Is true democracy happening now, on the web, and succeeding (no, Wikipedia does not count)

2009/12/21 at 16:48 Leave a comment

Firefox 3.5: The World’s Most Popular Browser

Firefox 3.5 is now the most popular browser worldwide, edging past Internet Explorer 7, according to analytics site StatCounter.

The timing has favored FF3.5, however: IE7 usage has died off as people upgrade to IE8, meaning that Internet Explorer’smarket share is currently spread equally across IE7 and IE8. Add together all versions of IE versus all versions of Firefox, and Microsoft’s browser is still leading the pack by a long way.

Nonetheless, the trend lines favor Firefox in the long run: IE’s market share continues its slow decline while Firefox has sustained steady growth.

One very interesting angle to this development is that Firefox, a product of the Mozilla open source group, is truly a people’s product- developed by, and with, input from various programmers who wanted to seize their browsing destiny from the mega conglomerates with the EURO billion R&D budgets and built it collaboratively and over time.
Wikipedia is a similar collaboration, but is not as pure- the content is often self-serving, and is only as good as the sources who post information- the reliability and knowledge of whom is always in doubt.  By definition, Wikipedia is a cross- cultural “democratic” project.  One we all heavily rely on, but its formula for success is also its achilles heel, especially as content curation (big buzz word for 2010) becomes more the norm and web content is held more and more to the standards of print media that it intends to replace.
Firefox is a gateway- its creators and contributors have their own agendas, but its function largely frees it from the bias and agendas that may bring down or “taint” other web phenomena.
Without budgets or campaigns, through word of mouth only, Firefox has passed Safari (which is backed by one of the worlds best branding and marketing machines) and if current trends continue, it will pass IE as the browser of choice.  The thing about grass roots marketing is that its success is the purest and most accurate to measure against ROI (or any other metric).  If it didn’t work, people wouldn’t use it, rave about it, and influence their friends and colleagues to do the same.

The understatement of the millenia would be to say that the web has changed everything, and leveled so many playing fields.  The success of Mozilla and Firefox, more than anything else out there right now, might indicate how and in what ways going forward.

Will traditional media (read: Apple and Microsoft, ha! what an indication of that massive change) be able to respond?  Will they throw money and campaigns and marketing gurus at the challenge, or will they change their models- working more closely with the net’s “everyman” programmers and creators?

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Entry filed under: apps, click through, culture, democracy, digital, equity, Firefox, IE7, IE8, intellectual property, linkedin, marketing, metrics, trending, web, wikipedia.

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