About page is confusing and nearly useless

RESOLVED FIXED

Status

www.mozilla.org
General
RESOLVED FIXED
14 years ago
4 years ago

People

(Reporter: Daniel Wang, Assigned: David Boswell)

Tracking

Firefox Tracking Flags

(Not tracked)

Details

(URL)

Attachments

(7 attachments, 7 obsolete attachments)

(Reporter)

Description

14 years ago
One of my favourite page, editorial-wise, on mozilla.org is
www.mozilla.org/mission.html . The page is very clear on what mozilla.org is and
what it does. Now, our about page has reduced it to a simple link that doesn't
really describe what the page says. And the about page is too much marketing and
too little information (see
http://fantasai.inkedblade.net/weblog/2003/marketing/). We should remove
about/index and put up a server redirect to mission.html
(Reporter)

Comment 1

14 years ago
Created attachment 139202 [details] [diff] [review]
add foundation link to mission.html

Comment 2

14 years ago
A quick fix would be to update /mozorg.html and move it to /about/index.html
(/about/index.html is where we want the main about page to be located.)
(Reporter)

Comment 3

14 years ago
fantasai, the editorial section of www.mozilla.org/mozorg.html hasn't been
updated for a long time. This makes mozilla.org look not good. Got time to throw
in an article? ;-)

Comment 4

14 years ago
the about us page needs to provide the anwsers the frequent request when we get
when we talk to a variety of different people and groups.  It needs to have an
over view of all the things we do and things we provide.  Its fine for it have
links that step off to more details for each area and for the wording to be
improved and more concise in each section. but don't eliminate any of the
sections because it is the combination of all those activities that are required
for our success.
(Reporter)

Comment 5

14 years ago
Created attachment 139315 [details] [diff] [review]
patch - slim down product description

I guess discussion on the proper solution will take sometime. Let's try a quick
fix:

The product description on about/ page is visually longer than that of
products/mozilla1.x . This way wrong. products/mozilla1.x has pretty good
editing, so about/ is the page that needs to be fixed. This patch reduces the
product description text.

A lot of stuff don't belong. "Free downloads" and "50 language" links belong to
product page. "Need help?" is way out of place. This is about page. I know the
mozilla.org folks want to push this information, but as fantasai says, give the
reader what they need, not what you want them to hear.
(Reporter)

Comment 6

14 years ago
do I have a r+ for the 1st patch "add foundation link to mission.html" ?

The section "We are leading innovators, developing the next generation of web
browsers, e-mail software, web page editors and more" needs a re-write. This is
an about/ page and the section only confuses first-time reader to why there are
so many browsers and mail clients. And Composer++ thingy has nothing to do about
"us".
I don't actually like mission.html at all :-| It should start off with our
current mission - producing decent software and keeping the web free - not
details of the 1998 source code release. 

But the first patch is fine :-)

Gerv

Comment 8

14 years ago
Is this correct English? Aren't we missing an "a" after "is" here?

|mozilla.org is group chartered to act as the virtual meeting place
(Reporter)

Comment 9

14 years ago
yep. grammar fixed. thx
reassigning endico's bugs to default owner
Assignee: endico → mozilla.webmaster

Comment 11

13 years ago
.

Updated

13 years ago
Assignee: mozilla.webmaster → fantasai.bugs

Comment 12

12 years ago
Draft up for review at
  http://mozilla.inkedblade.net/about-new/

Goal: explain what the Mozilla Project *is* and provide some background info
      About Mozilla. About The Benefits of Partnering with the Mozilla Corp
      and About the Coolness of Mozilla Products go in their respective locations,
      not here.
Status: NEW → ASSIGNED
Hmm. Exactly who's in charge of which bits of the mozilla.org website and what
angle they should be coming from is rather up in the air at the moment... I'm
probably not the person who has to approve this, but I don't know who is. :-(

"The Mozilla Corporation is a for-profit corporation wholly owned by the Mozilla
Foundation. Its purpose is to facilitate the Mozilla Project's interactions with
the commercial and business world."

s/for-profit/non-tax-exempt/. And I'm not convinced that's a correct statement
of the MoCo's purpose.

