Firefox Web Browser Advocates to Buy Full-Page Ad in the New York Times

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Volunteers organize worldÂ?s largest community marketing campaign for open source software; full-page ad will recognize, by name, thousands of contributors who support the upcoming Mozilla Firefox 1.0 product launch.

– A group of community volunteers today launched a drive to purchase a full-page advertisement in The New York Times. The effort, endorsed by the Mozilla Foundation, will celebrate the launch of Firefox 1.0 – the Mozilla Foundation’s innovative new web browser – and include the names of thousands of small-donor contributors who will support product launch activities.

The advertisement is one component of a larger community marketing campaign, dubbed “Spread Firefox.” The campaign is the world’s largest community marketing effort ever undertaken for open source software.

The original idea for the ad campaign as well as all of the research, development and design has been done by volunteers.

In just four weeks, the SpreadFirefox.com site has swelled to coordinate the community marketing activities of close to 25,000 registered users. The site’s first goal of one million downloads of the most recent pre-release version of Firefox was surpassed within three days. To date, more than 5 million copies of the latest version of the open source web browser have been downloaded in just over one month.

“Since introducing Firefox 0.8 last February, we have seen a tremendous surge of grassroots interest to support the Firefox web browser,” said Bart Decrem, a spokesperson for the Mozilla project. “The Firefox 1.0 launch will be a celebration – both for a great new open source product and for the large open source community who made it happen.”

The New York Times ad will run following Firefox 1.0’s widespread availability this fall.

COMMUNITY MARKETING

Historically, open source software marketing has been carried out by large organizations that offer complementary software and services. The Firefox 1.0 community marketing campaign is the first time the open source community has embraced national advocacy tactics to celebrate the launch of a new product.

Community marketing is the distributed execution of numerous marketing or advocacy initiatives focused on a collective goal and emphasizing a common set of messages.

Leading up to the launch of Firefox 1.0, Mozilla Foundation staff have worked with community volunteers to organize numerous marketing-related initiatives including:

•    Downloading and installing millions of copies of the web browser.

•    Developing Firefox buttons for users to include on their home pages. To date more than 90,000 web sites feature Firefox promotional buttons

•    Contacting news and blog web sites to request donated banner ads.

•    Creating a media team to respond to omissions or inaccuracies in news stories.

•    Creating a referral system that has generated over 200,000 visits to GetFirefox.com.

“Through the Internet, people have become more aware of their power and capability to organize collective action. As consumers, people are increasingly demanding a reliable, highly customizable web browsing experience,” Decrem said. “We are on the cusp of a new chapter for open source – the community is growing from developing useful, secure software to advocating for it.”

GETTING FIREFOX

A preview release of Mozilla Firefox is available as a free download from http://www.getfirefox.com. Firefox is optimized for a wide range of operating systems, including Microsoft Windows, Mac OS X and Linux.

ABOUT SPREAD FIREFOX

Spread Firefox is the community marketing campaign of nearly 25,000 Firefox advocates worldwide. Community members can submit ideas and join volunteer teams by visiting http://www.spreadfirefox.com.

ABOUT THE MOZILLA FOUNDATION

The Mozilla Foundation is a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization with the mission to preserve choice and innovation on the internet. Established in July 2003 with support from America Online’s Netscape division, the Mozilla Foundation exists to provide organizational, legal, and financial support for a group of open source software projects. More information is available at http://www.mozilla.org.

Mozilla and the Mozilla logo are registered trademarks of the Mozilla Foundation. All other trademarks are the property of their respective owners.

Contact:

Bart Decrem

Mozilla Foundation

650-473-6581

bart@mozilla.org

Rob Davis

Haberman & Associates

612-338-3900

rob@habermaninc.com

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