Short bio: Computer Scientist, FOSS supporter (read more)
Tux Machines (TM)-specific
You may have noticed the odd bit of celebration around the magic billion downloads milestone for Firefox. Of course, as Mozillans themselves point out, that figure doesn't tell us very much; more useful, perhaps, are stats like 300 million users, but that too is only an estimate. And in any case, I think looking backwards is precisely the wrong thing to do at this point: what we need to ask is how do we get the *next* billion downloads – and why do we want them?
The “why” is easier to answer – not least because Mark Surman, the Executive Director of the Mozilla Foundation, has been thinking and writing about this a lot. Specifically, he's been working on “engaging the next million Mozillans” - note the interesting shift in emphasis from billions of downloads (pretty meaningless) to millions of participatory users (more concrete) – and what that means. In his most recent post on the topic he explains his thinking thus: