Mozilla makes the popular browser Firefox but the organization has a whole lot of other projects as well. The Mozilla Labs website has long been a tangle of different projects that were hard to find and hard to keep track of. Today, Mozilla Labs announced that it has launched a new version of its site that better organizes its many experiments and lets users “follow” particular projects of interest to them. The new site is at beta.mozillalabs.com and users there can sing up to follow updates on projects, people and events.
The new beta Labs site is powered by the same social network technology as Mozilla’s innovators’ social network Drumbeat. Drumbeat seems relatively well adopted, but at launch the new Labs site is sparse, incomplete and a little challenging to use. Hopefully the new site will help more Labs projects get more consumer engagement, more developer support and thus lead to more innovation for web users.
As New Zealander Nat Torkington wrote two years ago when the tussle between Mozilla and Google’s Chrome was fresh,
“Mozilla Labs is building quite the assemblage of interesting hack tools, and it’s interesting how significantly they’re aimed at the developer and encouraging lots of add-ons and after-market extensions for the browser. I wonder whether this is a deliberate strategy (‘community will beat off Chrome!’) or whether it’s a simple consequence of the fact that Mozilla is a developer organisation.”
So far, Mozilla’s developer-friendly tools haven’t really helped it avoid substantial user attrition to Chrome, but perhaps steps like today’s new Beta Labs site can increase user engagement. Perhaps.