If you clicked on this, it’s quite probable that you want such a thing. When I joined Mozilla, one of the first items Jane and I discussed was the need to help the community do as much of its own marketing as possible. One of the most inspiring things about Mozilla is the energy and enthusiasm: it is the antidote to the oft-repeated and jaded view that open source software is only about money: many people want other people to use Firefox because it is good software that is good for them.
Shortly after I joined Mozilla, Alba, who is a good friend of mine, contacted me to tell me she had taken part in the Firefox Download Day world record attempt. We had never spoken about Firefox before, but I think it’s likely that if Alba is motivated to join that campaign, there are other things should would like to do to spread good software.
Now, in Europe, we are a diverse bunch of people. Culturally, we tend to consume our own first, American culture second, and other European culture third. The exception to this is the Russian diaspora in former Eastern Block countries, which partly goes to explain Russia’s impressive showing in the Eurovision Song Contest (with all due respect to the talents of Dima Bilan and Serebro). But the point is, marketing Mozilla software to these countries requires more than just a translation of talking points. It requires an understanding the culture. We held a discussion on this topic at MozillaCamp Europe, and David Ascher made the very strong point that “localising” amounts to far more than translating.
So for me there are two purposes to creating a guide to Mozilla Community Marketing. For one thing, Community Marketing is big. Really big. You just won’t believe how vastly hugely mind-bogglingly big it is. We need a Hitch Hikers’ Guide to Mozilla Community Marketing: to all the different sites, information, resources, projects and teams that are out there.
And while the stories of disastrous attempts at cross-cultural marketing are typically urban legends (the Chevy Nova sold just fine in Mexico), we need to give people freedom – as much freedom as possible – to market Mozilla software in their way. In the way that makes sense for where they live, for what they do. Naturally, this has to be done responsibly: Mozilla needs to make sure anything “official” is accurate and honest, but that does not mean that Mozilla has to control what the community does in marketing.
So, I have two questions to anyone interested in community marketing in Europe and beyond:
- What do you need that you don’t have today?
- What do you have today that is especially effective?
Any thoughts are welcome, as comments here or on email to patrick (at) mozilla.com.