Most Firefox users don’t know how the company pays its bills. The majority of its income — about $100 million annually — is from Google, who pays Mozilla for using Google by default in the stock homepage and built-in search box. But the term of that deal just ended, and apparently nobody from either Mozilla or Google will confirm whether it has been renewed.
In response to this financial uncertainty, Mozilla have launched a campaign to shore up grassroots donations. Like Arment, I’m a bit saddened by the direction of Firefox. There have been too many meaningless releases with no sense of forward progress. But I’ve never been able to bring myself to switch to anything else. In large part because of its thriving plugin community, I haven’t found satisfactory replacements for Firebug or Greasemonkey in other browsers. So I’m sticking with team Mozilla.
Here are a couple videos about Mozilla’s origins that you should watch:
And then go donate!
Douglas Rushkoff is hosting a virtual round table with danah boyd, Nicholas Carr, Clay Shirky, RU Sirius and a bunch of other smart folks. It’s a chaotic mix of academic hyperbole and hastily typed rhetoric, but somehow it keeps me checking in for new entries. You may find that subscribing to the RSS feed is an easier way to read this since new content doesn’t always appear at the bottom. The first part is mostly about Nicholas Carr arguing with everyone else about whether groups can collectively “have an idea.” Carr says they can’t:
I think one of the reasons we’re having trouble discussing the way brilliant new ideas emerge from “networked ‘mass’ groups” is because that phenomenon doesn’t happen. The ideas for Wikipedia and Linux, to take, once again, the obvious examples, came from individuals, not from the groups that subsequently formed to bring the ideas to fruition. As Eric Raymond, the author of “The Cathedral and the Bazaar,” once wrote in an email to me, “The individual wizard is where successful bazaar projects generally start.”