pretty much as it’s name implies bloggers are paid to link and discuss products/services. In my opinion it’s a rather dishonest technique to boost page rank and convince people that bloggers like their product/service. Of course search engines are effectively helpless in this technique since it would be somewhat hard to tell the difference since they are disguised to look legitimate and done in coordination with the site owner, rather than the linkbombing comment spam does. Search engines don’t seem to mind, though note if the links aren’t relevant it may be the exception to the rule. Though that all could (and likely would) change if it starts to degrade the quality of search indexes. It wouldn’t be the first time a problem was initially underestimated (think spam).

Then there is the ethical side of things. Do they all require you disclose that you were paid for the post? Until now, they haven’t had to, though that’s changing. The FTC obviously has an opinion on what they think of marketing without disclosure. Toni Schneider doesn’t think it will catch on, and he’s one of the guys behind I hope he’s right.

The ever insightful Matt Mullenweg (also behind notes that blog posts matter and marketing needs to adjust to the new online world. The question I pose is how? So far the only answer I see is the model Lenovo, Sun, Google use that involves good open honest community building and information. People seem to appreciate the inside look they provide. I know I do. I read several of them on a routine basis. But will they all go this route?

It’s important to note it’s not just blogs that are drifting into commercialization with everyone wondering just how to go about it. Digg is another example with a Pay Per Digg scheme threatening it. YouTube also got fooled by pro’s pretending to be someone they aren’t.

I do believe that 2007 will prove to be an important year for blogging in general. This is one of the ongoing struggles that will likely be realized in the upcoming months. How will this effect credibility of those who choose blogging as a medium to communicate? Dunno. Looking at the success of organizations that do use the medium, I’m pretty sure it will be worth keeping around for the foreseeable future. It will be interesting to see how things play out. One thing is for certain: these are very interesting times on the net.

In The News Mozilla

Mozilla Goes Mainstream

Business Week is running a an article “Mozilla Goes Mainstream” mainly about the marketing effort behind Firefox. It’s a pretty interesting read. Check it out.


Da Google Code

Ok, title to this post is lame, but I couldn’t think of anything better.

Google’s Da Vinci Code Quest is now online. It’s supposed to have a new puzzle every day until release. So far I got the first puzzle, so perhaps I’ll make a goal of trying to do them all. Wasn’t to hard. 24 days of puzzles.

In the past they used Puzzles as a way of hiring people.


Mozilla Store

The store finally reopened. The Firefox Polo and Hat look rather tempting.

Now where is the Firefox underwear?

But seriously, some cool stuff. The T-Shirt I have is rather nice (I think that was still the old company). Asa claims it’s a million times better. The Firefox logo is rather good looking. Perhaps Beach Towels, Those window decals (no glue, so they don’t ruin the window), and a good old poster would be good additions. Also a “Firekini” (Bikini with Firefox logos) would be rather classy. That’s an area which gets lots of attention.

Enough drooling, for me. Time for bed.

Mozilla – Epic Saga

Well, it’s not really a secret that despite’s great success, it hasn’t been firing on all pistons. There seem to be two camps, either people amazed by the project and its success and are blind to any shortcomings, and those who are quite the opposite. I’d like to look at a few things from a business standpoint rather than a geek for a moment (since I am a Business Major). A lot of suggestions have been given, some completely baseless, some completely off the wall and impossible to accomplish, and a few that are ok.

Mozilla under Control

Jed Brown notes the owner of is turning the domain over to the Mozilla Foundation.

Awesome. This is a big win for the Marketing effort. Big Big Win!

should be just in time for Firefox 1.0.


The next step is mainstream

cc: marketing-public

Mozilla has been getting a TON of press lately. From Slashdot, to CERT, eWeek, CNET you name it. Mozilla Firefox 0.9 has generated some serious buzz. The recent wave of IE flaws has also generated some buzz. CERT recommending alternative browsers has created some buzz. That’s great, but it’s not enough.

The following is just a list of the recent articles on Mozilla. Take a quick look at some of them, and who is writing them:

And some other news sources to cover Mozilla:

InfoWorld, CA
InfoWorld, CA
The Register
The Inquirer, UK
International Herald Tribune, France
Wired News
Indianapolis Star, IN
USA Today – 17 hours ago
Straits Times, Singapore
EE Times Online
Detroit Free Press, MI
Salt Lake Tribune, UT
Times of India, India
News24, South Africa
Newsday, NY
The Age, Australia
Information Week
CBS MarketWatch
The Inquirer, UK
The Register, UK

Source for the above is Google News, using the query “Mozilla

Now, what did we see? My analysis is that the same target is being bombarded with Mozilla news. The tech crowd. The problem is this is a tiny percentage of the web community. And most of them are aware of Mozilla. Many have switched. Quite a few of these sites are big Linux news sites. They aren’t using IE to begin with!

The “next step” is to hit more mainstream media. Mozilla needs to hit the general users. We’ve got a good presence with the tech community. But to move forward, the target needs to be end users. Grandma, Dad, the guy down the street. We’ve got the tech community, but the IE users are in large part the general community.

The discussion right now, as Firefox 1.0 approaches is how to get that target audience. A few idea’s I’ve heard are:

  • grass roots campaign (blogs, etc)
  • some sort of affiliate program (perhaps win a prize if you bring in the most referrers to download Firefox)
  • partner with OEM’s and get Firefox pre-installed on computers (companies like IBM, HP/Compaq, etc.)
  • get corporate users. Get companies using it, so employees can take it for a spin, and get it at home if they like it

So my question to the general community is how do we address this issue?

Update: We should also have a mailing list that can only be posted by a mozilla staffer. Used for releases to keep people informed. As soon as a new release comes out, an email is sent to those interested.


Mozilla Notes

Been a few days since my last Mozilla related post….

Some great info posted here regarding a neat little easter egg that’s been around for ages. Sure wondering what will be in upcoming Mozilla/Firebird releases.

Asa Dotzler wrote a bombshell on the OS X Browser Market. A real good read if there is anyone who hasn’t read it already.

Lastly my meta bug has gotten some traffic, but could use more!

Also, still looking for more web badges for Mozilla and Mozilla Firebird. Contribute!!!