Gerv

Comment 14

12 years ago
(In reply to comment #13)

> s/for-profit/non-tax-exempt/. And I'm not convinced that's a correct statement
> of the MoCo's purpose.
> 
> Gerv

How about simply "The Mozilla Corporation is a wholly owned subsidiary of the
Mozilla
Foundation. Its purposes are to manage the development and distribution of
Mozilla products and
to help facilitate the Mozilla Project's interactions with the commercial and
business world."

Comment 15

12 years ago
Thanks for those catches. I changed that paragraph to

  "The Mozilla Corporation is a taxable subsidiary wholly owned by the Mozilla
  Foundation. Its purpose is to facilitate the Mozilla Project's interactions
  with the customer, commercial, and business worlds."

which is open for comments. My comment on Asa's second sentence is that the
Mozilla Corporation's purpose isn't to manage the development of Mozilla
products. That's mozilla.org's job, and that distinction is important: the
development work that Mozilla Corp's employees do is done through the Mozilla
Organization's infrastructure, just as with Netscape or IBM or any other company.

Also, "help facilitate" is redundant. :)

Hmm.. s/customer/consumer/ maybe?

Comment 16

12 years ago
fantasai, the word I used was "products", not "projects".  The Mozilla
Corporation does develop and distribute the Mozilla _products_. That's something
that is _not_ done by the Mozilla Foundation. Had I said that MoCo develops and
distributes _projects_, that would have been wrong.

Comment 17

12 years ago
Mozilla Corp develops products based on what are, effectively, products of the
Mozilla Project. So by normal English standards, mozilla.org does develop
products. I know that "products" vs. "projects" is a convenient way to term the
distinction between what mozilla.org puts out and what mozilla.com puts out, but
the average reader is not going to know the subtleties of our terminology. I'll
bet most of the Mozilla *community* doesn't quite understand that difference,
nevermind strangers from abroad. So just throwing the term out there without
qualifiers, expecting it to take on the precise meaning you and I assign it in
our discussions, is not going to communicate the real situation to anyone
besides us. That's the problem with it.

Comment 18

12 years ago
Created attachment 205395 [details]
/about/index.html
Attachment #205395 - Flags: review?

Comment 19

12 years ago
Created attachment 205396 [details]
/about/history.html

Comment 20

12 years ago
Created attachment 205397 [details]
/about/organization.html

Updated

12 years ago
Attachment #205396 - Flags: review?

Updated

12 years ago
Attachment #205397 - Flags: review?

Comment 21

12 years ago
Created attachment 205398 [details]
/about/principles.html
Attachment #205398 - Flags: review?

Comment 22

12 years ago
Attach files here for archival purposes.
OS: Windows 2000 → All
Hardware: PC → All

Comment 23

12 years ago
At this point there is nothing else I can do for this bug. Turning over to Gerv,
since I trust him to do a good job if he ever has the time for it.
Assignee: fantasai.bugs → gerv
Status: ASSIGNED → NEW
QA Contact: danielwang → www-mozilla-org
A few random thoughts, just speaking for myself, and without a whole lot of thought put into them:

A few things that I think are missing from your pages:

 * the mission to "preserve choice and innovation on the Internet" (which I think is a good high level guiding goal for many technical decisions)

 * the distinction that the Mozilla Corporation tends to focus on products and the foundation and organization on projects


The statement about the Corporation:
# Its purpose is to facilitate the Mozilla Project's interactions with
# the customer, commercial, and business worlds.
seems incorrect to me; many other companies are involved.  I would say
something more like:
# Its purpose is to develop products that bring the technology developed
# by the Mozilla project to end users.

Comment 25

12 years ago
> The statement about the Corporation:
> # Its purpose is to facilitate the Mozilla Project's interactions with
> # the customer, commercial, and business worlds.
> seems incorrect to me; many other companies are involved.  I would say
> something more like:
> # Its purpose is to develop products that bring the technology developed
> # by the Mozilla project to end users.

