Thursday, April 10, 2008

Firefox: Like Going To College

Downloading Firefox is like going to college according to Seth:

(h/t proactivebusybody)

A quick glimpse at just about any profession shows you that the vast majority of people who succeed professionally also went to college.

This could be because college teaches you a lot.

Or it could be because the kind of person that puts the effort into getting into and completing college is also the kind of person who succeeds at other things.

Firefox is similar.

Example: 25% of the visitors we track at Squidoo use Firefox, which is not surprising. But 50% of the people who actually build pages on the site are Firefox users. Twice as many.

This is true of bloggers, of Twitter users, of Flickr users... everywhere you look, if someone is using Firefox, they're way more likely to be using other power tools online. The reasoning: In order to use Firefox, you need to be confident enough to download and use a browser that wasn't the default when you first turned on your computer.

That's an empowering thing to do. It isolates you as a different kind of web user.

If I ran Firefox, I'd be hard at work promoting extensions and power tools (I love the search add-ons) and all manner of online interactions. Think of all the things colleges do to amplify the original choice of their students and to increase their impact as alumni.

And if I ran your site, I'd treat Firefox visitors as a totally different group of people than everyone else. They're a self-selected group of clickers and sneezers and power users.

In the lingo of Nancy Reagan, Firefox is a gateway drug.

I'm not sure about all the correllations brought up here, but I will say that Firefox, along with Linux, has been the gateway to the most recent open-source revolutions. Sure, one can point to other things, but Firefox in particular has replaced IE and done so paradigmatically.