The Tar Pit

Sunday, January 30, 2005

Helping Hugh Hewitt blog better... with Firefox

I was listening to Hugh Hewitt on his nationally syndicated radio show this week, and happened to hear him complain about popup windows while he was surfing the internet. He said he'd had a "tech guy" out to service his computer a number of times, and that he didn't care about spyware or any of that, he just wanted the popups to go away. Then Hugh boldly predicted that the market would take care of this problem because there was a demand for an end to popups and money was to be made for anyone who could satisfy that demand.

Now, before you laugh (and I admit that I did), understand that Hugh is the author of BLOG: Understanding the Information Reformation, a seminal work on the revolution in political discourse caused by poliblogs, and how the captive mainstream "legacy media" is eroding in the face of that revolution. So, Hugh's a pretty bright guy on some subjects and internet savvy, but even he will admit that he's technologically challenged.

So, after I got done laughing -- because as many know, anyone who dislikes popups has been able to thwart them for a few years now with several different browsers -- I called Hugh's show to give him a bit of good news: the market had already solved the popup problem that was bugging him, as well as the bigger spyware problem that wasn't. After I correctly guessed (like it was that hard) that Hugh was using Internet Explorer, I told him that if he would lose Microsoft's legacy browser and get Firefox, his popup problems would be gone.

I didn't get into Firefox's undeniable superiority against spyware, or the life enhancing bliss of tabbed browsing, I just reached out to Hugh on the level where he was currently stranded. And probably still is.

So Hugh, this thread's for you. You can't really stay on top of the Information Reformation without understanding the browser revolution that's taking place even as you read this. Since it's release on November 9th, Firefox has had over Twenty One Million Downloads. Internet Explorer's market share dropped over 5% in that time and will soon drop under 90% forever. Firefox's market share is in an accelerated growth phase, especially as more savvy netizens who spend a lot of time surfing make the switch.

I've been using a great service called StatCounter for the past couple of weeks. One of the stats I can get is the browser share of the visitors to The Tar Pit. I haven't been methodic in tracking it, but I've yet to see IE hit 90% use by my visitors. In fact it rarely gets 80%. Here's a pie chart for my last 100 visitiors:

That's right, 34% for Firefox and only 52% for Internet Explorer.

Why is Firefox important for blogs? Bloggers do a lot of browsing, and tabbed browsers that are resistant to spyware and popups make your internet experience better, plain and simple. BTW, for anyone who's interested, here's the StatCounter privacy policy.

Check out the blog of the Lead Engineer for Firefox, Ben Goodger.

Over here you can join the Blogs for Firefox Blogroll

What are you waiting for? Get Firefox.