I would argue, though, that many other companies/organizations are involved in bringing the technology developed by the Mozilla project to end users. I don't believe, however, any others are dedicated to being the bridge between the Mozilla Project and the rest of the world. I could be wrong, of course, but I haven't seen any evidence of that.
CCing David; he's looking at this sort of thing at the moment.

Gerv

Comment 27

10 years ago
Please do some work on the about / mission / manifesto pages. I think they are very important pages. Mozilla isn't just any company, we all know it's special. It's about the larger good for the mankind. I'd really like to see a link to a reworked page on mozilla.com by the Firefox 3 launch. Thanks for your time and efforts.
(Assignee)

Comment 28

10 years ago
I just posted the History page to the site as part of our reorganization of the About section.

http://www.mozilla.org/about/history.html
(Assignee)

Comment 29

10 years ago
Created attachment 307755 [details]
Draft of proposed new About page

Attached is a draft of a proposed new About page.  The goal of this page is to answer the question 'What Is Mozilla?'

Comment 30

10 years ago
Yes, that new about page is far easier to understand. I like it :)
(Assignee)

Comment 31

10 years ago
Created attachment 312324 [details]
Draft of proposed new About page

Attached is a new version of the proposed About page that has a reworked Community section and a few small tweaks to the intro and Organization section.
Attachment #307755 - Attachment is obsolete: true
I'm quite fond of the phrase "for starters" in my personal life, but it sounds inappropriate the two times it's used on this page.
(Assignee)

Comment 33

10 years ago
Created attachment 312345 [details]
Draft of proposed new About page

Good point about the duplication of 'for starters'.  Attached is a new version without the second use of the phrase.
Attachment #312324 - Attachment is obsolete: true

Comment 34

10 years ago
Nice!
Some editing suggestions:

1.  Developers and programmers are central, but designers, testers, users and advocates are also part [delete "part" replace with "key elements"] of the community.  [Otherwise this sounds like "damning with faint praise"]

2.  current link to china (http://www.mozilla.org.cn/) is not the right link.  That site is out of date; i'm working on resolving that.  Correct link is http://www.mozillaonline.com/

3.  I know the treatment of Mozilla projects compared to other products is an ongoing topic of conversation, but once again I find treating commercial, revenue-centric efforts like Songbird just like not-profit projects like Mozilla to be very jarring.  People keep asking me "Isn't Songbird a Mozilla project, based on the same mission?"  And we make it harder for people to understand the difference when we lump them all together.  I can propose some actual language you like but I suspect you don't need me to do this.   I know I'm reopening this topic, but I just can't see this go by without saying something.  
(Assignee)

Comment 35

10 years ago
Created attachment 312357 [details]
Draft of proposed new About page

Attaching new draft with Mitchell's suggested changes (1 and 2 from comment #34).

For point 3 from comment #34, I agree that this is a confusing situation and I think explicitly defining Mozilla as three different things (a community, an organization and a technology) is the way to solve this issue.  These three definitions of Mozilla are used interchangeably now without clarification, so people don't know which meaning is intended when someone talks about Mozilla.

For instance, I read a recent review of Songbird that said it was a Mozilla Foundation project.  The author clearly saw the 'Powered by Mozilla' logo and thought it was a reference to Mozilla the organization instead of Mozilla the technology.  We're going to keep running in to this problem until we define what Mozilla is and start using the new terminology consistently.  This may mean reserving 'Mozilla' for just one of these definitions and changing the terms of the others (for instance, always saying Mozilla Corporation/Foundation when talking about the organization instead of just Mozilla or coming up with a whole new term for Mozilla the technology/platform).

Being clear about the use of the term should also avoid confusion by clearly separating different things.  When talking about Mozilla as a technology, the organizational structure behind any given application is a separate issue.  Songbird and Firefox are both 'Powered by Mozilla' even if one is created by a non-profit and the other is created by a for-profit.

