Category Archives: Firefox

The future of the web is Mozilla’s Aurora browser

Step aside, OS X and Vista. The makers of the Firefox web browser have released a concept called Aurora, a future web surfing tool that embeds social media functionality to allow you to debate and share data with friends.

Aurora is a beautiful concept. As you surf the web, you see an Apple OS X-type fluid interface, in which data are grouped into objects and float in three-dimensional spatial views. You can call friends for video chat, manipulate web objects inside the browser, and most important collaborate in sharing, updating, or building information sets. The concept video shows two farmers debating weather and crop conditions by tossing charts easily at each other over morning coffee.

This all points to three things:

1. The future that Charlene Li predicted, in which social media will become “like air” and a simple utility you can plug into, not a web site you visit, is coming.
2. The makers of software or computer operating systems such as Vista are doomed, as more powerful web browsers turn the entire internet into the free software you need to do anything.
3. Consumers will embrace this as they spend more time creating and sharing content, and less time passively receiving it. That doesn’t bode well for advertisers who rely on intercepting consumers as they watch things, as consumers find it easier to create and click away.

More details at adaptivepath.com/aurora.

The end of the world as SEM knows it


Holy devastation, ad man. A little add-on to Firefox called Adblock Plus is getting buzz in the blogosphere by allowing consumers to wipe off all forms of advertising from web pages. No more pop-ups, video-in-banners, refinance offers, or personalized text ads from Google. All gone.

What would happen if the gold rush of advertisers panning for consumers on the Internet went dry? Industry experts say web sites might have to make money the old fashioned way, by charging admission. Good news is it’s an add-on, and not many consumers like mucking around with web browsers that work fine already, thank you. Bad news is 2.5 million people around the world have downloaded it already, and adoption is climbing at about 300,000 to 400,000 users per month.

One intriguing scenario is that if ad-blocking software did take off, search engine marketing (SEM) on Google might become even more dominant over banner advertising on web sites. Consumers punching keywords into search engines will still want to see paid search results with the organic listings, because those little text ads match exactly what they are looking for. Banner advertisers and ad networks, with their very cool but intrusive behavioral targeting, might lose far more as nytimes.com fills up with lots of white space. And pity the poor newspapers, already hammered by falling advertising revenue in print, if their online slips too.

‘Course, ad-blocking may white out SEM too. I’d give you a link to the Adblock site, but frankly, I’m too scared.