Under the Firefox symbol on one of the two pages in the double-spread ad taken by The Mozilla Foundation in The New York Times yesterday, 10,000 donors - if they had a magnifying glass, anyway - were able to read their names. The names filled an entire page and gave a very clear indication of the groundswell of support for the Firefox browser. The timing of the ad was entirely deliberate: as of this week, there have been 11 million downloads of Firefox so far.
It's a thing of beauty: a two-page "advocacy ad" in The New York Times featuring, among other things like quotes from satisfied Firefox users, all 10,000 names of those who donated to The Mozilla Foundation so that it could take a NYT ad that it hopes will take it from its present 11 million downloads to perhaps as many as 20 million.
The names were in tiny print, (literally) beneath the simple Firefox message:
"Are you fed up with your web browser? You're not alone. We want you to know that there is an alternative."
The Mozilla Foundation, which describes iteslef as a non-profit organization "dedicated to preserving choice and promoting innovation on the Internet," placed the ad in the December 16th edition of the New York Times not only to feature the names of the thousands of people worldwide who contributed to the Mozilla Foundation's fundraising campaign to support last month's highly successful launch of the open source Mozilla Firefox 1.0 Web browser but also, naturally, to try and swell the Firefox user base still further.
Spread Firefox, the volunteer-run Mozilla advocacy site, with over 50,000 registered members, continues its community marketing activities are organized to raise awareness and to promote the adoption of Firefox. But yesterday's New York Times ad is expected to give a massive and immediate boost.
The design and development of the New York Times ad was led by Christopher Messina, a San Francisco-based designer and a volunteer leader at Spread Firefox.
The Moxilla Foundation itself is based in Mountain View, California and - in the words of its spokesperson Colin Crook - is "the heir to the legacy and tradition of the Internet's first widely used browser, Netscape."
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