As Nick mentioned on the Add-ons Blog yesterday, we’ll be giving a presentation tomorrow on what’s in store for addons.mozilla.org in 2009. You can tune in to Air Mozilla Thursday at 12:30pm Pacific time to watch the presentation and ask any questions you might have.
I hope to see you there!
In daylights? in sunsets? in midnights, in cups of coffee? How about love? Both Ken Kovash and the cast of RENT can tell you that a year is 525,600 minutes. But I measure my years as the time between each Ken Kovash Day.
As December 19 approaches each year, I start to get an overwhelming sense of accomplishment and purpose. Not because of anything I’ve achieved, but because I think of all that Ken has done over the last year. To give just a small glimpse into some of Ken’s doings since last KKD:
- Thursday, December 20, 2007: Ken wakes up, goes to work, and pioneers analytics.
- Friday, December 21, 2007: Ken wakes up, goes to work, and pioneers analytics.
- Saturday, December 22, 2007: Ken wakes up and pioneers analytics.
- … and at least 362 other accomplishments
I only wish I had such dedication — to think, even pioneering analytics on weekends! That’s why I was so happy to discover that the official Ken Kovash Day website added a new feature for this year’s KKD: a widget where you can express your desire to be like Ken Kovash. It even keeps track of how many people share your aspirations in real time!
I have to say, the Friends of Ken Kovash organization really stepped it up a notch for this year’s celebration of Ken Kovash. I encourage everyone to check out their Ken Stories section for this year and to submit your own if you have a particularly heart-warming Ken Story or revelation.
No other course; no other way. It’s Ken Kovash Day.
Yesterday, despite the best efforts of a snowstorm in the South, I made it to the first ever Add-on-Con hosted at the Computer History Museum about a minute or two away from Mozilla’s office. The event exceeded my expectations and was a great experience.
It was a weird, great feeling being around so many people that spend their time working on add-ons and care about them as much as I do. Some of my thoughts about the sessions:
- In the opening keynote panel on add-on business models, it was great to hear that our compatibility outreach with Firefox is helping developers and that being featured on AMO has such a positive impact on extensions.
- Brian King gave a great talk on the state of the Mozilla Add-ons universe, covering the history of extensions in Mozilla, AMO, Mozdev, and a number of other topics.
- I was unexpectedly part of the Add-on Distribution Strategies session panel, along with Rey Bango (Mozilla), Pat Buckley (WebMynd), and Alec Jeong (Cooliris). It was interesting to hear and talk about the journeys add-ons go through for better distribution and exposure, and reminded me how important metrics and statistics are to making those decisions. I have some follow-up notes on this and will be blogging about this more in the future.
- The closing keynote was a browser vendor panel of Microsoft, Mozilla, and Google. I was very glad that the questions were all add-on related rather than a generic browser panel seen at other conferences.
One of the things that struck me about yesterday was that “AMO” was mentioned in every talk I went to without ever being defined. I usually always define it the first time I use it, but everyone at the conference seemed to know what AMO is, which was a very strange feeling.
Overall, the conference was a really great thing for both business folks and technical folks, and people on the add-on development side as well as people on the browser vendor / distribution channel side, especially for being its first year. I can’t wait until next year.
Voting has begun for the Impact Mozilla contest, and after taking a look at all of the finalists, I was very excited to see that about half of them involve using add-ons to promote Firefox and increase retention. Check out the finalists and vote before next Wednesday!
Today, Thunderbird 3 beta 1 was released. I tried it out and immediately switched to using it as my default client. The upgrade from 2.0 was seamless, and I’m really enjoying the new features and interface. Of course, one of my favorites is the new Add-ons Manager, first introduced in Firefox 3. It will now be possible to install extensions from AMO directly in Thunderbird by searching for them in the Add-ons Manager.
Speaking of beta releases, Firefox 3.1 beta 2 was released yesterday with Private Browsing mode, TraceMonkey turned on, and one of my favorite less-announced features: being able to drag the window around on Mac from any part of the chrome (also available in Thunderbird 3.0b1!).
Lots of exciting things so far this week, and it’s only Tuesday!
I’ll be in Mountain View next week to attend Add-on-Con, a conference all about add-ons with Mozilla, Microsoft, Google, and of course add-on developers. It will be a great chance to talk with developers firsthand and take in some interesting sessions.
From Mozilla, Mark Finkle will be giving a presentation on leveraging third party APIs to create mashups with add-ons. Having Mark in attendance is great for both myself and add-on developers: I get to send all technical questions to Mark, and add-on developers don’t get incorrect technical answers from me! It’s a win-win.
Mike Shaver will be taking part in a panel on the future of the web browser, along with representatives from Microsoft and Google to wrap up the sessions. As former Director of Ecosystem Development (loosely translated: “add-ons”), Mike has a long history of working with add-on developers and improving extension support in Firefox. Plus, he’s kinda funny.
On the business track, Brian King will be exploring the state of the Mozilla Add-ons universe. You can read more details in Rey Bango’s post on the Add-ons blog.
Additionally, Mozilla will be hosting an add-ons open house the night before, so if you’re interested, you can find the details on the wiki. Unfortunately, I won’t be able to attend the open house as my flight gets in later.
I’m also very happy to announce that I’ve accepted a full-time position with Mozilla after graduation in a few weeks, and will be moving to the San Francisco Bay Area very soon. It’s been a great 2-3 years being immersed in add-ons at Mozilla and I’m very excited for what’s coming in 2009.