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Mozilla needs to get better at messaging its mission and public benefit nature.

With this in mind, we want to do a thought experiment: rewrite the boilerplate text used at the end of Mozilla press releases.

While it would be nice to have better boilerplate text, that's not the main point here. The goal is to really push ourselves on a) the key concepts we're trying to communicate and b) the words we're using to deliver these concepts.

If we can nail this -- or even come up with a couple of good versions -- we will have useful fodder for renewed mission-based marketing efforts.

Current boilerplate text

Mozilla is a global community dedicated to building free, open source products and technologies that improve the online experience for people everywhere. We work in the open with a highly disciplined, transparent and cooperative development process, under the umbrella of the non-profit Mozilla Foundation. As a wholly owned subsidiary, the Mozilla Corporation organizes the development and marketing of Mozilla products. This unique structure has enabled Mozilla to financially support and cultivate competitive, viable community innovation. For more information, visit

Taglines and boilerplates from other orgs

  • Adobe revolutionizes how the world engages with ideas and information - anytime, anywhere and through any medium. For more information, visit .
  • Greenpeace exists because this fragile earth deserves a voice. It needs solutions. It needs change. It needs action.
  • ( is the world's first person-to-person micro-lending website, empowering individuals to lend directly to an entrepreneur in the developing world. Founded in 2005,'s mission is to connect people, through lending, to alleviate poverty. currently connects lenders in more than 100 countries with entrepreneurs in 41 developing countries, through 88 microfinance partners. is headquartered in San Francisco.
  • Apple ignited the personal computer revolution in the 1970s with the Apple II and reinvented the personal computer in the 1980s with the Macintosh. Today, Apple continues to lead the industry in innovation with its award-winning computers, OS X operating system and iLife and professional applications. Apple is also spearheading the digital media revolution with its iPod portable music and video players and iTunes online store, and has entered the mobile phone market with its revolutionary iPhone.
  • Miro is developed by the Participatory Culture Foundation (PCF), a non-profit organization, and by volunteers around the world. PCF was founded in 2005 and has a mission to create a more open and decentralized online video space. Miro is used by hundreds of thousands of people around the world- only 24% of users are based in the United States.
  • Since its launch in October 2004, Ubuntu has become one of the most highly-regarded Linux distributions. With millions of users in homes, schools, businesses and governments around the world, Ubuntu is growing in popularity on both the server and the desktop. With the values of Open Source software at its core, Ubuntu costs nothing to download or update. Users are also actively encouraged to copy, reinstall, modify and share their Ubuntu software anytime, anywhere and with anyone. Visit or for more information.
  • Patagonia To make the best product, cause no unnecessary harm and use business to inspire and implement solutions to the environmental crisis.
  • Adbusters
    • 3467871711_5d3b97f9e0.jpg

Experimental rewrites

These are experimental rewrites done during the all hands in Mountain View during the last week of April 2009:

  • The Internet is the greatest development of our lifetimes. Mozilla exists to foster the Internet such that all people are able to realize its full benefit. We are a people-driven movement to protect choice and freedom on the Web. Join us! (Mary, Tristan & Patrick)
  • Mozilla is a people driven, global organization committed to making your web experience awesome by building products that are safe and accessible to all. (Tara, Rafael, David)
  • Mozilla is here to make the Internet better. We believe the web should work for the world through openness, innovation and opportunity. Learn more about us at (pascalf, jslater, lmesa)
  • The Internet should be free, open, and participatory. Mozilla was created to ensure this by empowering users and driving innovation. Today, the Firefox web-browser, created by Mozilla and its' community, is used by 300 million people globally. Together, we strive to promote choice and innovation on the web. (Sean, Barbara, Jane)
  • Mozilla is a global community of people having fun building a better Internet for each one of us.
  • Choice and innovation on the Internet inspire people around the world to create a future that they want online. The Mozilla community promotes the technology, vision and collaboration that make this possible.
  • Mozilla is a global community that nurtures the open web, driving innovation through empowerment and collaborative inspiration.

