Script for Thunderbird Video

Kent James kent at
Fri Oct 3 23:16:13 UTC 2014

I've been trying to get some words on paper that could be used in the 
video that we hope to make at the upcoming Summit. This is really hard 
for me to do, partly because I know that even if I do my best, many of 
you will hate it. And yet there is nobody else, so I am stuck with the 
job. So be gentle, I'm not as tough as I act.

Here it is: This is 
very much a work in progress, incomplete, just trying to get down some 
thoughts and wording that we might use.

I would love to hear from you, both comments but particularly your own 
words that we might use in a video. If you can give it a try, please add 
suggestions to the Discussion page there. I'll paste those into the main 
script if I think they will work.

I sent a rather long response today to the video guy we are working on 
with this. I'll just repeat that, as it gives some background:

-------- Forwarded Message --------
Subject: 	Re: Right, that Thunderbird video...
Date: 	Fri, 03 Oct 2014 12:14:27 -0700
From: 	Kent James <kent at>
To: 	Aaron Mandel <aaron at>
CC: 	Mike Conley <mconley at>

On 10/3/2014 12:06 AM, Aaron Mandel wrote:
> Hey Kent,
> Nice to meet you.  We don't need to storyboard as it will be mostly
> talking heads.  I had discussed with Mike coming up with some sort of
> story/script of responses you hope to get out of the participants and
> then we could frame the questions around that.  I don't think the
> video should be mainly exhorting people to do their part.  That should
> be a call to action at end.  The video should demonstrate reasons why
> they should want to donate or contribute.

I'm trying to put down possible words here:

So far this is just a collection of possible sentences, not a coherent
outline of a plan.

Here are the fundamental problems that we face.  The general expectation
everyone has of a crowd-sourcing campaign is that we present users a
tangible, personal end result of contributing to this particular
campaign. But I don't think this is a viable approach because a) what we
actually need to spend the money on is mostly ensuring that Thunderbird
continue to remain viable in its current  form, and b) this is not a
one-time effort but more of an annual "membership" in supporting
Thunderbird as a FOSS product. I don't want us to, each year, try to
dream up specific features that will engage the majority of our users.

A common theme in Mozilla is to promote community instead. The Mozilla
Foundation landing page for contributions says, even if you are
motivated by a particular project like Webmaker, "At the heart of
Mozilla is a global community with a shared mission—to build the
Internet the world needs. Support Mozilla with a donation today—for a
better web and a better world." ( David
Ascher (current Mozilla Foundation, past head of Thunderbird) suggested
in reference to our current campaign: "Did you consider fundraising in
order to build a feeling of belonging to the community & enabling
community first?  E.g., fundraise for a gathering of

Overall I agree that "community" is the viable approach. Yes we need to
paint a picture of Thunderbird moving forward, and how and why your
involvement with the community will help make that happen. But the
overall message is not "contribute and in one year you will have a new
address book", it is "Thunderbird is important to you and to the world,
and needs a community to prosper. Here we are, the Thunderbird
Community, working hard to do our part to sustain and improve
Thunderbird. Please join us by contributing".

At the Summit, we will have about 20 volunteers who contribute
significant amounts of time to making Thunderbird better. I believe that
we could use video of those people, as individuals, to connect with
users and encourage them to join the Thunderbird community.

Most existing Mozilla branding (see for example the video of faces on shows the Mozilla community
as a diverse group of smiling normal people, but with no personal
connection at all with the individuals. The difference in focus that I
want is to have each person describe themselves in 2-3 sentences,
including what they do for Thunderbird, and express a desire to join
with the viewer in community. I want the user to understand that
Thunderbird only exists because a community makes it happen, and the
active community really wants them to join in.

> I'm not sure what you are talking about with the pictures. What will
> they be of and what purpose will they serve?

In thinking about this more, it has also changed my view a little of the
pictures I was talking about. The main way that we will interact with
our users will be on the start page that appears when you first start
Thunderbird. That page appears when you first start Thunderbird, and in
a few other cases. The current page is  (in English.
Other languages have an older design like ) That page has
been unchanged for years, but we will temporarily take over that page
during the campaign. As we think about the video, we need to think about
how it will appear on that page. Although I think that we should do and
link a single 3 - 5 minute video with the entire message, I don't
believe that will be the best way for most users to interact with the
video. Instead, the page can contain several shorter videos that
describe various aspects of the campaign - each with separate play
links. There will also be a rotating video link that can shows a still
image (with link to play the video) of each of the community
contributors. This will include videos that did not appear in the main
3-5 minute video. That means that the individual pictures will be a
still frame from their video, and not a separate picture.


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