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Sorry for the long absence! It’s been a busy past few days, especially since I had a flight at 6am yesterday morning to Vancouver. Mozilla is throwing its summit in Whistler this year, and it started yesterday and ends tomorrow. On Tuesday we were treated to a luxurious reception dinner replete with seafood and Canadian beer, along with free shirts and the like. And then after that…well, that’s probably not appropriate for a blog post. (Hooray for not being underage in Canada!)

Yesterday began with a series of keynotes and demos from the likes of Mitchell Baker and Jay Sullivan. The demos of Firefox 4 were, in the tersest of forms, extraordinary and mind-blowing. They boasted TabCandy and application tabs, along with rapidly quickened JavaScript rendering (especially in relation to Chrome) and the capabilities of WebGL for 3D graphic rendering. Perhaps the most impressive demo was the five-minute, ad hoc creation of a text translation API that took a grand total of fifteen lines of code.

The rest of the day certainly didn’t disappoint. The day was divided into three breakout sessions; for each session slot, we had to pick from a whole list of diverse choices. The decisions were difficult. My first breakout session discussed the cultural implications of messaging and how messaging can be incorporated into the Mozilla message. Many of you are probably familiar with the Mozilla manifesto and thus recognize the ideological differences that separate us from our competitors in the open web. We discussed the advantages of desktop-based messaging clients and the importance of aligning our interests with those of the user. In response to this need, we talked about prototypes of UI’s and new add-ons for Thunderbird and Raindrop (a web-based email client ala Gmail that is flexible and dynamic).

About an hour later, I headed to my second breakout session, which talked about product marketing for Firefox: how to “keep Firefox sexy.” In light of growing browser competition and the recent release of beta 1 for Firefox 4, market position is key, especially as product differentiation has become scarce. As the speakers noted in the presentation, it’s not about beating the competition; it’s about positioning them. Thus devising taglines and branding for Firefox 4 has been a long and arduous process.

The final breakout session discussed the unification of the Mozilla web universe. Mozilla has so many resources online that are largely disconnected to each other. As a result, branding Mozilla is difficult and accessing its resources in a simple, convenient way is even more so. To address this problem, several Mozillians talked for about an hour and a half or so devising brain maps and diagrams to configure potential layouts of Mozilla’s web universe. Be on the lookout soon for layout changes! The call to action at the session was powerful and will surely be a priority for Mozilla’s engagement team in the near future.

Afterward we went to dinner at Bavaria, a ridiculously awesome (and expensive!) fondue restaurant. Thanks again to Mozilla for paying for all of it!

Stay tuned for updates on day 2!

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2 Comments

  1. You didn’t blog about the incident at Bavaria =(

    • For curious readers: we went to Bavaria and had awesome fondue and plentiful beverages. More specifically, the appetizer was bread with a mix of rare cheeses; the entree was beef, pork loin, and shrimp cooked in a white wine chicken broth; and the dessert was classic fruit and ladyfingers dipped in rich Belgian chocolate. I’m sure that’s all Jaclyn means.


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