About the about:mozilla newsletter

about:mozilla, Work 5 Comments

about:mozilla

As the Mozilla project grows ever larger, it’s increasingly difficult to stay abreast of the latest news and goings-on throughout the community. A little over a year ago I started the about:mozilla newsletter in an attempt to make it slightly easier to get a general overview of the project, writing about releases, events, and announcements about Firefox, Thunderbird, SeaMonkey, Camino, the Foundation, the Corporation, Mozilla Messaging…etc., etc., etc.

The newsletter has been a pretty solid success, but it’s time to step things up a little, so I have three questions for you, dear reader:

More news than space

1) There are always more news-worthy stories than will fit in a single edition of the newsletter, and the number is increasing. Do you have any ideas about how I could cover more news without making the newsletter too long and unweildy?

Promotion and reach

2) How do you think I could better promote the newsletter? I’ve had comments recently that while useful, it just doesn’t seem to have the reach and impact that it could.

Overall quality

3) In general, what do you think of the about:mozilla newsletter? What do you think it does well? What do you think could be improved?

I’d really love to get your feedback on these things, or any other ideas or thoughts you have about the newsletter. Please leave a comment here or send me email at deb@mozilla.com. Thanks :)

5 Responses to “About the about:mozilla newsletter”

  1. Brian P. Says:
    February 11th, 2009 at 1:14 pm

    I had a few thoughts:

    How about dividing the news into sections like Web Surfer, Web Developer, Extension Developer, Mozilla Developer etc. Granted some news would cross boundaries. But then a reader can look at the sections they are interested in and the newsletter getting bigger would be less of a concern for the reader but more work for you ;).

    I wish there were section feeds for Planet Mozilla since there are many posts that I’m not interested in.

    Also instead of doing all the lifting yourself leverage other pages. For example instead of covering Addon stories just have a link to the Addon blog:
    http://blog.mozilla.com/addons/
    Saying “for news about Addons see the Addons Blog.”

    A question that I have is who’s the intended audience? It seems if someone wants all of the news about Mozilla they’ll use Planet Mozilla. I thought this newsletter was a light overview for the average user. In the last newsletter why would the average user want to know about tinderbox tools?

  2. Otto de Voogd Says:
    February 18th, 2009 at 7:17 am

    I am a relatively new reader of the newsletter, this is my opinion on the newsletter:

    The size is about right, it shouldn’t get much bigger.

    There could be a more “more news” link at the end, for those who want to read more, but I wouldn’t make the newsletter longer.

    The description provided with each topic, gives enough info to decide whether or not to click on the link and read more.

    I found out about the newsletter from a friend.

  3. Natanael L Says:
    February 18th, 2009 at 7:42 am

    I want more information about experimental stuff, such as new addons and browser features, as well as anything else in that category.

    I also want more info about whats happening in the community. Information about what’s happening and what’s going to happen, even small scale stuff.
    Maybe some quotes from people during the last month? It would make it feel more “alive”.

  4. Joe Smith Says:
    February 18th, 2009 at 3:06 pm

    Brian: I think that it’s still important to summarize important topics from the breadth of the Mozilla community. Maybe breaking them up into sections would help with signal-to-noise, but so far I think this is invaluable to keeping everyone in the loop.

    Natanael: I think quotes sound like a fun/enlightening proposal :)

    I really think that LWN (Linux Weekly News) has a great format. It has a much larger scope (more like a newspaper than news bites), which may eliminate the “shot/quick source of updates” for Mozilla. I think that having some sort of editor commentary about interesting/important issues in the community at the beginning of each about:mozilla post might be cool.

  5. An Experiment in Redesigning about:mozilla at Toolness Says:
    March 1st, 2009 at 5:30 pm

    [...] Deb Richardson’s recent posts on the evolution of the about:mozilla newsletter, I decided to try my hand at a new layout [...]

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