As both Jane Finette and I have shared we’ve been looking at how we can engage with even more of our 400 million users and in meaningful ways. The first step was to open a line of communication with our users via a mainstream newsletter and to assess our main participation channels.
Next up is to lower the barrier for participation and make it easier for people to find ways to help without having to hunt around. If you’ve walked through a setup on a social application such as TripIt or Facebook lately you’ll know that one of the first things you’re asked to do is ask people to join. While this does truly enhance your experience with the product and create your social graph (did I say that?!), it also spreads the word, conveniently.
Without going that far, we thought about how challenging it is for people to find ways to pitch in and spread Firefox outside of simply telling their friends. This is nothing to sniff at — Firefox has reaped the benefits of word of mouth over the years. However, we wanted to make it super easy for people who like Firefox to get involved and have just rolled out a new participation page. This even impacted the name. We steered away from “Get Involved” which often implies volunteering or more time commitment.
The concept is to highlight three super easy calls-to-action and offer a sharing capability. We’re using Facebook and Twitter off the bat. In terms of immediate next steps, we’re working to get this integrated more with mozilla.com and the product experience. For instance, we’re working on a snippet for the Firefox start page, and the first run and what’s new pages. I’d also like to see it in different languages and it would be interesting to develop a tool that would surface opportunities based on your interests, time and skill.
In addition to the participation page, we’ve rolled out our new Army of Awesome. Every day, thousands of people tweet their Firefox questions. We wanted to set up a lightweight way for them to get answers right away from fellow Firefox users. So working with our awesome Support team we kicked off a program to encourage people to respond to others on Twitter. My intrepid colleague William Reynolds has a great write up on our thinking.
Want to help? Please share any ideas you might have for the participation page below, share it around and of course, join the Army of Awesome!