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NYT Firefox Campaign Raises $250,000

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  • Congrats Firefox (Score:5, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Saturday October 30, 2004 @09:31AM (#10672083)
    And congrats and not being vulnerable to the latest IT URL spoofing flaw [netcraft.com]. That one's so easy even a kid can do it.
    • by turnstyle (588788) on Saturday October 30, 2004 @09:33AM (#10672101) Homepage
      But the NYT site uses popups! Won't Firefox block 'em? ;)
    • You can spoof the URL using onmouseover in any browser, what is the big deal?
    • Re:Congrats Firefox (Score:3, Informative)

      by antifoidulus (807088)
      Oddly enough(ok so I'm bored), in the ancient Mac version of IE, that exploit doesn't work.....
    • And congrats and not being vulnerable to the latest IT URL spoofing flaw. That one's so easy even a kid can do it.

      Doesn't work in my IE 6 under Windows XP SP2.

      The address bar says "http://www.google.com/" just like Firefox.
      • Ah, later down in the article it says it only affects XP that hasn't installed SP2... Yet another reason to do that, I suppose. :-P You're crazy if you haven't (and even if you have you're still using a huge hacker target to an OS). If you can't for some reason, you should use a different OS.
        • Why? What does SP2 offer me? I already have AV. I already run a firewall (non MS). I already run Spybot S&D, AdAware SE. I don't use IE, I use Opera. I don't use OE, I use Eudora. I don't use MSN Messenger, I use Trillian.

          So what is SP2 going to give me except likely headaches?
      • It does not work in other versions either.

        This bug only means you see http://www.microsoft.com/ in the status bar while hovering over that link, but as soon as you click it the address bar will show the real location you are visiting.

        So it is useless for phishing. It is just a bug, not a security problem.
    • Open two tabs.
      In one tab open a url, and wait for it to load.
      Then open another URL that you know will take a while to load ,firefox displayes the url you've just typed in the address bar.

      Switch to the other tab and back again.
      Firefox now displays the url of the old page in the address bar.

      Way to go, maybe try mistyping the url in a blank tab, switch to another tab, switch back... wow it's blank, cheers for blanking out my typo firefox.

    • by NtroP (649992)
      Sonofabitch. I just checked the Netcraft report out in Safari and the spoof worked!

      I can't find anyone mentioning it anywhere. What's the best procedure to report this?

  • by isolationism (782170) on Saturday October 30, 2004 @09:32AM (#10672097) Homepage
    Not that New York is the only place on earth I'd want to advertise FireFox; I've been signing it from the mountaintops for months now and haven't looked back. Are there any further marketing plans by the Mozilla group to spread the good word? Aside: I'm a little disappointed in myself for not having remembered to contribute. Oops. Guess it's T-Shirt time ...
    • by revery (456516) * <charles@cLISPac2.net minus language> on Saturday October 30, 2004 @09:43AM (#10672162) Homepage
      I've been signing it from the mountaintops for months now and haven't looked back.

      Julie Andrews uses Firefox?!?!


      How do you solve a problem like Mozilla?
    • by tommck (69750)
      The New York Times is probably the most widely distributed newspaper in the world!

      It's not just advertising in New York, Jeez!

      Kids these days!
      • I've never seen a copy of the New York Times where I live - in England.

        I've seen the International Herald Tribune and USA Today, as well as lots of British and European papers.
    • by slaad (589282)
      Not that New York is the only place on earth I'd want to advertise FireFox

      The NY Times sees national distribution. It's one of the most read papers in the country. I know that someplace on spreadfirefox.com there is a faq that explains this and also mentions that they they may advertise in other areas (ie europe) in the future as well, and I'd love to link to it but it seems to have been hit by the slashdot effect already... :) And you're right, you can still contribute. They probably raised a lot more

    • I think the point is that they aren't necessarily aiming only for NY.

      They are doing this in a way that it might be picked up by other mainstream media as news about what is happening in New York.

