The Mozilla Foundation which brought us the Firefox browser in addition to the fairly new orange feed icon, shown to the right and discussed previously on Somewhat Frank, has decided to create guidelines for the use of the feed icon. Apparently, Mozilla had the browser Opera sign an agreement prior to using the orange icon. Frank Hecker, the executive director of the nonprofit Mozilla Foundation, commented extensively on the usage of the feed icon in a post on his blog saying:
“We propose that the feed icon be freely available for general use in connection with web feeds using open web syndication formats, without the need to enter into a trademark license agreement (or similar arrangement), and that these guidelines not be legally binding.”
The post goes on to specify how the icon should and should not be used. I understand what Frank and the Mozilla folks are trying to do and I think it is important to have some guidelines to help ensure that the icon is not used in ways that could dilute or confuse people. However, I hope that this strong statement does not turn people to create yet another standard syndication icon to add to our collection of orange feed icons thus further confusing the average online user - since they are probably not paying attention to Mozilla’s guidelines or which feed icon is the current “cool” standard.