Originally posted as a comment to FactoryJoe, Thoughts on Mozilla. I more or less posted here for archival reasons, but if you find it interesting feel free to comment. Disclaimer, this is a comment, I did not proof read it or even spell check it. You've been forwarned. :)
Re: FactoryJoe, Thoughts on Mozilla
Just checking out the viddler interface.
Viddler’s time based tagging and commenting is interesting but let me know when they get the comments out of flash and use the blog API (blogger.com, moveabletype, wordpress) to post them as "real comments" to your blog post where they belong… where they can be read with the rest of the comments, where they can be tracked with co.mments.com and other trackers, where they can be syndicated with RSS… where I can actually READ them instead of them being in a tiny little 320×240 little window.
The bottom line is there’s two different conversations here. There’s the one in viddler, which is… whatever… can’t follow it. And then there’s the one in the page… which is awesome and useful…. and I can actually read… and which I will actually get responses on because I’m tracking it with co.comments.com.
Now… as to comment on what I read and hear here [on the original blog post].
Mozilla is a PLATFORM… this is why it rocks and [Microsoft] IE SUCKS. Because mozilla is open source, it can be extended… innovation can happen… Greasemonkey, plugins… exetentions… to a lesser extent themes. You’re right, most people DON’T care what browser they use, but if that was the ONLY case then Mozilla would be DEAD and has no future. Mozilla’s job is to MAKE people care! There’s NO way around that. In order for mozilla to succeed people MUST care. Mozilla’s success right now is because they ARE making people care. My DAD uses mozilla. My dad would never go back to IE. Why? Because of security and popups for one. And btw, he see’s that as the same issue. Because in many ways it is. IE craps all over him.
Extentions he’s installed = 0. Theme’s he’s changed to or installed = 0.
Why do I say this. Because just like Apple who buys or simply outright steals the best 3rd party OS innovations and hacks like quicksilver, and the current application switcher and tons of other innovations. Mozilla needs to roll the BEST of these innovations, the most popular, the most sought after into the DEFAULT mozilla. Because Mozilla CAN and IS winning at making a large part of the population CARE about their browser. Security, pop up ad blocking… maybe a few other key components… but people WILL NOT configure mozilla… they will not sift through it’s endless preference panes no matter how well designed and simple they are… **intelligent defaults are extremely important** and even more important still they will NOT go through and install plugins. The best of breed plugins need to be integrated into the core mozilla. It’s good for the developers of those plugins to aknowlege their hard work and integrate it into the core… and it’s GREAT for the customers. That cycle of encouraging innovation through creating an OPEN PLATFORM… I’m thinking grease monkey too… by courting the developers… by making great API’s… by using copy left open source licensing to encourage branching. That and lots of consultants and strategists and developers donating their time and energy is the key to mozilla creating a product that’s so much better than Microsoft IE that people CARE to install it.
[read: If it's not good enough to be included and configured properly in the default install for Joe User, then it isn't worth installing.]
Personally, I have infinite thanks for Mozilla. If you set a side the fact that I use firefox and love it… take that completely out of the equation all together… mozilla has still been a RESOUNDing success. Even if it only had 15% of the market share… and not the 20 or 25% it has… even if it never progresses beyond 20% it’s still a success because it has brought innovation and openess back to the web space. Of course… to most people commenting here they’re like “no sh*t, you don’t say”.. but I had to say it. Even though I would hope Mozilla would take 50% market share or more and make I.E. the #2 browser it really doesn’t matter in the scope of things. All that matters to me now is that the mozilla foundation turns a 10% or 20% PROFIT while staying true to it’s manifest (being open and not evil) and keep innovating so that it can sustain itself as a very equitable business and keep innovation alive in the space for another 5, 10, 20 years.
Anyway… just thought I really just wanted to comment on viddler, because I was checking it out, but I thought since I wrote so much on viddler interface I should also respond to the actual post.
One last thought on viddler. While the interface is interesting there’s a lot more to a company than a cool flash interface… look at blip.tv. My fav video blog host. The key to blip’s success thus far is serving the core videoblogging community… which unlike youtube.. wants to have their own domain… their own blog, the ability to monetize… to OWN their own content and have control over it… to not have it deleted or removed because of some arbitrary DMCA notice. Anyway… none of that has to do with a slick interface. It has to do with strategy and architecutre and business direction. Then again.. blip could REALLY stand to have a slick viddler flash interface… maybe the two should partner… of course maybe viddler sees blip as competition. They shouldn’t, but maybe they do.