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Mozilla The Internet The Almighty Buck

Firefox Seeks Full Page Ad in New York Times 753

Posted by CmdrTaco
from the well-thats-something-i-guess dept.
blakeross writes "Join us over at Spread Firefox as we raise funds for the most ambitious launch campaign in open source history. A portion of each donation will go towards taking out a full-page ad in the New York Times celebrating the release. All donors will be listed in the ad, the signatories of a declaration of independence from a monopolized and stagnant web."
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Firefox Seeks Full Page Ad in New York Times

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  • Slashdot not Adage? (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Lord_Dweomer (648696) on Tuesday October 19, 2004 @09:58AM (#10565134) Homepage
    Hmmm.....for a second here I thought I was reading AdAge.

    For a webpage with a lot of members who hate advertising, it sure is interesting to see how many stories about advertising we have and how many slashvertisements we get.

    • by bersl2 (689221)
      Yes, it's advertising.

      However, seeing as many /.ers surely would give a small portion of their income to the Mozilla Foundation, I think we make an exception for this and call it legit news too.
  • Watch out! (Score:4, Funny)

    by Paster Of Muppets (787158) on Tuesday October 19, 2004 @09:58AM (#10565139)
    Just make sure they don't have the ad opposite a full-page Microsoft one...
  • Sheesh... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by grub (11606) <slashdot@grub.net> on Tuesday October 19, 2004 @09:58AM (#10565141) Homepage Journal

    the signatories of a declaration of independence from a monopolized and stagnant web

    That type of hyperbole does nothing to help spread free software. I certainly hope the print-ad doesn't lower itself to these levels.
    • Re:Sheesh... (Score:5, Insightful)

      by PReDiToR (687141) on Tuesday October 19, 2004 @10:08AM (#10565309) Homepage Journal
      All the Ad needs is a "Take back the web" picture and some writing underneath saying "Safer and faster than Internet Explorer" then the URL.

      Screw the politics, stick to the facts.
      • Re:Sheesh... (Score:3, Interesting)

        by Ford Prefect (8777)
        All the Ad needs is a "Take back the web" picture and some writing underneath saying "Safer and faster than Internet Explorer" then the URL.

        Nah. Needs to be a bit more imaginative. how about...

        Thousands of razor-sharp, spring-loaded mini-adverts for various dubious services which ping out across the room, closely followed by a blast of various virus-laden particles ranging from the common cold to herpes and smallpox. Oh, and a leaking colostomy bag too, for good measure.

        Then, as the reader curses and t
  • #186 (Score:3, Funny)

    by bblazer (757395) * on Tuesday October 19, 2004 @09:58AM (#10565142) Homepage Journal
    Just made my donation...#186 according to the receipt. I think that this is going to be a great way to get out the message of browser alternatives. You can put in whatever name you want to be listed. I wonder how many times Bill Gates is going to show up?
    • Re:#186 (Score:3, Informative)

      by heytal (173090)
      from the FAQ:

      # Can I put any text in the ad or just my name?

      All submissions will be personally reviewed. The intent of the ad is to show the strong support Firefox has among the grassroots technology community, so we are only allowing the verifiable names of individuals in the ad. Individual, verifiable names only. Company names, URLs and false names will be removed.
  • Disguising it as a news story? Oh, wait... Ooops, never mind...
  • math... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by DeusExMalex (776652) on Tuesday October 19, 2004 @10:00AM (#10565168)
    so, a full-page add with the names of all the donors. how do they expect to have anything on that page but people's names? maybe that's what they have in mind, but i would hope for something a little better than

    "...all these people use firefox! switch!"

    nonetheless, it should be interesting to see...

  • by Portigui (651730) * on Tuesday October 19, 2004 @10:00AM (#10565174)
    The poster mentioned that a "portion" of each donation will go towards taking out the add. This made me curious as to what the rest of the donation was going towards and I found this in the FAQ.
    This effort will fund not just the full-page ad, but also a large portion of other launch-related expenses and thus make an important contribution to the Mozilla Foundation's bottom line.
    I also thought it would have been interesting to see a mock-up of what they are intending to submit.
  • What is the cost? (Score:4, Interesting)

    by earthstar (748263) on Tuesday October 19, 2004 @10:01AM (#10565182) Journal
    just how much does it cost for a full page Ad in Ny times..