      Take this thread for instance. It is of course preaching to the choir, but the actual news article could have been carried by CNN.
    • I think the Globe and Mail and the Nominal Pest would go far for spreading it in Canada. Perhaps the Guardian in the UK would be a good option as well.

  • Other side of coin. (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Saturday October 30, 2004 @09:35AM (#10672112)
    ""The Firefox full-page NYT ad campaign finished off today with an impressive $250,000 over 10 days. Impressive to say the least, and it goes to show just how much momentum Firefox has.""

    Or just how badly we want to get rid of IE.
    • ""The Firefox full-page NYT ad campaign finished off today with an impressive $250,000 over 10 days. Impressive to say the least, and it goes to show just how much momentum Firefox has.""

      Or just how badly we want to get rid of IE.

      Or how much extra money that geeks in NYC have lying around.
  • Hehe (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Saturday October 30, 2004 @09:36AM (#10672120)
    An individual contribution of $30 will get your name included in the ad ($10 student rate).

    The problem with $250,000 is that the ad might be 99% names, and 1% content.
    • Oh, no problem. (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward on Saturday October 30, 2004 @10:05AM (#10672288)
      The 99% name list is the content. It sends a clear message.
    • Re:Hehe (Score:4, Informative)

      by De Lemming (227104) on Saturday October 30, 2004 @02:52PM (#10674277) Homepage
      From the FAQ [spreadfirefox.com]:

      How many names will fit in the ad?

      A single full-length column of a newspaper has a few thousand words. Rest assured, we've done our homework. We will be able to accommodate several thousand names in a readable font size and still provide a very attractive and compelling advertisement. We have already mocked up some designs, and we will solicit input from the community about them in the coming weeks.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday October 30, 2004 @09:36AM (#10672124)
    On the guy that came up with the idea [redherring.com], Rob Davis.
  • FeedTheLizard.com (Score:2, Interesting)

    by exnuke (734919)
    Anyone interest in a similar campaign for Mozilla? I'll donate FeedTheLizard.com and FeedTheLizard.org to the cause.
    • Mozilla is dead...Long live Mozilla.
    • by invisik (227250) * on Saturday October 30, 2004 @10:24AM (#10672423) Homepage
      They don't seem to care about Mozilla anymore, for some reason. It's not set to be phased out, that I know of. I went to their site to download some web advertisment buttons and all they had is FireFox Now!--no Mozilla related ones. So I e-mailed them and said I have trouble recommending FireFox at this point because it's not release quality and people I konw need the whole suite, so do they have a Mozilla button? They said no, and hoped I could recommend FireFox when it goes 1.0.

      I realize they are building (or re-building) the calendar and e-mail clients seperately, but they have a completely production-worthy product right now that they don't seem to care much for.

      I just don't get it.

      • Re:FeedTheLizard.com (Score:3, Informative)

        by el-spectre (668104)
        Mozilla _IS_ set to ba phased out, by Firefox, Thunderbird, etc.

        The original plan was for Phoenix (at the time) to be an internal/testing name, with the gold product being called Mozilla 2. Firefox has good press now, so they're sticking with the name.
      • by jonbryce (703250) on Saturday October 30, 2004 @01:24PM (#10673703) Homepage
        In terms of branding, Firefox is a much stronger name than Mozilla.

        I've heard lots of non-techy people say that they have heard of this thing called Firefox. Some of them have even tried it, and are pretty impressed with what they saw.

        Mention Mozilla to these same people, and they won't know what you are talking about.

        There may even be a case for putting Thunderbird, Sunbird and Nvu under the Firefox brand.
      • by Arctech (538041) on Saturday October 30, 2004 @03:49PM (#10674615) Journal
        My understanding is they're pushing Firefox/Thunderbird (and perhaps Sunbird eventually) because they want to move away from the complex all-in-one swiss-army knife of a browser. Firefox's UI is much more simple and streamlined than Mozilla's, so it's naturally going to be the horse they're going to back when they advertise to Joe User. The separate application approach also makes more sense in terms of development and debugging. When you have 5 different applications under one roof and bugs start cropping up, weeding problems out becomes a much more complex task.

