Sunday, July 02, 2006
Vigorously Disagreeing to Agree


I'm a tad confused, which isn't an uncommon state for me. Both Blake Ross and Dave Winer seem to be vigorously agreeing on the same topic.

What I heard from Blake was that Firefox - and the Spread Firefox campaign - was very early on focused on users. They focused on designing Firefox with your dentist in mind, not so much your fellow mashup enthusiast. I was really really confused last week when I learned more about Blake and saw that his Firefox book was part of the "Dummies..." series. What? Dummies? Surely O'Reilly or Addison-Wesley or a well respected A-list geek publisher would fall over themselves to get Blake's book. But after his presentation, I connected my own dots in this space: it's part of his strategy to humanize acceptance of Firefox (vs. dorky O'Reilly Firefox titles like, oh, "Don't click on that thar Blue 'E for Evil' E! Chomp!").

Oh, speaking of the glorious Blue E (requires QuickTime): Firefox Flicks Wheee! Sigh. I laughed. I frowned. Blake noted that while fun, "Whee!" certainly didn't do anything to spread Firefox adoption.

So, I think at this point, perhaps the best thing to say is, "Ah, we disagree to agree," or such.

I've been reading Dave since the days his DaveNet was on HotWired (now 404'd?) and respect his open passion and his tenacious tendency to be right a lot more often than I am. He has something he wants to see from the Firefox leadership - a roadmap and an assurance of non-abandonment - information which I'm sure is already dispersed out on the web and simply needs to be rolled up as perhaps a quarterly vision statement. It's not a bad idea. And this desire of Dave's is going to start spreading more through the New Web world, especially given the Dave-echo chamber effect. I'm sure all the vision is there between the 2.0 release notes and the blogs; however, a simple Reader's Digest version is good to help clearly state and focus the intent. Especially for my dentist. Not that I want him to switch to Firefox.

And this is all good messaging to the Internet Explorer team: what is the roadmap going forward? How is IE's future relevant both to the techie-enthusiasts of the world and to the dentists and grandparents of the world? Why should they care? What can you do to win Dave back? How can you engage the New Web community - both developers and users - and rapidly out-ship and out deliver and out-fantastic Firefox?

The playing field will be leveled with IE7 and Firefox 2.0. Next?


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