    How abt other papers?

  • Great work! (Score:4, Insightful)

    by SiegeTank (582725) on Tuesday October 19, 2004 @10:01AM (#10565183)
    Hopefully this will boost the popularity of the browser enough to break the 10% browser share mark proper. Congrats to all the donors - this is great work!
  • How much? (Score:4, Funny)

    by JordanArendt (164158) on Tuesday October 19, 2004 @10:01AM (#10565199) Homepage
    A portion of the contribution? Exactly how much of my contribution will go towards the ad? Why not all? Call me cynical, but this sounds like a pretty good way to make some money.

    1. post story on /. about O/S browser needing help.
    2. use 10% of donations towards ad.
    3. PROFIT!!!
    • Re:How much? (Score:5, Informative)

      by roj3 (179124) on Tuesday October 19, 2004 @10:41AM (#10565774) Homepage
      The Mozilla Foundation is a NON PROFIT organization. 501(c)3.

      The campaign is a fundraiser for the launch of Firefox 1.0. Look.. for $30 you get your name in the New York Times -- the first ever full page ad for Firefox.
  • Wow nice incenvitve. (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Penguinoflight (517245) on Tuesday October 19, 2004 @10:02AM (#10565212) Homepage Journal
    If I lived in NY I would definatly go for this. Instead of getting a $15 t-shirt this kind of endorsemnt is more unique, and seems like a great way to send the message that Firefox has arrived.

    This ad won't be run until Firefox 1.0 is complete, I hope.
    • The NYT is read pretty much all over the free world.
    • by Fnkmaster (89084) * on Tuesday October 19, 2004 @10:49AM (#10565876)
      As the other reply hints, this has nothing to do with New York. The New York Times is the traditional place where large scale annoucement-advertisements are made by American companies because of the size of its readership (large), the composition of its readership (mostly well-educated, upper middle-class, etc.), and the location of its readership (everywhere in the US and around the world). Furthermore, because of its general position of respect in the world of journalism, the New York Times is considered a thought-leading paper in many respects.


      And other serious journalists? They often read the New York Times too.


      As for the question of how to design and present this ad, and whether Firefox is ready for this ad, I am less certain. I love Firefox, but it still misrenders my favorite Internet time-suck, Slashdot. This is a pretty major and obvious rendering bug, and the stubborn-ass Mozilla people seem to think that this or it's dependencies shouldn't be listed as an Aviary-1.0 blocker. Utterly inconceivable - and yes, that word does mean what I think it means. How can I recommend a browser to my friends, family, and now the entire Western world that I still find annoying to use on a daily basis and whose drivers refuse to acknowledge a critical 1.0 bug?


      Furthermore, what is this shit about putting everybody's name in the NY Times? Nobody wants to see an ad with a thousand names across the bottom. If you want to put names on it, put some names and quotes that will at least sound like they have credibility to the generally-intelligent-but-non-technical-elite audience. This sounds like an ego exercise instead of a real advertising campaign. I don't want MY name on a tiny corner of a full page ad, I'd rather just have an acknowledgement somewhere on the Mozilla.org webpage thanking me for supporting their launch. Furthermore, if I am helping finance this launch, I want to see what I'm buying. Show me the money... err.. the ad copy, and I'll consider helping to fund it. I sure hope if you are going to put this much money into it, you did actually get somebody who understands how to design impactful print ads for this audience to design it, right? Right?

  • Is Firefox ready? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Dan East (318230) on Tuesday October 19, 2004 @10:03AM (#10565220) Homepage Journal
    Firefox will only get a single shot with most users. If they download Firefox and have any problems with it at all they will go back to IE and never consider Firefox again.

    Firefox is still gaining ground against IE. It may be better to wait a little longer and let Firefox muture a bit more before trying to convert the general masses with this type of advertising campaign.