Of course, all of this is just my opinion but this is an issue I've run into for the past 8 years with mozdev.  People see the world Mozilla on our site and don't distinguish between the fact that the site is focused on Mozilla the technology and serves Mozilla the community without being part of Mozilla the organization.

I apologize for the long-winded reply, but I think this is a necessary topic to sort out since clearly defining what Mozilla is is the whole purpose of this About page.
Attachment #312345 - Attachment is obsolete: true

Comment 36

10 years ago
Agree it's a giant topic.  Here is my proposed edit to address the part of this giant topic that we can deal with here.  


The award-winning Firefox Web browser has reignited the pioneering spirit of the Web, but it is only one of dozens of applications that are powered by Mozilla Some of these applications are non-profit, public benefit efforts and others are commercial software companies.  The public benefit end of the spectrum includes the Miro and Thunderbird applications. The Miro application  combines the best things about TV with the power of the Internet to bring people together and deliver entertainment on demand, while Thunderbird is a secure and customizable email client.  Commercial applications that have sprung from Mozilla's open source code include Songbird, which is a desktop Web player and a digital jukebox,   eMusic Remote, Flickr Uploadr, Flock, Joost and Open Komodo and many more.
(Assignee)

Comment 37

10 years ago
Those changes in #36 sound reasonable to me.  I am also interested in continuing the conversation on the larger topic in a more appropriate forum.

Comment 38

10 years ago
This seems a bit long to me, especially given that the page can link directly to information about the other products. Here's a suggested revision:

The award-winning Firefox Web browser has reignited the pioneering spirit of the Web, but it is only one of dozens of applications that are powered by Mozilla. Some of these applications are non-profit, public benefit efforts, such as the Thunderbird email client and the Miro video player, while others are commercial for-profit endeavors. Commercial applications that have sprung from Mozilla's open source code include Songbird, eMusic Remote, Flickr Uploadr, Flock, Joost, Open Komodo, and many more.

Comment 39

10 years ago
David, just name the forum where you want to talk about this and I'll be there
Frank, you are one phenomenal editor (and writer too)
ml
(Assignee)

Comment 40

10 years ago
Created attachment 314107 [details]
Draft of proposed new About page

Adding a new draft page that incorporates changes made in recent comments and makes a few small wording tweaks.
Attachment #312357 - Attachment is obsolete: true
I'm uncomfortable that the "A Technology" section mentions both applications from of the Foundation's corporate subsidiaries, an application from another non-profit group, and a bunch of apps from commercial/for-profit groups (with links to a page listing even more of them), but completely leaves out mozilla.org's non-commercial community-built applications (Camino, SeaMonkey, Sunbird being the full-fledged app ones).

If we can afford to mention 6 external commercial apps in that section, we can at least afford to mention our 3 mozilla.org community-based apps.
I noticed you listed HP in here and I'm not entirely sure if that's the best example. I can name people I know work at Sun and RedHat that are very involved, but can't name anyone at HP. I'm sure there are people, but they aren't nearly as visible as those at Sun and RedHat.
(Assignee)

Comment 43

10 years ago
Created attachment 314378 [details]
Draft of proposed new About page

This new version of the About page adds a sentence in the Technology section about the volunteer developed Camino, SeaMonkey and Sunbird apps, changes Hewlett-Packard to Red Hat and makes a few small wording changes.

In terms of what companies to list, this is going to be an arbitrary decision and I think we could argue that several different companies could be included.

In terms of adding Camino, SeaMonkey and Sunbird I certainly think it's a good idea.  This section was originally written as a way to show how many orgs outside of Mozilla were using Mozilla technology, but it did leave out important apps that weren't being mentioned elsewhere on the page.
Attachment #314107 - Attachment is obsolete: true
Comment on attachment 314378 [details]
Draft of proposed new About page

Nit: caminobrowser.org not .com.

