UI mock-up - Account Setup

Ryan Sipes ryan at thunderbird.net
Wed May 1 19:06:12 UTC 2019


I'll try to lay out my logic for ensuring create a new account stays
prominent in setup and why I think it is important going forward:

1.) As laid out in the Council elections, there will likely be changes
that allow us to focus more on partnerships and other lines of revenue
beyond donations. I saw Ben's post about this being less than 1% in the
past. But I have some numbers that seem to indicate it is higher than that.

2.) Right now we don't sell the user on why they should use a provider,
and there are potential partners that have great features (that work
great with Thunderbird) which we could highlight if they are looking for
a new account. I think making a new account a compelling option would
allow us to get revenue from this and help move people off of providers
with a surveillance model of business (*cough* Gmail *cough*).

As Charles points out below, there are other potential services that
Thunderbird could be considering. As I laid out in election, under the
Foundation we can't really consider that. But we may be able to in the
future as we continue discussions around organizational changes for

I think we could move any discussion around this to another thread, but
to put a cap on the new account creation in Thunderbird - I would like
an opportunity to iterate on this in the product and make it a value add
by introducing users to BETTER providers than they might be using. Also,
based on the revenue gained from this last year - there are quite a few
folks who explore a new account.

Ryan Sipes
Community and Business Development Manager
Thunderbird <https://thunderbird.net>

On 5/1/19 11:23 AM, Tanstaafl wrote:
> Re-sending...
> On Tue Apr 30 2019 13:23:40 GMT-0400 (Eastern Standard Time),
> Alessandro Castellani <alessandro at thunderbird.net> wrote:
>> I implemented that secondary button as Ryan told me there are
>> potential partnerships happening with various email providers.
>> Offering a "spotlight" placement in TB is pretty important in order
>> to close profitable deals with email providers, opposed to something
>> like "We're gonna put a link on one of our web pages". We need a
>> stronger selling point.
> Makes sense, and I certainly agree we need a stronger selling point,
> and this looks like a great thread and opportunity to repost something
> I sent over a year ago to this list (didn't  get a single response
> then, maybe it will fare better this time around).
> So, here we go (I tweaked it a little)... and remember, this was
> written over a year ago...
> Think of this as something offered on the Account Creation
> dialog/wizard currently being discussed.
> ***
> In my opinion revenue generation is probably the single most important
> issue facing TB now, and I am very excited, surprised even, at Kent's
> report of current donation levels (even more so now, remember, this
> was originally written in February of last year), so I'll take this
> opportunity to put forward an idea (again) I had some time ago when
> these discussions first started (I sent it but it never made it to the
> list, not sure why). This would (in my opinion) generate substantially
> more revenue, because people would actually be getting something
> meaningful in return, and it would also help promote the Thunderbird
> Brand/Identity.
> Since Thunderbird will require its own infrastructure sooner or later,
> why not develop and provide something I'll call, for lack of a better
> term, a 'Thunderbird Hosted Communications Hub', providing a service
> available only to those who choose to become financial contributors.
> This would basically just consist of at least one thunderbird.net (or
> whatever cool Thunderbird oriented domain is chosen) email address,
> and hopefully/eventually some cool features showcasing Thunderbirds
> capabilities (see below). I would suggest 2 or 3 different levels, e.g.:
>   * One time smallish contributors get a 'Basic' account, one email
>     address (@thunderbird.net, or whatever other coolish Thunderbird
>     related domain you want), low storage (1GB?), no IMAP
>   * Large one time contributors get much more storage (100GB total?),
>     maybe additional multiple email addresses and IMAP access
>   * Supporters who opt to provide a certain level of recurring
>     donations get unlimited storage/email addresses and IMAP and Chat
>     support
> There is a lot of potential for new services to attract even more
> supporters:
>   * To really make this more compelling, I think it should offer
>     something unique, and I can't think of anything better than full
>     JMAP support, especially considering it is intended to both
>     replace IMAP, and by nature to be extensible. How about an
>     extension out of the box that allows you to Sync everything
>     (including your Profile/Settings) to a server that supports it
>     (does anyone remember that something similar was actually possible
>     using LDAP way back in t he Netscape days?)?
>   * How about a partnership with Timo and the Dovecot guys to provide
>     the IMAP/JMAP Server support? I know he is working on it
>   * And how about a partnership with the SOGo team to provide
>     Groupware (Contacts/Calendars) support?
>   * Sync capability (see my comment below for details)
>   * Opt-in offerings to help test new/beta features (like for the
>     hopefully upcoming JMAP support, that Dovecot is currently working on)
> There was more, but the only other part I would include in this email
> is this, that was in response to the question 'Where do you see
> Thunderbird in 10 years?':
> Pluggable Protocol Support - It should be easy to add - via an
> Addon/Extension and/or to the core code, support for:
>   * New/next-generation protocols like JMAP (replacing IMAP+SMTP, and
>     eventually Cal/CardDAV), and *eventually* (but not until existing
>     functionality + maybe JMAP support, is fully replaced and rock
>     solid) others like Text/Chat (Signal, WhatsApp, and/or even a
>     native Mozilla/Thunderbird one the service for which is provided
>     by the 'Thunderbird Communications Platform' referred to above
>     under my general comments)
>   * Pure server-side indexes like those provided by dovecot
>     eliminating the need for GLODA (for IMAP/JMAP users) and the heavy
>     (for some, unworkable) requirements - ie, must maintain a fully
>     local copy of all emails, making it less than useless for heavy
>     IMAP users with large mail stores
>   * Full support for Server-Side filters (Sieve)
>   * Support for managing Dovecot's Server Side Virtual Folders
>     (Virtual Folders everywhere, as opposed to Thunderbird's
>     local-only Virtual Folders (an excellent, but limited concept when
>     you use many different computers/systems to access your email)
>   * Native Sync capability(JSON?) for Contacts/Calendars for use with
>     the 'Thunderbird Communications Hub', or even your own server
>     (SFTP/WebDAV?) for security/privacy
>   * Modular HTML composer/renderer support
>       o instead of reinventing the wheel, just provide hooks to some
>         of the more popular existing HTML composers (TinyMCE, Quill,
>         etc) and web engines (Quantum, Blink, EdgeHTML(/Trident?),
>         Webkit), and make it easy to switch between them should the
>         need ever arise - or to even strip support for it (HTML
>         rendering for emails) out completely if desired, reducing
>         everything to plain text automatically (I know some people who
>         prefer Claws Mail for that one reason)
>   * I personally don't use newsgroups, but once the heavy lifting of
>     making things modular is done, support could be properly
>     implemented by anyone willing to do the work.
> Anyway, that's it. I hope you see something here of value. If not, no
> worries, I thank you for your time, and for everything you are doing
> for Thunderbird.
> Charles
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