    Dan East
    • Re:Is Firefox ready? (Score:5, Interesting)

      by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday October 19, 2004 @10:09AM (#10565330)
      If they download Firefox and have any problems with it at all they will go back to IE and never consider Firefox again.

      why? Almost ALL people have problems with windows constantly, yet they do not switch to a Mac and never consider Microsoft again...

      you overestimate people.
    • Re:Is Firefox ready? (Score:3, Informative)

      by Gudlyf (544445)
      One of the biggest problems I can see normal MIE users getting frustrated with is the lack of automatic support for the neato buttons on the Microsoft Natural Keyboard [microsoft.com] line. Some buttons work, others simply do not (or at least not without the tweaking a casual web user cares to mess with). Of course, we all know that's not Firefox's fault really, but normal users of MIE don't care who's fault it is -- it worked automatically in MIE, and it doesn't in Firefox. Buh-bye Firefox. :-(
    • Firefox will only get a single shot with most users. If they download Firefox and have any problems with it at all they will go back to IE and never consider Firefox again.

      That's correct, but if we don't try to change that, it'll remain like that forever. If more people are aware of Firefox and actually using it for their daily webbrowising experience, it'll lead to more open-standards complient pages and more awareness of what open-standards mean: no single vendor is able to lock you into their prop

    • Re:Is Firefox ready? (Score:5, Interesting)

      by _Sprocket_ (42527) on Tuesday October 19, 2004 @10:51AM (#10565899)


      Firefox will only get a single shot with most users. If they download Firefox and have any problems with it at all they will go back to IE and never consider Firefox again.


      Nothing is ever completely ready. If you want to wait for absolute perfection, you'll never make it in to the world.

      Furthermore, technology doesn't have to be 100% to become widely adopted. If you look through the relatively short history of IT alone, you'll find plenty of examples where something not quite perfected became widely adopted and examples of elegant technologies never gaining a foothold.

      The questions Firefox advocates have to ponder is if Firefox is Good Enough and is IE (not to MS bash, but that's the competition) market / mind share showing cracks. I believe the answer to both is 'yes'. YMMV.


      Firefox is still gaining ground against IE. It may be better to wait a little longer and let Firefox muture a bit more before trying to convert the general masses with this type of advertising campaign.


      Experience is subjective. But I'm seeing Firefox more often these days. My household uses Firefox when they would refuse to fire up the old Mozilla even after I installed it. I see Firefox on more and more desktops... even those who are fairly strong Microsoft fans. And I've over-heard conversations among non-techies where Firefox was recommended several times.

      None of this is earth-shattering. And it doesn't eliminate the bugs and issues facing Firefox. But it does show an adoption rate that I just didn't see with the old Mozilla. And that implies that Firefox is getting something right that neither Mozilla or IE did or does.

      Firefox has a chance to take it's shot right now. It might be a risk. But there are indications that the time is right. And if it doesn't take its shot now, when it has its chance and standards are still mostly open and adhered to, it may not have that chance in the future.
    • by tentimestwenty (693290) on Tuesday October 19, 2004 @11:16AM (#10566209)
      I downloaded the latest Firefox version for OS X but it just doesn't cut it for me. I use Safari and I love the minimalist interface. Even the way Tabs are presented in Safari is perfectly thought out. Firefox is slowing gaining ground in the interface department but it's still too 1997. It has a few extra features but I don't have a pressing need for any of them. I also don't see any speed advantages. I wish them luck against IE for Windows world, but Safari already won that battle on OS X.
  • by ites (600337) on Tuesday October 19, 2004 @10:03AM (#10565237) Journal
    In this case, the grass roots are doing the marketing...

    It's quite ironic, actually incredibly ironic, that a process that is almost entirely driven by word of mouth would aim for promotion using above the line advertising.

    Personally, and this is just an opinion, I reckon that money would be better spent on wining and dining journalists and trying to get Firefox on the cover of Times Magazine.

    Or, alternatively, try to get Firefox banned for violating obscenity laws. That is usually excellent for publicity.

    But a full-page advert? Seems kind of boring.
    • by lpangelrob2 (721920) on Tuesday October 19, 2004 @10:40AM (#10565761) Journal
      Or, alternatively, try to get Firefox banned for violating obscenity laws...

      Something about an officially branded Firefox Stripper... Oooh! We could market it in Playboy! For porn! And we can show people's favorite porn pages! Without popups!

