Hype for Hype's Sake

Album Cover: Echoes, Silence, Patience and Grace

"Time will turn us into statues, eventually."
Foo Fighters / Statues

Posted on January 14, 2005 3:45 AM in Browsers
Warning: This blog entry was written two or more years ago. Therefore, it may contain broken links, out-dated or misleading content, or information that is just plain wrong. Please read on with caution.

When it comes to keeping up on Firefox, I usually stick to reading Asa Dotzler's and Ben Goodger's blogs to get an idea of the latest goings-on. However, once in a blue moon those two will refer me (along with all their other readers) to another Mozilla-related employee/blogger.

That is exactly how Main Thing ended up in my blog subscriptions. Main Thing is Rafael Ebron's blog. Rafael does product marketing for Mozilla, and his posts at Main Thing are almost always Mozilla-related in some way.

The problem with Rafael – and the reason I'll be unsubscribing from his feed soon – is that he over-hypes Firefox way too much. There's nothing wrong with being zealous about your company and its applications, especially for a PR guy, but with a product like Firefox you don't need to over-hype. In my opinion, it's simply uncalled for.

I think the straw that broke the camel's back, in this case, was a recent post called building a better web browser. First, Rafael takes an unnecessary pot-shot at an article written by a former PM at Microsoft, accusing it of lacking "forward thinking." Maybe the article deserves that, afterall its author seriously downplays the role of XML feeds as a useful technology, but that is a topic for another day.

Rafael then goes on – and this is where the hype seriously kicks in – to say that, as far as the browser space goes, "we're pretty much as perfect as we're going to get with Firefox." What the? Okay, so Firefox has gotten more than its fair share of acclaim and glory as of late, but no software is perfect. To go further than that and imply that "it's going to go through several more iterations of perfection" is contradictory to his first statement. Afterall, if Firefox is so perfect now, why the need to go through any other iterations?

As far as I'm concerned, you should let your software speak for itself. The thing to remember here is, Firefox has spoken for itself. There's no need to over-hype this thing and risk offending Opera and Safari enthusiasts (and the like) who might already willingly cede that Firefox is a great, if not superior, browser.

Rafael's attitude in this entry and others in the past have led to me losing interest in what he has to say – and keep in mind that this is a guy who bashes AOL more than I do, so he's obviously messed up in other arguments to get on my bad side. When it comes down to it, I have nothing against Rafael and I'm sure there are those out there who have a similar zeal for Firefox or some other product. I just personally feel that things could be handled a bit more professionally on his part, especially for a PR guy.

Luckily for him, I doubt the effects of my unsubscribing will do much damage to his readership ;)


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