        Now from what I understand, the Mozilla suite won't be entirely phased out. if you look at the roadmap [mozilla.org] it states they will continue to update and support the Mozilla browser suite (codenamed Seamonkey). They understand they still have Mozilla customers, and they're not going to leave them out in the cold.

        But in terms of attracting and maintaining a new mainstream userbase, they know Firefox is a better solution in the long run.
  • by smartin (942) on Saturday October 30, 2004 @09:36AM (#10672128)
    That kind of money could be better used to finance developement.
  • by sl8r (104278) on Saturday October 30, 2004 @09:37AM (#10672133)
    A mention of the spreadfirefox website on popular website slashdot.org brought new woes to the spreadfirefox team:

    "We completely went over our bandwidth for this month, and I was just served with a bill over $250'000 for this month's bandwidth usage!!" ;)
  • by Tracer_Bullet82 (766262) on Saturday October 30, 2004 @09:39AM (#10672138)
    to get /. to show correctly in firefox.
  • by jlrowe (69115) on Saturday October 30, 2004 @09:39AM (#10672139)
    The average user thinks the IE *is* the internet.
    The key point then Is to educate the user that the browser is not the internet, but just software that accesses the web. And that Firefox is better at doing that and protecting them from intrusion.
  • by helfen (791121) on Saturday October 30, 2004 @09:41AM (#10672151)
    Notice that they were preparing for about 2,500 donors in 10 days at first. And at the end of the 10th day we have a donors from over 80 countries. Quite amazing.
  • by Lisandro (799651) on Saturday October 30, 2004 @09:48AM (#10672188)
    I see it among non tech-savy people. I have friends coming and asking me if i've tried it; in the cybercafe i work it's installed on every PC and something like 7 out of 10 clients choose it over IE.

    I'm very happy to see this. I still like Opera better, but Firefox is a terrific browser. And the price is right.
    • by Fnkmaster (89084) * on Saturday October 30, 2004 @04:03PM (#10674696)
      Yes, I'm happy too, but a bit apprehensive. The Mozillazine Firefox forums, which used to be a friendly place for new users to get support and to visit and help others occasionally, but generally a great resource for learning about FF/Mozilla, have become a massive troll and flamefest. Annoying people come by to say how they tried Firefox and it didn't have Java or Flash out of the box or couldn't view their favorite ActiveX site, and thus they are going back to IE. Then they rant about how nasty the Firefox forum people are and THAT'S why they're going back to IE.

      It's really become quite awful. Everybody was generally friendly and collegial there a while back, because it was the early adopter crowd. Now all these people, who are either the most nasty trolls I've ever seen, or just the most obnoxious human beings imaginable have ruined it. And as a result, when somebody says something like "I don't like this part of Firefox" they are likely to start a flamewar. I am saddened by this. I'm sure there's still useful discussion elsewhere, but I'm beginning to think having that "Firefox Support" link right in the toolbar is not such a great idea. I wouldn't want people to go to that forum and see the nastiness going on there and judge a fabulous browser and otherwise excellent community by it.

      Dealing with TRUE mass market desktop applications is something the Open Source community is just now broaching. Several million installs of a piece of software that is probably the most commonly used thing on somebody's desktop - that's getting seriously mainstream. And mainstream means dealing with mainstream idiocy, infantile children, illiterate adults, and all the other annoying people in between. I'm not saying we shouldn't care about user friendliness, on the contrary, I'm saying that it's hard to maintain user friendliness supported by the community when the community stops being a bunch of tech-saavy hackers and starts being a bunch of idjits.

