Tactic #1: Master Firefox!

Image representing Seth Godin as depicted in C...
Image via CrunchBase

First, what’s this nonsense about ‘Tightening your Tribe’? Well, it’s a reference to Seth Godin’s social media masterpiece ‘Tribes‘. As I read the book, I really enjoyed the strategic discussion but found any reference to practical, tactical tools was missing. I therefore decided to create a series of posts on tools that could possibly accompany the book. This is the first post — there are 9 more. I hope you enjoy them all!

Just in time for the first major entry in my series ‘Top 10 Tactics and Tools for Tightening your Tribe’, Google was kind enough to do a short video on the topic of browsers…

They even launched a new site called What Browser? for people who are unclear on the concept. The truth is there are dozens, maybe hundreds, of different browsers you can use to view content on the internet, but most people never venture beyond the familiarity of Internet Explorer. Personally, I go back and forth between the 5 browsers [Internet Explorer, Firefox, Flock, Chrome and Safari] I have installed on my computer and many times I have multiple browsers open at the same time because not only is it possible, but also desirable, to use a certain browser for a specific task.

I have joked before that Firefox is my wife and Chrome is my mistress, but my wife does not think that analogy is very funny. Maybe it’s better said that Firefox is my workhorse and Chrome is my show pony. In either case, I do most of my work in Firefox, although I am using Chrome more and more — especially with web-based Google products. So why do I love Firefox so much? Let me break it down for you…

You may have heard the old business maxim that goes ‘Good, fast and cheap — now pick any two’. In other words, you can have it good and fast, but it won’t be cheap. Well, Firefox is good, fast AND cheap without compromise. Perhaps that’s the reason why an amalgam of independent sources now report that Firefox has a 26.08% market share. Firefox has it’s roots in the old Netscape browser and for 15 years now they have been steadily improving their quality and performance. That, combined with dissatisfaction and legal concerns about Microsoft business practices, have helped open the minds of millions of computer users around the world.

To me, the biggest contributing factor to Firefox’s ‘goodness’ is the fact that Firefox has an extensible architecture. There are thousands of add-ons [small bits of code — mini-applications if you will] that allow a user to customized their browsing experience by extending the functionality of Firefox, something that Microsoft did not adopt until much later. These add-ons are quite popular — in fact, there have been over 1.6 BILLION add-on downloads from the Firefox add-on library. I have a stable of about two dozen add-ons that perform a wide variety of functions for me — most of them are related to making blogging and social media tasks easier. They include names like the Google Toolbar, ScribeFire, Shareaholic to list a few of my favorites.

Another part of it’s ‘goodness’ comes from the it’s security.

“Firefox is not perfect software, but its vulnerabilities are fixed in a considerably shorter amount of time. Many new users are curious – is Mozilla Firefox safe? Updates are released immediately, not on a monthly schedule, and clock in at fewer than 10 MB. Users are notified automatically and prompted to install the update with a single click. The update process doesn’t take more than a minute on a modern computer.” Source: 6 Reasons Why Mozilla Firefox Is Safe Compared To Internet Explorer

The rest of the article is worth a read if you’d like to go to the source.

The second biggest reason why I use Firefox is speed — Firefox is just faster than Internet Explorer. My IE installation has a V8 Benchmark Suite result of 55.4/100 while Firefox has a score of 238 against the reference system of 100. That’s 420% faster! Finally, Firefox is free [as are most or all of the add-ons] and always will be! You can get your own copy at http://getfirefox.com

If I like Chrome so much, why isn’t it my primary browser? Well, while Chrome is ‘good, fast, and cheap’ it’s not easily extensible at the moment so Firefox will continue to be my workhorse until Google decides they want to kill Firefox, but it will be a long time before that happens and a lot of productivity to be gained by using Firefox as my primary browser for the time being. Questions? Feedback? Leave a comment or use the contact page…

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4 thoughts on “Tactic #1: Master Firefox!

  1. Great article Todd! I was a life-long IE user until that one day when I downloaded, installed and subsequently just about pulled my hair out as a result of IE8… It was an absolute PIG on my pc and I responded by promising myself I would never go back!!! The same day I downloaded & installed Firefox, along with about a dozen add-ons and plug-ins. I NEVER looked back and have personally experienced a very similar result regarding performance. AND, it rarely crashes and burns; like IE did on a regular basis. You can customize Firefox till the cows come home to really get that personalized ‘look & feel’, functionality and productivity. It’s simply hot as ‘fire’ and crazy like a ‘fox’…. 🙂


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