      (That was meant to be funny, but now it's starting to look kinda legitimate... :-)

  • by dreadfire (781564) on Tuesday October 19, 2004 @10:04AM (#10565244) Homepage
    This is a great move by Mozilla. Here are a few reasons.. 1. A good majority of people only know of Internet Explorer. They find it easy to use, and don't really have any problems with it. 2. What most of the people don't know is that there are major problems with security, and given that a lot of people do use it for bills online, shopping, etc. 3. The current stream of IE issues have made people more aware that they need to switch something more secure, but they really don't know what to switch to. 4. Wahla! They have Firefox, a credible, easy to use, and most importantly secure web browser that is starting up the browser wars all over again. With the ad, Firefox is going to get much more needed publicity and help changing a lot of things in HTML and the browser wars.
  • Slashdotted (Score:4, Informative)

    by Lehk228 (705449) on Tuesday October 19, 2004 @10:07AM (#10565290) Journal
    Will you be a part of the open source legacy?

    NY Times Ad CampaignLet's mark the launch of Firefox 1.0 with a community marketing campaign that will take the buzz around Firefox to the next level: the first-ever, full-page advertisement in a major daily newspaper created and paid for by the open source community.

    Here is how it works:

    * The full-page ad will include the names of everyone who supports the campaign along with a message about the benefits/features of Firefox.
    * The campaign will act as a fundraiser to support all Firefox 1.0 launch activities, not just the ad itself.
    * An individual contribution of $30 will get your name included in the ad ($10 student rate).
    * Special recognition -- Community Champion -- will be given to people who enlist 10 of their friends in this campaign. (These folks have a shot at having their name in the lower half of the ad.)
    * There are also two packages available for businesses to participate.
    * If you have a Spread Firefox account, you will receive 100 sfx points per name slot that you purchase or refer.
    * The goal: sign up 2500 names!
    * More questions? Check the FAQ.
    * Ready? Click the newspaper on the upper right to join in!

    We (sfx members and Firefox users) will only ever have one Firefox 1.0 launch -- this is it! Let's take the world by storm.

    PS: The buzz about this campaign is already starting. Check out the story on eWeek!

    PS2: Thanks to everyone who's uploaded images showing how you're spreading the fire. Keep those images coming!
  • by Sc00ter (99550) on Tuesday October 19, 2004 @10:08AM (#10565310) Homepage
    How many people are going to look at that and go "why would I use this Firefox 1.0 when I have Internet Explorer* 6

    * - replace Internet Explorer with "the internet" for most users.

  • by WindBourne (631190) on Tuesday October 19, 2004 @10:09AM (#10565323) Journal
    that is read heavy by the business community.
  • by revery (456516) * <charles.cac2@net> on Tuesday October 19, 2004 @10:09AM (#10565324) Homepage
    Why is a list of names good marketing for Firefox?

    I can just see it now...

    Firefox browser 1.0 released
    Mario "Lightfingers" Frazetti
    Dane "the Gimp" Rostenkowski
    Michael "Code Monkey" Miller
    Peter "Frodo" Fry

    etc...
  • by Nutria (679911) on Tuesday October 19, 2004 @10:09AM (#10565335)
    Hmmm.

    What's the big deal about Firefox? It uses just as much RAM as the Mozilla browser does.

    Debian (which I use) has shown that the Mozilla browser, mail, chat & composer can be broken into separate packages. That's what the big deal about FF is supposed to be.

    The things that I really like about Mozilla are:
    • The Google "Search Bar" is the same as the nice, wide address bar, whereas the FF Search Bar is tiny.
    • The Mozilla View->"Text Zoom" is much more granular than FF.


    If FF used significantly less RAM than Mozilla, I'd put up with it's deficiencies, though.
  • by xutopia (469129) on Tuesday October 19, 2004 @10:14AM (#10565417) Homepage
    When will slashdot have standard compliant XHTML/CSS code?
    • by ricotest (807136) on Tuesday October 19, 2004 @11:06AM (#10566100)
      When someone gets around to writing it.

      By which I mean someone outside of Slashdot, as they don't care enough to do it themselves.