      • Dealing with TRUE mass market desktop applications is something the Open Source community is just now broaching. Several million installs of a piece of software that is probably the most commonly used thing on somebody's desktop - that's getting seriously mainstream. And mainstream means dealing with mainstream idiocy, infantile children, illiterate adults, and all the other annoying people in between. I'm not saying we shouldn't care about user friendliness, on the contrary, I'm saying that it's hard to ma
      • Gee, sounds a lot like Slashdot. See my three-digit uid? I've been here almost since Slashdot began. It was nice back then. Everyone was pretty nice. The occasional disagreement broke out, but all-in-all it was a pretty good discussion. Since then it's grown. The trolls have become downright professional. The flames are pretty vicious. Everyone's on a hair-trigger to jump out and defend any slight against their favourite OS, distribution, browser, MTA, MUA, or whatever. I don't know about everyone, but a l

  • This Is Serious (Score:5, Insightful)

    by blueZhift (652272) on Saturday October 30, 2004 @09:49AM (#10672198) Homepage Journal
    Congrats to Firefox on the $250K! This is the stuff that sends ripples through the market and makes the CEOs stop and take notice. You don't just raise a quarter million dollars in less than two weeks unless you have something seriously good, or illegal!;-) Anyone in the browser or browser add-on business is going to have to take notice of this because it is real. Browser stats from various web sites are nice, and so are download stats. But at the end of the day, money talks louder than all of that, and $250K is some pretty loud speech!
  • by Poro (14468) <<if.iki> <ta> <niaitrut>> on Saturday October 30, 2004 @09:49AM (#10672200) Homepage
    The next logical step is to make a TV ad. A switch ad with Ellen Feiss, this time switching from IE to Firefox. And looking as stoned as always.

    "I was surfing in the net. And then, like, bleep bleep bleep bleep bleep! And then, like, half of the web page was gone. And I was, like, Huh?"

    • For those that forgot who she is, the original Ellen Feiss fansite, EllenFeiss.net [ellenfeiss.net] details her story. Disclaimer: I know the guy who made that site.

      In related news, I think it would be worthwhile for Firefox to advertise in the Wall Street Journal or the Economist as well, just because those two publications are read by decision makers in companies. Unfortunately, TV ads will run quite a bit more, but why not a SuperBowl ad? It's not until February. My guess is that it's probably a waste of money. If I we
  • Why NYT? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by BobGregg (89162) on Saturday October 30, 2004 @10:03AM (#10672273) Homepage
    I still say they should've bought the ad in USA Today instead. NYT has limited average-Joe distribution. USA Today is sold in all the cheesy work cafeterias where America's IT workers take their morning coffee. It's in every 7-11 (well, those in the States anyway) where the non-IT workers take *their* morning coffee. What the blazes is a NYT ad going to do, other than waste precious money?
    • Re:Why NYT? (Score:5, Insightful)

      by KublaiKhan (522918) on Saturday October 30, 2004 @10:09AM (#10672311) Homepage Journal
      All the CEOs and CFOs and other people with impressive titles read the New York Times.
      Said people have the "final word" on workplace policy or some such.
      If enough of these corporate types know about Firefox, and it gets into their thick skulls [ for corporate executives are among the stupidest people, technology wise, that I know of ] that it's a Good Thing, then said executives may pass down an Order from On High relating to it.
    • Re:Why NYT? (Score:3, Interesting)

      by BenFranske (646563)
      Get to CxO's.
    • Re:Why NYT? (Score:5, Interesting)

      by tinla (120858) on Saturday October 30, 2004 @10:58AM (#10672682) Homepage Journal

      Because the NYT is the famous one. You (and most other people) seem to have missed half the point - they haven't even bought an ad yet and they're getting huge press coverage. The advert is going to generate 'x' new users. The press coverage about the advert being bought will generate 'y' new users. I suggest 'y > x'.

      Is marketing really so hard for geeks to understand? The buying of the advert in the NYT is a story in its own right. The manner of the advert's funding and the advert being in the most highbrow and famous of news papers is what makes it worth talking about.
  • And I'm wondering if it's still possible to send in a donation?
  • "While it's an unusual situation in advertising to have a special interest group endorse rather than criticize a product, it's not unheard of," said Toby Usnik, director of public relations for the New York Times.

