Mozilla is shutting down its Ideas platform and creating Mozilla Connect instead
Remember [email protected]? The service was launched by Mozilla in mid-2021 to improve communication between the organization and the Firefox community. Firefox users could publish ideas on how to improve the Firefox web browser on the platform and everyone who is using the platform may comment on those ideas and may vote on them.
Ideas used the Crowdicity platform and users needed to create an account on the platform for interaction purposes.
Mozilla is sending out emails to users of its platform currently in which it informs them that it is shutting down Ideas; this is not the end of it all though, as Mozilla is working on creating Mozilla Connect, which will serve similar purposes. Mozilla Connect will be a community site that allows users and Mozilla employees to share ideas, provided feedback and interact with each other.
The email highlights several of the advantages of Mozilla Connect over Ideas:
- Firefox account is supported.
- Improved labeling system that helps everyone find posts quickly.
- "Clearly defined areas" for ideas, feedback and discussions.
- More participation by Mozilla employees.
Ideas content will be reviewed by Mozilla before the content is archived and personal data is deleted. The email does not make it clear whether Ideas content is migrated to the new platform or if Mozilla Connect is started from scratch. Mozilla did not include a date for the shutdown or the launch of Mozilla Connect in the email, but it promised that existing users will be informed about the launch first.
Ideas sounded like a great idea when it was launched. Firefox users had finally an option to suggest new features or changes to Mozilla, and the organization would get feedback directly from the pulse of its userbase. Unfortunately, Ideas suffered from a lack of participation from Mozilla employees and also from users. In July 2021, I wrote about this here on the site mentioning that no new ideas were published for a period of three weeks as they were all held in moderation.
Starting from scratch with Mozilla Connect may improve the interaction and the platform as a whole, but it sounds as if no user data migration is going to happen. All existing ideas will be lost in that case, and while Mozilla mentioned that it will look at them all, it is going to take a lot of convincing to get users to start from scratch on the new platform. The promise, that Mozilla employees will interact on the platform, is the same one that Mozilla made when it launched the Ideas platform. Only time will tell if interaction will improve on the new platform.
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