The Open Standard

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To contribute to The Open Standard, please read our Contribution Guidelines and then submit your application (Note: we are currently on a publishing hiatus).



11/14/2014: Please note The Open Standard is currently on a publishing hiatus to assess its strategy. The Open Standard is hosted by Mozilla; views expressed on the platform represent the authors' perspective, not Mozilla's opinion.


It's time to help more people understand who we are, what we care about, and how our work impacts our online and offline lives for the better.

One of the most visible ways we create positive impact in the world is with our beloved Firefox products, but we also need people to know about the value of open systems and challenge the thinking of the status quo.

Our work, achieved in partnership with our global volunteer community, is what distinguishes Mozilla from other technology companies, and enables us to pursue our mission on multiple fronts.

By being clear and focused with the stories we tell and amplify, we’ll be able to give people the tools to quickly and easily share our message with others.

What is The Open Standard?

The Open Standard is a news site established by Mozilla to showcase ideas, opinions and conversations that show open, transparent, collaborative systems at work in our daily lives. The Open Standard is not intended to represent Mozilla's opinion, but to be an independent platform where we invite people to have discussions around timely topics related to the impact of open systems. One of the ways we are doing this through The Open Standard.

The Open Standard Editorial Policy

The Open Standard is an online news site that features the ideas, opinions and conversations that show open, transparent, collaborative systems at work in our daily lives.

What will The Open Standard cover?

The Open Standard is dedicated to covering — and advocating for — the open transparent and collaborative systems that impact society on a daily basis.

We Cover:

  • Policy decisions and their impact on open systems
  • Profiles of people who impact open systems in technology, education, policy and government
  • Multiple sides of an issue
  • The root cause of controversies

We Don’t Cover:

  • Personal controversies and profiles that are personal attacks
  • We don’t take a position on products, Mozilla’s or its competitors.
  • Partisan politics
  • Issues not related to Open Systems or Mozilla’s overall mission

The Open Standard filters the subjects of our coverage and inquiry through the prism of Mozilla’s values: Does it educate? Does it inform? Does it make an effort to make the world a better place? Does it value the power of open systems?

What is the relationship between Mozilla and The Open Standard?

Mozilla is the parent organization of The Open Standard, but The Open Standard is an independent voice and does not represent the opinions of Mozilla.

Will each Open Standard article be reflective of Mozilla’s worldview / ideals?

The Open Standard shares the same basic values as Mozilla - that accessibility, participation, and experimentation are fundamental behaviors that contribute to a productive environment and world. These values drive our editorial policy.

What is The Open Standard’s policy and plan to cover partners of the Mozilla organization?

We will undoubtedly discuss how other companies participate in the conversation about open source, open systems, the health of the Internet and related issues such as privacy and security.

In the context of describing those companies or individuals and their stands, positions or policies about the topics mentioned, we do not say it's good or bad, we just explain in context of the story.

The Open Standard will clearly disclose the relationship to The Open Standard’s parent company, Mozilla.

What gap in the media landscape is the Open Standard trying to fill?

The Open Standard is aimed at the largely non-techie consumer audience. Our goal is to educate the public on what “open source” and “open systems” means both in theory and practice.

How do you define “Open” in the context of what Open Standard will cover?

Open means infrastructures, platforms, or policies that allow for the greatest amount of participation from individuals or communities.

Is this just another Mozilla blog?

No. This isn’t about Mozilla and is not Mozilla opinion.

What are the editorial standards the writers will work against (e.g. journalist guidelines or quality standards according to a journalistic associations or similar?)

This is a truly journalistic venture. Accuracy, credibility, strong sourcing, solid writing and accountability for fairness is paramount.

Editorial Strategy

In order to educate, engage and inform the greater public audience, The Open Standard's editorial strategy includes:

  • Creating compelling, original content
  • Doing smart content aggregation and curation
  • Being proactive in our audience development

The taxonomy of the site will include:

  • If you want to see examples of the kind of stuff we will be covering, follow our Twitter feed.

The Open Standard Expert Search

How it Works

A lot of great voices and experts are out there waiting to be discovered. Technologists, academics, policy makers and activists who can help The Open Standard have the best and broadest coverage as possible.

If you have suggestions, please add them to the list [here.]

The Open Standard Blogging Rules for Contribution

How it Works

  • Blog early, blog often! You can post as often as you like
  • No need to "pitch" ideas before submitting posts
  • Short (250 words) to medium (500 to 600 words) is best, but any length is accepted
  • A conversational, informal style is ideal
  • Use hyperlinks whenever relevant, especially when referring to another web page or site
  • All posts are approved by the Editors of The Open Standard
  • You retain all rights to your work

Objectionable Materials Policy

We reserve the right to remove objectionable, inaccurate, or inflammatory material and, if necessary, suspend or revoke blogging privileges. Disallowed material includes propagating conspiracy theories and blogging about behind-the-scenes housekeeping issues that are not of interest to the general public and should instead be dealt with by communicating directly with the Editor in Chief. In addition, our policy requires factual inaccuracies to be corrected or retracted within 24 hours of being alerted to the error.


In an effort to be as transparent with our readers as possible, we require bloggers with The Open Standard to disclose any relationship they have with the Mozilla organization.