And here are a bunch left as comments on this blog posting:

  • Mozilla is anyone who believes that the Internet is built by people, for people, to help people learn, share, and create. Working together we share ideas, build tools and products, and do what it takes to make the Internet a more free, open, and collaborative place. Find out more at
  • mozilla – this is web community
  • Mozilla represents a true open way for the world to access, share and find information in a way that is driven by a community that believes there is a better way.
  • Mozilla is an innovative, collaborative movement that promotes and protects the open web.
  • These are more like headlines than mission statements, but a non-traditional mission statement wouldn’t necessarily be a bad thing:
  • We are Mozilla. We promote and protect the open web. Join us.
  • We are Mozilla. We promote and protect the open web. Be one of we.
  • Mozilla. Of the open web, for the open web, by the open web.
  • Mozilla is a collection of people who believe that the web should be open and have no bounds because the human imagination has no bounds. They create open projects to fulfill those ends and give users the power formerly kept behind closed walls by corporations.
  • Opening up the web.
  • The best browser ever created
  • Mozilla: Bringing an open, safe and secure web to everyone on Earth
  • Mozilla is Power to the People, of the People, by the People, in an organized environment inspired by non-profit Co-operation, not by Big Corporation, done in a manner that gives the Internet a faster, safer, and more pleasant environment for all. I imagine Mozilla to be the Internet of Choice for the late Great Ghandi, Martin Luther King, Jr., and John Lennon “Give Peace A Chance – Give Mozilla A Chance.”
  • Mozilla saves the Internet.
  • Mozilla is Soylent Green. It’s made of people!
  • Mozilla is your key to become a matured webuser.
  • Mozilla is a project that aims at empowering people to customize and enrich their Internet experience.
  • Mozilla activates people to shape the Internet.
  • Mozilla – Making the Internet a better place!
  • Mozilla, you, me, everybody, free! (The Blues Brothers singing in the background)
  • Mozilla firefox- better than the internet.
  • Mozilla thunderbird- the best way to stay in touch when your out of touch.
  • Mozilla is a global movement of communities devoted to make an Internet a better place.
  • Mozilla: Future of open web!

Synthesizing the feedback

Based on blog comments, Mark Surman took a shot at pulling together the most popular themes:

Top words

  • internet
  • web
  • community
  • people
  • open
  • better
  • innovation
  • choice

Short boilerplate

  1. Mozilla exists to build a better internet. Join us.
  2. We are Mozilla. We promote and protect the open web. Join us.
  3. Mozilla is a global community of people building a better internet. Join us.
  4. Mozilla is a global community of people building a public benefit into the internet. Join us.

Longer boilerplate

  1. Mozilla is a global community of people creating a better internet. We build public benefit into the internet by creating free, open source products and technologies that improve the online experience for people everywhere. We work in the open using a highly disciplined, transparent and participatory development process under the umbrella of the non-profit Mozilla Foundation. Everything we create is a public asset available for others to use, adapt and improve upon. Join us at
  2. Mozilla is a global community of people building a better internet. Together, we create software and spread ideas that foster openness, participation and innovation online. Our work is supported by the Mozilla Foundation, a non-profit public benefit organization headquartered in California. Join us at
  3. Mozilla is a public benefit organization that exists to make the internet better. We believe that the internet is an integral part of modern life. It enriches education, communication, business, entertainment and society as a whole. We work with a community of thousands of people around the world to build software and spread ideas that foster openness, participation and innovation online. Join us!

Opportunities for better messaging

During the 2009 all hands, we also brainstormed ways to get improved messaging about our mission out to the public. Here are some ideas:

  • Use the SFx affiliate program to deploy mission-based messaging, e.g. create a set of buttons and badges that incorporate new boilerplate
  • Encourage Firefox users to post their own videos in OGG Theora format
  • When we issue security updates for Firefox, highlight the Mozilla Manifesto section about security
  • Learn from campaigns like "Million Acts of Green" and Participaction
  • Create and publicize a "User Charter"
  • Make technology more accessible through our outreach
  • Avoid hyperbole in the ways we describe our mission
  • Keep it brief, humble and don't use jargon
  • "Neighborhood watch for the Internet"

Other notes

Choffman a bunch of these keywords and concepts into a kind of economic model to help show the relationship. just like the internet itself what we are really after is a long term, sustainable, increase in the love/trust/engagement/utility index :-) we need to continue push on all the levers shown on the x-axis in the diagram below to stay true to our core values and achive our mission. -chofmann see: chofmann-curve2.png