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Saturday, September 18, 2004

Spread Firefox is Down!

After 3 days of heavy workload, the spreadfirefox.com server is finally down. The following notice is put on the front page of the site:

72 hours later: The world is on fire

"There's a window of opportunity for Mozilla to gain significant market share," BusinessWeek reports ... The Wall Street Journal recommends that users switch to Firefox, because it's more secure, modern and advanced ... c|net reports that 18% of its users are now coming to the site using open source web browsers ...

There's a meme infecting the Internet: Firefox is taking back the web. And you are our vanguard in this new movement.

It's been an astonishing and sleepless 72 hours since we released Firefox Preview Release. Thanks to your impressive efforts, nearly 790,000 people have downloaded Firefox in 3 days, bringing us within arm's length of our 1 million goal with a week to go! Over 5,000 people like yourself have joined Spread Firefox already and are poised to take back the web by storm. Over at c|net, Firefox enjoys the highest site rating possible and a staggering 92% approval rating. In the past three months alone, Firefox has gained close to 2% of browser marketshare—the first increase for non-IE browsers in eight years.

With numbers like these, it's getting harder to ignore Firefox—and indeed, the browser is making its way into some very elite circles. Walt Mossberg, the Wall Street Journal columnist that Newsweek called "the most powerful arbiter of consumer tastes in the computer world," told over one million WSJ readers yesterday to dump Internet Explorer and get Firefox. Robert Scoble, renowned Microsoft evangelist, now sports a shiny new Firefox button on his weblog. And Firefox enjoyed 24-hour coverage on the very front page of Google News.

Spread Firefox is enjoying some coverage of its own. It was featured on cable television as part of G4TechTv's Firefox Throwdown campaign. The site is now first in our roll call with over 16,000 referrals in 3 days! Other big name affiliates include Broadband Reports and WordPress, both of whom have been amazingly generous in spreading the word among their expansive clientele. A number of news sites, such as c|net, also wrote dedicated sfx stories. But before all this popularity could go to our head, it went to our servers—and they are struggling. Please bear with us through outages and slowdowns as we work to manage the load; we hope to have the download counter updating more frequently when we get our site functioning better under this massive load.

We would particularly like to recognize a fiction writer named Kevin Karpenske. Kevin recently gave us his previous domain name, Firefox.com, for our use in promoting Firefox. And you might notice something familiar on his new site: four prominent Firefox buttons, linked to an sfx affiliate account. Thanks, Kevin!

We have some incredible things in store for you all over the coming weeks and months, and the sfx team is getting together today to discuss how and when we want to roll them out. Here's a sneak peek of some of the things you can expect in the near future:

  • A chance to put your filming and digital video editing skills to good use.
  • Enhanced promotion of the ten individuals and companies that are making our roll call—and some prizes.
  • The birth of nearly a dozen marketing teams that will collaborate using sfx-provided tools and infrastructure to accomplish some very specific and some very critical jobs.
  • An expansion of our affiliate points system, as well as the meaning of these points. You'll earn points for joining the aforementioned teams, points for donating, points for promoting Firefox in your signature file—points for just about anything you can think of that gets Firefox in the hands of another person.
  • A sneak peak at some of the things we've been creating behind the scenes for the past few months—being a member of this community has its rewards. You're gonna love our new posters aimed at college students.
  • A community rating system for sfx blogs. The top rated blog will be promoted to the front page of sfx at regular intervals, and runners-up will enjoy prime placement in our "Featured" section on the right-hand side.
  • ...and we're unveiling plans for the largest Firefox promotion we've ever undertaken, but we're going to need your help.

But first the Mozilla sysadmins and Daryl are pulling out their toolkit and performing surgery on our server so we can provide you with a more reliable experience here.

Blake, on behalf of the sfx team

Edited: The site is back and the full article can be found here.


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