    Sounds kinda like a certain political race taking place at this very moment.
  • by yonatanh (815045) on Saturday October 30, 2004 @10:19AM (#10672387)
    Yeah, just yesterday my sister asked me why I don't have the internet on my computer I replied to her by blatantly asking, "What the fuck are you talking about?" Of course her reply was where did that Internet Explorer icon go. Just to show you how IE is dominating the damn browser market, people don't even know there is other software that can be used to visit websites (other than AOL users).
  • by _aa_ (63092) <j AT uaau DOT ws> on Saturday October 30, 2004 @10:26AM (#10672436) Homepage Journal
    In my opinion, this is money that should be awarded to developers, and used to further the project. I'm glad that people love firefox so much, but did apache ever buy an ad in the NYT? Apache is the most popular web server in the world by all estimates. They never had to launch a massive media campaign, because they were simply the best product. That's the way firefox should be.

    Also, Microsoft is going to see this as a direct threat. They have far more access to media (MSNBC anyone?) than mozilla ever will. If they were to launch a counter-campaign, which is exactly what they're being baited into to doing, they could scare a lot of people away from firefox, and all open source projects.

    The money should be given to the developers who go relativly un-rewarded, and to foster the development of mozilla.
    • by The Analog Kid (565327) on Saturday October 30, 2004 @10:32AM (#10672473)
      Apache also isn't run by Joe Average people who have a desktop from Dell or HP or Gateway. It's run by IT people who I would think are a little more into computers than Grandma down the street.
    • by BenjyD (316700) on Saturday October 30, 2004 @10:39AM (#10672527)
      But isn't the main drawback to Firefox at present that it isn't IE? It doesn't support a minority of sites that are IE-specific: by establishing Firefox as a serious competitor with a (say) 20% market share, web developers will be forced to code to the W3 standards and support Firefox. They can't just assume 99% IE and just ignore the few geeks that complain.

      That improves the "compatibility" of Firefox without changing a line of code.
    • by horza (87255) on Saturday October 30, 2004 @10:55AM (#10672662) Homepage
      bogie made the point above, "What good is all the development money in the world if nobody ever hears about your product?".

      Your average user doesn't install Apache or IIS. Apache never had to break into the server market, it had a foothold at the start and grew rapidly as it matured at the same time as the market expanded. Even if someone created a new OS server it would be less of a hard sell as sys admins are a small select group who are paid to monitor these kind of developments.

      If Microsoft see it as a threat... good. It may push them to fix their bloated and buggy browser. As for launching a counter-campaign against OS software... where have you been living the last couple of years? It's been in full swing for a while.

      Much as a techie may want to pretend it doesn't exist, marketing is important for any product. So far it's been done by word of mouth. Raising its profile via the press, either by reviews or paid ads, it a good thing.

      Finally, giving the money to the developers would be fraud. The donations were made specifically for the purpose of the ad. There is nothing to stop you doing your own fund-raising drive for the developers if you like.

      • by _aa_ (63092) <j AT uaau DOT ws> on Saturday October 30, 2004 @12:08PM (#10673189) Homepage Journal
        You're right that the money cannot be simply given to the developers as many people donated specifically to have their name associated with this ad. However according to the faq, there is room for some of the money raised beyond the cost of the ad to goto their PR firm, other firefox launch related costs, and then possibly to developers.

        Marketing is important when your goal is to profit. In fact it's crucial. But the goal [mozilla.org] of the mozilla foundation is not to profit. That's best left to Netscape.

        If your goal is to encourage people to use firefox, then microsoft fixing their browser is about the worst thing that can happen. It would encourage everyone you spent tens of thousands of dollars converting to firefox to switch back. Quickly you decend into a marketing battle, which mozilla simply does not had the funds to fight.