Otherwise, r=me, fwiw.
Attachment #314378 - Flags: review+
(Assignee)

Comment 45

10 years ago
Created attachment 314417 [details]
Draft of proposed new About page

This is a very minor edit to the Technology section that just shortens the description of Miro and adds a link to TomTom HOME.
Attachment #314378 - Attachment is obsolete: true
(Assignee)

Comment 46

10 years ago
Created attachment 314678 [details]
Draft of proposed new About page

New version that fixes the Camino URL.

Requesting review from fantasai since she's now the owner of the About section.
Attachment #314417 - Attachment is obsolete: true
Attachment #314678 - Flags: review?(fantasai.bugs)

Comment 47

10 years ago
Looks better and better. :) Just some initial comments:

  I love the Community paragraph. It flows really well, and ends very naturally
  in an invitation to get involved. Perfect.

  I'm having trouble creating a distinction between "non-profit, public benefit
  efforts" and "groups of volunteers". Aren't groups of volunteers non-profit
  public benefit efforts, too?

  I think we should consider an "A Project" section. If I have *no clue* what's
  going on, it would help to know what sorts of things we do here. The first
  paragraph is very good as a first paragraph, but it's too vague to put our
  work in context. E.g. the Community section is written as if we already know
  this is primarily an open source software development project. Creating a
  section like this might also help us distinguish between Mozilla Projects
  and Projects Using Mozilla Technology and Projects Promoting Mozilla But Not
  Formally Affiliated With mozilla.org.

  I think Gecko should be mentioned somehow in the Technology section, since
  it's the technology underlying most of these products. Maybe I'm biased,
  though, since that's what I work on. :)

  The "A Technology" section doesn't say much about "the technology". It
  mentions lots of stuff "powered by" Mozilla technology but nothing about
  what it is. I guess this ties into "where does Gecko fit in here". I know
  what "Mozilla Technology" is is pretty vague, and I don't mind us being
  vague here (certainly I don't want us to get into module specifics), but
  this paragraph totally dances /around/ the issue: it doesn't in any way
  define what it sets out to define.

  I'm still a little uncomfortable with labelling MoFo/MoCo/Etc. as "An
  Organization" in a way that excludes the "virtual" organization consisting
  of drivers, module owners, etc. But I can't come up with any alternative
  terms. Maybe Frank or Mitchell has an idea. Otherwise I'll just let that
  pass.

  s/differing/other/ in the Community paragraph.

  Comma between "subsidiaries" and "which".

That said, this is so much better than what we have right now that if you snuck it into CVS while you work on getting my very demanding r+ I wouldn't mind. ;)
(Assignee)

Comment 48

10 years ago
I made the following small changes to the file and then snuck it into CVS :)

-- Changed "Web" to "Internet" in first paragraph.
-- Changed "differing" to "other" in Community paragraph.
-- Added a comma between "subsidiaries" and "which".

As for fantasai's other comments from #47:

I certainly think it makes sense to post more information about what the Mozilla technology is and how it is being used, but it doesn't necessarily need to be on this page.  We could create an about/technology.html page and go into a lot more detail there than we have space for on the index.html page.

About creating a new Project section, I agree that a newcomer could still come to this page as it is now and still be confused.  I'm happy to work with you to put some text together for this page or for a new page.  However trying to clearly distinguish Mozilla Projects and Projects Using Mozilla Technology and Projects Promoting Mozilla But Not Formally Affiliated With mozilla.org is difficult because these boundaries aren't easy to recognize unless you're already fairly familiar with the community.  My suggestion for this is to have some sort of umbrella term that broadly covers all Mozilla-based efforts without diving into the organizational or community structures behind those efforts.  Maybe that's "Powered by Mozilla" or maybe it's something else.

IMO, the distinction between "non-profit, public benefit efforts" and "groups of volunteers" is a matter of how those groups are organized.  Miro, for instance, is structured as a formal legal organization while Camino's structure is informal and not legal.

