Firefox Marketing Project, Week 2

Thursday July 15th, 2004

Blake Ross writes: "Many thanks to everyone who participated in our first marketing project. As I write this, 1369 people have given Firefox a 96% approval rating, and 1220 people have rated it straight fives across the board. Firefox is now on the most popular list, above other heavyweights like MSN Messenger, AIM, and Winamp. This was an amazing launch to our 'ten weeks, ten ideas, ten million downloads' community marketing campaign.

"For our second initiative, we're stepping it up a bit and asking you to help us manage the enormous volume of press coverage that our products enjoy daily. We're seeking to mobilize a team of determined individuals that can manage itself in identifying three types of press coverage — factually inaccurate stories, stories that don't mention Firefox or Thunderbird but should, and stories that are factually correct and balanced — and respond to them accordingly. A new mailing list will be used to coordinate daily activity; the team will be determined, focused, easily mobilized and not prone to the sort of long and aimless discussions that plague other lists. The Foundation's in-house press relations team will continue to handle the 'tier 1', most prominent stories, but for everything else we need your help. More information about the initiative and how you can help is available at my blog."

#11 Re: Quit your whiny bitching

by Gnu

Friday July 16th, 2004 6:03 AM

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It's happened more than once -- both here, on Blake's blog, and certainly elsewhere -- that anyone with any reasonable objection to the campaign is accused of "bitching" and "trolling". I'm certainly the last person to have any blanket objections to getting the Firefox name out there, but while I agree with this marketing gesture in spirit, it just seemed like an extremely counter-productive method.

The point I tried to make with _my_ objection was, in a nutshell, this: like many other people who are occasionally forced to find information about software at, I typically see an unusually high number of votes or an atypically high score as suspect. Someone pointed out that such an effort would serve to balance out the usual inequities at the site, but it's only served to encourage them further, as seen by the unpleasant side-effect of those who chose to slight competing products in the process (regardless of what was asked of them, it was bound to happen). It's fairly common knowledge that the imbalance in's system is generally perpetuated by representatives of corporate entities attempting to artificially skew the rankings. Even though these efforts for Firebird are, on the surface, an innocent attempt at honest grassroots evangelism, it could quite possibly give the same perceived effect.