Note: this is the latest in a very slow-moving (the last post was in September) series about Mozilla.com.
When we were redesigning Mozilla.com for the Firefox 3 release, our primary goal for the site was to drive Firefox downloads, but a very strong secondary goal was to do a better job of communicating the rather unique and unconventional nature of Mozilla in general. One way we tried to achieve this was with the fanciful illustrations, but we also created a “What is Mozilla?” page to explain things more directly.
Wiser people than I have been pondering this question for years, and if you asked 200 people in the Mozilla community to answer it you’d probably get 200 different answers, so I won’t claim that this page represents the final word on the subject. But, I’m happy with the way it turned out and hope that it helps laypeople who happen across it understand what we’re all about and why we’re different.
When I was writing it, my big breakthrough was realizing that it made more sense to describe Mozilla as many things all at once rather than as a single concept. From there, I drew upon a bunch of Mitchell’s past blog posts to cover the philosophical details behind the main points. The key line is really the last one: that the goal of all aspects of Mozilla is making the Internet better for everyone.
So, that was the approach to explaining Mozilla to the uninitiated. I should also mention that the page has a very handy side benefit: if you’ve ever struggled to give friends/family/acquaintances a simple answer as to what Mozilla is, how we’re both a non-profit and a corporation, and other fun things like that, just direct them to this page. I’ve used that trick several times now and it makes things much easier!