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If you use any of the social network websites then you've almost certainly heard about the launch of Firefox 3.5. The reason for this is that Firefox has tapped into it's fan base and community spirit to promote the launch of the new browser.
I am one of those that have been involved in promoting Firefox - and this blog is just one of millions of blogs / tweets / facebook posts that have been circulating in a co-ordinated publicity campaign.
It certainly seams to have worked. Looking at the live firefox download stats over 5 million downloads have been made since the launch about 24 hours ago.
The campaign started about a day before the launch with just enough publicity to get all the Firefox supporters geared up and ready for the big event.
The main part of the campaign is the Shiretoko shock which involves a firework shockwave traversing over the Internet a timezone at a time. It started in Brazil at 3:50pm on 30 June (launch day) and finishes at 3:50pm in Brazil 24 hours later with the Shiretoko Supershock! Everyone posts a comment on any social networking / blog / news sites when their timezone reaches 3:50pm and then the Supershock has everyone doing the same again all at the same time at the end. This blog entry will be part of that Shiretoko Supershock (10 mins to go and I'm typing furiously).
In addition supporters have been encouraged tto change their profile pictures to the firefox logo and other things for additional publicity. I changed my Facebook picture for the event but I'll be changing it back to a photo of me shortly; much to many peoples dissapointment most likely :-)
The reason that so many people wanted to be part of this will vary, but we are united in our support for firefox. For some they will have been involved in programming, designing the browser or one of the many thousands of add-ons / themes as the browser is community developed there are lots that contribute directly.
For others, including me, it's about promoting an alternative browser that is open and free (as in beer and speach).
Others may just like the browser and want others too know about it.
Whatever the reasons everyone benefits from knowing about and being given the opportunity to try it out for themselves.
I've already posted about many of the Advantages of Firefox 3.5.