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Launching a New Site, Mozilla-Style

I was looking over our plans for the Community Store launch recently when it occurred to me that it was a pretty textbook example of how we unveil new Web initiatives around here. In this particular case, we were able to spread the word about our new site to a worldwide audience of millions without spending a single dime (really). So, for the benefit of anyone who might be curious about the process I’ll pull back the curtain and share some of our tricks.

Our overall goal is always to get the word out in the most leveraged fashion possible by using the various Web tools at our disposal plus, of course, the power of the Mozilla community. For this particular launch, here are the channels we used:

Mozilla Community
* a homepage promo, a project group and other references on Spread Firefox.
* outreach to our network of campus reps.
* blog posts by several Mozillians exposed the Community Store to the Planet Mozilla audience and beyond.
* perhaps most importantly, the 60 or so excellent community-created designs left over from the Firefox 3 t-shirt contest gave the Store substance and visual flair from day one.

Friends of Mozilla
* after an inquiry from Tara, the folks who run the t-shirt search engine Teenormous were kind enough to add the Community Store to their index. (Incidentally, definitely check out Teenormous next time you’re t-shirt shopping…it’s a cool service.)
* promotion to the PHUG open source community and students at Seneca College courtesy of Brendan Sera-Shirar.

Social Media
* a tweet from our Twitter account is pretty much mandatory these days.
* so is outreach to our Facebook group (288,357 fans and counting).

Partners
* great partner support from the folks at Zazzle US and UK, who blogged about the Store and featured us on various pages on their sites (right between Star Wars and Barbie on this one).
* a 20% discount to encourage purchases during the holiday shopping season.

Mozilla Channels
* a snippet on the Google start page…one of the most powerful tools at our disposal. Referencing the Community Store here exposes it to millions of people every day.
* prominent linking from places on Mozilla.com, including the homepage and the About menu.
* a blurb in the about:mozilla newsletter, read by the movers & shakers in the Mozilla world.

PR
* joint press release with Zazzle.
* an announcement post on blog.mozilla.com and a follow-up on Above the Fold.
* coverage included major tech sites such as Lifehacker and Techcrunch.

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