Mozilla gets into content creation with Voices

As part of Mozilla's diversification initiative, the maker of Firefox is looking to make news -- from the other side of the camera.

Mozilla's on the hunt for its first in-house editorial leader. Could it be you? Screenshot by Seth Rosenblatt/CNET

Open jobs for engineers are plentiful at Mozilla, the browser maker, privacy advocate, and open Internet proponent. But the company has only one opening for editor-in-chief, a new role listed only for the past two weeks.

Mozilla, as is the case with many other companies, is getting into what the tech world has come to call with not even a scintilla of irony, "content creation." Not unlike similar positions at other Internet firms, the new role at Mozilla would be to make videos and write blogs, while creating and curating an editorial voice that dovetails with Mozilla's mission.

And yes, the company hopes to supplement its bottom line by finding sponsors for Mozilla Voices. But Denelle Dixon-Thayer, Mozilla's general counsel and head of its business affairs group, said that Mozilla wants somebody who is attracted to the not-for-profit's stated mission of an open Internet.

"We would like to broaden our audience as much as we can," she said. "Anybody who cares about Firefox as much as we do, we can broaden that voice and make it community driven."

Mozilla's mission goals are paramount when determining how the company can make money, she said. The company looks for three things in its revenue-generating projects, like Tuesday's announcement of Directory Tiles: User value, "because the user is always at the center for us," she said; alignment with Mozilla's mission and goals; and the project must generate actual revenue for the company, which derives most of its funding from selling search sponsorship.

Mozilla Voices, with its focus on Mozilla's view of the world and sponsorship revenue model, is, "pretty low on revenue but high on the other two," Dixon-Thayer said.

This mock-up from Mozilla shows how it plans to incorporate sponsored sites into its New Tab page, an attempt to make it more useful for new users while making a few bucks on the side, too. Mozilla says that it also could be a place to promote its coming editorial videos and articles. Mozilla

"Potential stories could be about women who code in Syria, or looking at home-built technology in Namibia, or the hottest startups in Y-Combinator that are relevant to our mission," said Darren Herman, Mozilla's vice president of content services.

So far, many of Voices' details remain unsettled. That's not surprising, given that it's new and in search of a leader. Assuming that Firefox fans would be a natural audience for Mozilla Voices, Mozilla has yet to figure out where it would host the content, and how people would find it easily. Dixon-Thayer suggested that one place it could live would be next to tiles on the New Tab page.

"This one, for us, is really about generating interest in our community and who we are," she said.

 

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