Tuesday, October 30, 2007

"Moderate" quake

The USGS labeled this one "moderate" but it's the strongest earthquake I've felt in more than 6 years of living here. House shook, everything rattled and I bolted for a door frame. Ash was sleeping - he's still on Taiwanese time. Not sure if the house shaking woke him up or if it was my screaming. I'm not a very good Californian. Every time there's an earthquake I get a big rush of adrenaline. When they're over, I'm not sure what to do other than click refresh on usgs.gov until they post the magnitude.

For those who are interested, tonight's was a 5.6, quickly followed by a 1.4, 1.5 and 1.6.

Monday, October 22, 2007

Release of Mozilla and Firefox messaging docs

Today, John Slater and I posted some messaging documents to Spreadfirefox.

One of the documents helps to explain Mozilla: who we are, what we do, why we're here, etc. The other document evangelizes the benefits of using Firefox. Our hope is that people will use the docs and then share feedback about what resonated, what didn't and how we can tweak them for future use.

These are not final documents. They are meant to be a living, breathing reflection of our community. We plan to release subsequent revisions based on community feedback. If you use them, we'd love to hear from you about your experience.

Sunday, October 21, 2007

Psychic Graffiti

Came home to graffiti on my house for the first time since we moved. On our white garage door someone wrote "My friends all got lazy" in black sharpie and decorated it with a little scroll. I'd post a picture but my digicam is in Korea at the moment. I'm curious to see how long it stays up there. It's not terrible looking and it's sort of a funny sentiment.

Maybe I've been living in cities for too long but I've developed a fondness for the graffiti. The Mission is covered in these amazing, colorful murals but those aren't really graffiti since they're put up by an organization called Precita Eyes.

At the old house, graffiti was our neighborhood barometer. It was as accurate as any newsletter. When the gangs were active, new tags would show up overnight - rivals would cross out each other's tags and then they'd write their own higher up the wall. This wasn't pretty graffiti but it was very informative.

Sometimes I think the graffiti I read was put there just for me. Like secret messages in the fortune cookie of life. One time, I saw "And the truly beautiful people never worry about their fingernails." I love that one.

Friday, October 19, 2007

Visiting hours with the non-tech world

Just spent a couple of days at home with my family. It’s always refreshing to spend a few days away from Silicon Valley in order to see how people live when they’re not obsessed with technology. My family lives near DC, so they are pretty obsessed with pundits and the ‘08 presidential race.

Anyway, I was at my sister and brother-in-law’s house and I asked to borrow a computer. It’s hard being away from the internet for several hours a day with no way to check in and see what’s going on in my online world (email, news, chat, facebook, etc). To my utter shock and dismay, my brother-in-law hands me a laptop and there’s no Firefox logo to be found anywhere on the desktop. As if that weren’t bad enough, I grudgingly click the little blue e in order to see what they’re running and it’s IE6! Argh!

I take a deep breath and explain that although I would prefer that my family use Firefox because that’s what I spend all day trying to convince the rest of the world to do, I don’t mind if they keep a current version of IE running on their machine just in case they can’t resist the urge to click the blue e. But to have IE6 on their home machines is unacceptable, especially with a sibling who works at Mozilla!

So, I used this as an opportunity to flex my Mozilla community member muscles and downloaded Firefox on all of their home computers and then installed Adblock Plus, and showed my sister how to navigate add-ons in case there were others she wanted to install. I tried to install IE7 as well, so that they would have added protection, but I couldn’t get the download window to come up. I kept getting an explorer.exe error. Strange.

My brother-in-law was playing around on the laptop for a bit and before I left, I asked him what he thought of Firefox. He said, “I always thought I had a slow computer. Turns out I had a slow browser.”

I understand that not everyone lives and breathes technology the way we do in the Bay Area. As an organization, we’re working hard to figure out how to reach the folks who don’t even know that just because software fulfills the minimal needs to be functional, doesn’t mean there isn’t something better out there.

Tuesday, October 09, 2007

Misdirected email...

I got the following email yesterday. Talk about barking up the wrong tree...

< snip >
Hi Melissa,

I would love to speak with you about job opportunities at Waggener Edstrom Worldwide. We currently have Technology PR openings at various levels on several of our Microsoft account teams.

< /snip >

I've been doing PR for open source projects and companies for the past 2 years or so. A bunch of enterprise, proprietary stuff before that. I don't want to say I'm religious about open source. I feel like that's such a loaded term. However, I have internalized a number of open source values and they are directly at odds with how MSFT approaches PR.

In open source PR:
1) If it seems unclear, shine some light on it
2) If it needs an embargo, it's probably because you're working with a partner and your regular reporters will sense something fishy and will start digging to determine identity of said partner
3) You can't control the blogosphere so you may as well make friends with and go out drinking with the blogosphere.
4) If you don't move serious money, you have to find creative ways to explain why you matter to the publications covering serious money.
5) Respect the individual voice. There's so much of the same out there. Embrace the things that are different.
6) The threshold for voicing an opinion is caring enough to have an opinion.
7) You're in a fishbowl so if you screw up, there are a lot of people who will let you know.
8) You have to know when to betray deeply ingrained industry practices and when to stick with what's working. This is a lot less obvious than it might seem.

These are just a few...there are tons more. This post is by no means complete, just some thoughts that were bouncing around my head today...

Thursday, October 04, 2007


12.5 hours is a stupid time difference. wtf is up with the .5?