      I've heard of 2-3 different projects to turn it into CSS, and I know that Slashdot is "working with" one in particular. You should see some results soon, but remember:
      • Changing every single page on the site to CSS takes a lot of work
      • The layout needs to be tested on multiple browsers, which takes a lot of time (and work)
      I'm looking forward to it, though. It'll be even easier to change the colour scheme of the IT section with a Firefox userContent.css, and should take a lot less effort to render. Mobile phone and print versions will be easier to produce, too.
  • Why the Times? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by vandelais (164490) on Tuesday October 19, 2004 @10:18AM (#10565459)
    Why not USA TODAY? If the purpose of the ad is to spread awareness AND educate-USA today or the Wall Street Journal would be a better choice. Not to get into an argument about the political leanings of the paper, the Times readership tends to be more informed and better educated about this topic.
  • by BenJeremy (181303) on Tuesday October 19, 2004 @10:22AM (#10565510)
    Since we all think he's the most evil thing since Sauron ruled the Middle Earth, we all do understand what a bad idea it is to take out a full page ad to tell Microsoft, by name, who their enemies are, right?
  • by Neuracnu Coyote (11764) on Tuesday October 19, 2004 @10:22AM (#10565522) Homepage Journal
    If you are considering donating to this cause and haven't yet given money to the good people at the Electronic Frontier Foundation [eff.org], you could probably use a good priority realignment.
  • by DrSkwid (118965) on Tuesday October 19, 2004 @10:27AM (#10565596) Homepage Journal
    The web was a declaration of independence from a monopolized and stagnant print media.
  • by Quixote (154172) on Tuesday October 19, 2004 @10:28AM (#10565607) Homepage Journal
    Better idea: get a stoned chick to ask people to "switch" [apple.com]... that'll appeal to more people ;-)
  • by spoonyfork (23307) <spoonyfork@gmailRASP.com minus berry> on Tuesday October 19, 2004 @10:50AM (#10565889) Journal
    Mozilla would get further by paying the Dells of the world to put Firefox on their PCs as the default browser.
  • by sepluv (641107) <blakesley AT gmail DOT com> on Tuesday October 19, 2004 @10:53AM (#10565938)
    I have been a fan of Firefox since before 0.1 and just bought $80 of stuff from the Mozilla Store, but I do not like the way the Mozilla Foundation is going.

    Personally, I think if they better integrated themselves with the FOSS community and started using traditional FOSS methods (as well as enocuranging the FOSS community to spread the word), this would help their marketing a lot better than an ad in the NYT. I do not object to the ad of itself--it may be a good idea--but it is an example of the way MF are thinking--specifically thinking ("monopoly"..."stagnant"...) about abusing their power over what is a brilliant piece of software.

    >>in open source history<< (from story)

    The *real* *question* is whether Firefox is free or open-source? My real objection is the attempts of people at MF to make Firefox neither (i.e.: proprietary). The whole thing about making the name and artwork proprietary a while back was not so bad (although it certainly led people to question MF's morality), as it was easy to remove references to "Firefox" or "Mozilla" and all the relevant artwork (but it still means that official builds are not free and do not follow DFSG).

    The latest proposal <https://bugzilla.mozilla.org/attachment.cgi?id=15 6302&action=view> by the powers that be is that Firefox 1.0 be distrubuted under what they call an "end user license agreement" that disallows modification or distribution, and that restricts what you can use Firefox for--similar to the terms of Microsoft's software. If this happens, I will not be using Firefox in the future. It might even be argued that developers of Mozilla's software should have taken head of warnings about the NPL and MPL by FSF et al. This is an example of why copyleft is superior to less-restrictive licenses (especially ones that put less restrictions on certain organisations as special cases).
  • by Junks Jerzey (54586) on Tuesday October 19, 2004 @01:08PM (#10567461)
    I like and use Firefox. But to be perfectly honest, it isn't the huge leap over IE that people want it to be. The achievement has been in getting something to run as well as IE, which is monstrously difficult in itself (one of the very first times an open source group has equalled commercial software in terms of user experience).

    The primary benefits of Firefox are:

    1. Security. You don't get spyware and such. You can also get the same result if you disable ActiveX controls and other features in IE, but most people don't do this. If Microsoft changed the defaults--which they won't because many sites depend on them--then IE would be on part with FF.

    2. Tabbed browsing. This is a fairly small interface feature, though a very useful one. If Microsoft added it to IE--and they undoubtedly will, because it's easy to do--then there goes the biggest visible difference.

    I realize that FF has other nice features (and I fully agree with people who cite them, because, again, I like and use FF), but those are the biggies. And the big negative feature is simply this: Sites that rely on ActiveX controls don't work under FF. Yes, I know, security, blah, blah, blah, but most people only see the "not working" part.
  • by stephanruby (542433) on Wednesday October 20, 2004 @12:33AM (#10572903)
    Why invest in a newspaper ad when we could reach our audience through cheap popup ads?

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