IMO, the use of the word "organization" to refer to MoFo/MoCo/Etc doesn't exclude the different concept of a virtual organization, although there is certainly some overlap in terms (that's why the phrase "a virtual management team" instead of "a virtual organization" is used in the Community section).

Comment 49

10 years ago
A few days ago, when looking for the exact wording, I ran across the old mission catchphrase of "preserve choice and innovation on the Internet" not being on the about page any more. For me, it has always served of a nice few-words description of what overall vision Mozilla has - in more recent times pointing to the Manifesto for more details, but still using that as the primary catchphrase. Has it been an intentional change to not have that phrase on the about page any more?
(Assignee)

Comment 50

10 years ago
When we were drafting this page there wasn't a conscious effort to not use the phrase 'preserve choice and innovation on the Internet'.  Instead we looked at the manifesto and tried to summarize that down to what's in the introduction paragraph -- 'We're motivated by a mission to promote openness and opportunity on the Internet'.  The meaning of the phrases are certainly similar, but the wording is different.  If Mitchell has a preferred one line manifesto summary she'd like us to use, we can certainly change what's on the About page now.

Comment 51

10 years ago
I'm not a big fan of "*preserve* choice and innovation" as it sounds like we're already there (when we're not) and that we're trying defend a status quo.  I don't think we're "there" and I don't like putting additional emphasis on a defensive posture.  "Promote" is both more accurate, more positive, and more exciting, I think.

Comment 52

10 years ago
Yeah, this is old gound we are covering again..

In Oct 2004 we used preserve* choice and innovation
http://www.prweb.com/releases/2004/10/prweb169813.php

and shortly after that we refined to "preserve choice and promote invovation" or as asa says "promote choice and innovation" as tag lines we have used in press releases and other doc's we have prepared to talk about the organization.

http://www.mozilla.org/press/mozilla-2004-11-09.html
http://www.mozilla.org/press/mozilla-2005-03-04.html

It helps to establish and stay on message if we can get something short and good, and stick with it.  Is there any reason to move away from this?

The manifesto is still in draft.  Another question to ask is if it should include the choice and innovation piece?  I think there was some discussion on this but I don't recall the outcome.
(Assignee)

Comment 53

10 years ago
The reason we didn't use 'choice' in the About page is because 'choice' doesn't appear in the manifesto.  The phrase we used -- 'promote openness and opportunity on the Internet' -- is taken directly from pieces of the manifesto.  I'm not sure if there was any specific reason to not include 'choice' in the manifesto, but we can add that into the About page if that's what we decide to use for the one sentence summary.

Updated

10 years ago
Assignee: gerv → david
Product: mozilla.org → Websites

Comment 54

10 years ago
Cww and I took jslater's http://www.mozilla.com/about/whatismozilla.html and adapted it into the new About Mozilla page. We tried to incorporate, however slightly, some of the ideas from Mitchell's talk at the Summit. We also made sure the concepts in the previous version were covered, although we didn't keep all the data points (which we felt were less important than keeping it concise and to-the-point). The revision was reviewed and approved for checkin by Asa Dotzler, David Boswell, John Slater, and Mitchell Baker. Marking this bug FIXED, but I'll still be listing if there are further suggestions for improvement. :)

Btw--Mitchell, the "the Internet is a public resource that must remain open and accessible to all" phrase you commented on is almost a direct quote from the Manifesto.
Status: NEW → RESOLVED
Last Resolved: 10 years ago
Resolution: --- → FIXED

Updated

8 years ago
Attachment #314678 - Flags: review?(fantasai.bugs)
Comment on attachment 205395 [details]
/about/index.html

Clearing old, unassigned review requests from this bug since it's already marked as fixed. If there are remaining issues, please file a new bug with new patch, and request review from a specific reviewer. Thanks!
Attachment #205395 - Flags: review?
Attachment #205396 - Flags: review?
Attachment #205397 - Flags: review?
Attachment #205398 - Flags: review?
Component: www.mozilla.org → General
Product: Websites → www.mozilla.org
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