Snowballing

Mayan Corp.

Since I wrote yesterday about Chick Fil-A and Mozilla, there have been some other good takes on the topic.

JD Bentley comes out burning bridges and guns blazing in Mozilla FireEich. He writes,

Today, in a fit of rage and righteousness, I dragged Firefox to the trash can icon in my Dock and let go forever.

Boom. There it went. One browser among many now being dumped into the waste paper basket. Now Firefox is not a paid project. But they do make the majority of their money from the Google bar. That means they need people to be using it to make money. So each deleted browser is a couple of pennies plinking to the ground.

One man’s stand against Mozilla won’t ruin them. But given enough people…

If Eich remains CEO, people may be forced to consider an opposing view, however articulately and delicately laid out, as something other than outright bigotry and madness. That’s wholly unacceptable. If an individual’s viewpoint is clearly–clearly!–on the wrong side of history, it ought to be discounted and buried immediately. And Mozilla ought to be the one doing it. I’m not in need of a philosopher, a priest, or a politician. I need only my web browser.

Web browsers are plentiful and not hard to get. Switching it a trivial task. So trivial many people may not. But enough may move on to hurt their bottom line even just a little.

OK Cupid front page on Firefox
OK Cupid front page on Firefox

Joe Steel pointed out something interesting. Visit OK Cupid from Chrome or Safari and Internet Explorer you’ll be greeted by a woman asking you to sign up. Now visit from Firefox.

I agree with him when he writes,

This increases the conversation, but it can really antagonize people by getting in the way of what they are doing. That doesn’t really put someone in the mood to be receptive.

A for intent, D for execution.

It’s good to bring attention to an issue, but getting in the way of your users isn’t always the best way to do it. Intent is good. Execution may be lacking somewhat. And despite other reports, you can still access the site from Firefox. You need to scroll below the message first.

Joe raises a couple of excellent points. First, “For historical reference, B.E. never said anything about same-sex marriage until his donation was outed in the published donations that followed Prop 8’s passage.” He never spoke out against it. He put his money where his beliefs were. And again, there is nothing wrong with that. But when it become public, there will be consequences for that action.

At the end of the day, this will all go away as the Internet Outrage Machine finds some new cause to champion. Joe continues,

Unfortunately, just as before, this conversation will soon fizzle and he’ll keep being exactly how he is, and probably maintain his position as CEO for a decent chunk of time.

And he’s probably right. Unless there is another chapter or Mozilla feels threatened enough to act. Like Joe, I think Eich is standing on the wrong side of history. And while we are slowly moving towards the eventuality, as recent history is showing.

We are moving forward. Things are getting better. I could have not said it better, so I’ll borrow Joe’s words.

These seismic spikes in conversation slowly move public perception of these issues. Much like tectonic plates creep along, and then shudder, violently. Something changes, people react with big, bombastic conversations about it, and then it dies back down.

Derek Powazek, who wrote a wonderful post on How To Apologize Online. I’ll end the same way this all started, with a tweet.