        And I am certainly aware of microsoft's campaigns against linux and apache. To my knowledge they have not targeted firefox or mozilla specifically. In my opinion, an ad campaign would make firefox a target.

        bogie's quote seems to be speaking from the perspective of someone who's goal is to make money. Mozilla doesn't have any investors they need to answer to, they are next expected to turn a profit (in fact they are forbidden from turning a profit). If firefox has 10,000 users, or 10,000,000 users, mozilla is still a non-profit organization. Mozilla's mandate is not to take down microsoft, and I think that that mentality is actually counter productive to the cause. It's in the public's interest to have a diverse browser market. Competition does spawn innovation.

        Don't expect microsoft to embrace competition anytime soon. Even though mozilla is not mandated to encourage competition, I would hope that they would respect that goal. A marketing campaign blasting their competitor is not in the public's interest, development and innovation is.
    • "In my opinion, this is money that should be awarded to developers, and used to further the project."

      Well if it's your money, and you want it to go to developers, then you can give it to the mozilla donations page, rather than the spreadfirefox page.

      But at least some small part of that $250K is my money. So you don't really get a say in how it's spent because I asked for it to be used in the newspaper advert ;-)

      Personally, [less offtopic?] I find that computers without firefox on are more annoying to me
  • Setting a goal (Score:4, Insightful)

    by XNormal (8617) on Saturday October 30, 2004 @11:26AM (#10672860) Homepage
    Rob Davis is a marketer. He knows the importance of setting an exciting, simple, clearly-defined goal "Get a pull page ad on the NYT".

    It's the kind of detail that makes the difference between "yeah, that's cool" and "I'll give some money NOW".

    Open source needs more people like that. More ideas like that.
  • by kiddailey (165202) on Saturday October 30, 2004 @11:27AM (#10672868) Homepage

    A full page ad containing "Congrats on reaching version 1!" followed by a list of obscure names of geeks who donated will unfortunately have little or no impact with typical home users who are inexperienced or couldn't care less.

    How many of these individuals can even tell you what version of the AOL InterWeb they are using now? Ask my mom which browser she uses and she'll say "MSN."

    Personally, I'd rather see that money spent on an advertising campaign that communicates WHY people should use the browser in lieu of IE in very non-technical terms. Granted, 250g's won't get you much high-profile advertising, but it could still be used effectively.

    Hopefully, this one ad isn't all the Spread Firefox group has planned.
  • by coconutstudio (446679) on Saturday October 30, 2004 @11:38AM (#10672941) Homepage
    What impression will the readers have on the ad? Most don't even know what Firefox is. Instead of bunch of names of donors, I would like to have seen a clear message to the rest of the world and even to Microsoft, that IE is the reason for many problems in computers today. "Use Firefox, not IE. Avoid Spyware and Malware. Browse with Confidence, Open-Source is the future of technology", etc... We don't want to look like bunch of radicals or left-wing activists.

    zeia award [zeia.net]

  • by timothy (36799) on Saturday October 30, 2004 @01:57PM (#10673925) Homepage Journal
    Oh, sure, Microsoft could (under a suitably bizarre set of circumstances) devote a full-page ad to promotion / defense / apology of Internet Explorer, but basically don't have much reason to. (In short, it's not a money maker.)

    However, that's not what I mean: what I'm saying is that Microsoft's users ("customers") and developers ("employees") don't love IE. They're not going to donate money to an advertising fund for IE simply because they think it's so good that everyone with a computer ought to at least consider it.

    Now, you could say that Microsoft's customers are donating money, in part, to an advertising fund for MS and getting some "free gifts" in appreciation -- like spyware, viruses, Internet explorer ... and just like the local public broadcasting station, it seems like MS doesn't like to get just one donation.


  • by amemily (462019) on Saturday October 30, 2004 @02:48PM (#10674250)
    ...I don't see Firefox making any large-scale penetration onto the corporate networks unless you can manage it with Group Policies.

Never buy what you do not want because it is cheap; it will be dear to you. -- Thomas Jefferson