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Mozilla Labs vetting user talent for new products

Want to work on the next cool Mozilla project? The company is vetting community talent by leveraging you as part of a giant think tank.

On Monday, Chris Beard, vice president and general manager of Mozilla Labs, posted a rather vague, yet optimistic, blog entry about opening up Mozilla Labs projects to the Web community at large. The move comes just a week after the company lost Mike Schroepfer, Mozilla VP of engineering, to Facebook.

Beard has coined it a "concept series" and included three videos of products and services currently at a the conceptual level and not yet ready for public consumption. Of the three embedded in Beard's post, the most buzz-worthy was the mobile version of Firefox, which surfaced two months ago. The other two are a little more out there, with a bookmarks visualizer and what is seemingly the most complicated-looking interface demo ever done by the folks at Adaptive Path for a project called "Aurora" which was unveiled last night.

To get involved, Beard is asking users to keep their ideas structured into one of three buckets:

  • Ideas
    It all begins with an idea. A sentence, paragraph, or even bullet-points kick-start the process. Ideas can be simple and non-technical. It should be easy for anyone and everyone to help shape the future of the Web. So throw your notions, inspirations, dreams and visions out to the community.
  • Mockups
    Turn your idea (or someone else's) into an image, sketch or video. Words are great, but you know what they say about pictures. Mockups offer up a visual and communicate ideas in terms that are just a bit more polished and real. They draw the next person in, tempting them to pick up the concept and run with it.
  • Prototypes
    A prototype is interactive. Feel, touch and play with developing concepts. Prototypes get ideas across by showing off the moving parts. They aren't always fully functional or pretty, but they're more than a static image or two. They're a dress rehearsal of sorts, with minimal programming. Make a prototype in HTML, Flash, or whatever puts things into action.

Mozilla is also using tags on popular Web services to let people post up their mockups, the first of which have already shown up on Flickr.

I've embedded all three concept videos below. The aurora one is in HD only if you watch it on Vimeo, so click here to see it in it's full-resolution glory.

Bookmarking and History Concept Video from Aza Raskin on Vimeo.

Firefox Mobile Concept Video from Aza Raskin on Vimeo.

Aurora (Part 1) from Adaptive Path on Vimeo.