Also, they must disclose any financial conflicts of interest related to the issue they are writing about. If a blogger receives payment or income from a company, organization, group, or individual with a financial stake in the issue he/she is weighing in on, that information must be disclosed at the bottom of the applicable blog post. 

Corrections and Substantive Edits

If you make a substantive addition, deletion or correction of an error after a post has been published, you are required to note this change on the post. Our preference is on the top of the post, in italics.

In the interest of transparency, you should note to readers that in an earlier version of the post there was an error that has since been corrected. 

This is YOUR Work

This is a space for your thoughts and observations. It's OK to quote other sources, but please make it clear that you're quoting someone and have the courtesy to link to their work. Using another person’s work without the proper attribution to that author and a link to the original source is tantamount to plagiarism. Which is illegal.


As a blogger for The Open Standard, you must acquire an official letter of approval from the Editor in Chief in order to cover an event for The Open Standard. Without proper editorial approval, you must not identify yourself as a representative of The Open Standard while attending events.

To request a letter of approval, please email Anthony Duignan-Cabrera at

We greatly appreciate the contributions of our community of bloggers and welcome an ongoing dialogue between our editors and our bloggers as we continue to work together.

Style Guidelines

This is the style guide we'll use when we edit your posts. Please help us get your posts up faster by following this style guide yourself. We hate to be picky, but here are some standard editorial guidelines that you should follow when writing your piece:


250 to 800 words

  • The most effective blog posts fall in the 500 to 800 range; brevity is the soul of wit, and the perfect length for reading on a mobile device.
  • If your post is especially long, it may take us more than 24 hours to approve it for publication.


This Is a Sample Headline

  • Capitalize the first letter of every word, except for articles and prepositions three letters or less (so "From" is capitalized, but "for" is not; "Is" always gets capitalized)
  • Clear, descriptive titles work better than cute or puns. (But let's be clear, a great headline can generate a ton of pageviews. The New York Post's ["Headless Body in Topless Bar" ] remains a classic. What would you enter into Google if you were trying to find this article? That's usually the best way to start your title.
  • Please no all-caps [not to be confused with "No Capes ], but if you want to emphasize a word, add italics by selecting the important word or phrase and hitting the "I" button above the editing window (or typing Ctrl+I - or on a Mac, Command-I).

Italics vs. Quotes

Please italicize:

  • book titles

  • movie titles

  • newspaper titles (after "the")

  • magazine titles

  • television show names

  • play titles

Please put in quotes:

  • book chapters

  • newspaper articles

  • magazine articles

  • tv episodes

  • poems

You've Got to Work It

We encourage contributors to promote their pieces and send them around -- many readers arrive at pieces on links passed on from friends and other sites. Below are a couple of ideas.

Email Lists

Recruit your friends and family by sending out a note with a link to your post -- whether social organizations, extracurricular groups, or even just your typical family/friends email list. Encourage them to comment! Experience shows that often the more comments a post attracts, the better it does in generating interest and more comments. Encourage your friends to share it as well.


Share your post via Facebook or Twitter! (You can use the handy social tools provided with your published post.)

Fellow Travelers

Most blogs will have a 'contact' email for their proprietor. If you've written something you think a specific blog might be interested in, send it their way with a brief, polite note explaining why you thought they might find it interesting (don't send them everything you write, and don't send to multiple blogs simultaneously, i.e., 'spam' them). It also doesn't hurt to reference individual posts that they've written in your posts, by linking to them.

Above All, in the Words of Captain Picard, "Engage"

Responding to comments on your own post helps the community grow around it.

How do you get involved?

In early stages, the Editor in Chief will be working with community stakeholders, CBT and Mozilla Reps and other groups to co-create the contribution pathways. In the next quarter The Open Standard will attend GROW calls and providing overall updates on the Project Call.

At and beyond launch contribution opportunities will include:

  • Story tips and ideas from where you live
  • Help us identify the experts – academics, technologists, politicians, scientists and policy makers, etc.
  • Opportunity to submit your own stories for Editorial Review through the forthcoming CMS
  • Point of Need contribution opportunities will be offered at the GROW calls and Weekly Project Meetings

More information is coming, but if you have questions, just email Anthony at

To contribute to The Open Standard, please read our Contribution Guidelines and then submit your application.

Key Milestones

  • Create The Open Standard site design
  • Build Content Management System for Content Submissions
  • Identify lead Editorial team members
  • Design contribution pathway, editorial review process
  • Invite participation from the Mozilla Community


Launch of The Open Standard 1.0 scheduled for early Fall '14

Leadership Team

Executive Sponsor:

Mary Ellen Muckerman, VP Brand Strategy & Services.


Anthony Duignan-Cabrera, Editor in Chief. (His name is as difficult to spell as it is to say, he prefers the acronym ADC.)

Plus forthcoming editorial staff.

Product Development Team:

  • Benjamin Sternthal, Web Development Manager
  • Jennifer Bertsch, Product Manager
  • Holly Habstritt, UX Lead
  • John Slater, Director of Creative
  • Craig Cook, Front-end Web Developer
  • Josh Mize, Senior Web Developer

What's coming up?

The Open Standard needs contributors! More news to come as to how you can blog for the site!

  • The launch. It's scheduled for Fall, '14.