Why Does Firefox Campus Edition Make Me So Irrationally Upset?August 30th, 2007 · 5 comments
It seems like just about every productivity blogger on the planet has recently posted about the new Firefox Campus Edition. I’m starting to feel left out, and I’ll tell you why: I couldn’t care less about it.
Firefox bundled together three readily available plug-ins. Two of them — FoxyTunes and Zotero — are unnecessary injections of complexity into your already busy student life. If you own an iPod and a pad of paper, they’re redundant. Here’s a tip, take the time required to learn these tools, and use it instead to have a beer with your roommates.
The third plug-in, StumbleUpon, is cool. But it doesn’t need to be bundled. If you want it, go download it!
This still doesn’t explain, however, my mysterious anger. Maybe some students want those three plug-ins? It certainly can’t hurt to offer it…
What secretly upsets me, I think, is the painful marketing copy plastered on the ultra-slick Firefox Campus Edition homepage. It reads, in part:
“Introducing the best thing to hit campus since ramen noodles…Firefox Campus Edition combines the speed, security and features of the Firefox browser with special extras that give you streamlined access to music, cool sites and useful information.”
It sounds like a freakn’ Best Buy back to school commercial! It reeks of that painful collision between trying to be low-key and hip while still having to work in all of the bullet points from the latest marketing meeting — an effort that almost inevitably distills to trying to work words like “cool” and “stuff” into your copy. Ugh!
I guess I’m not quite ready for Firefox to make that transition from rouge open source project to something some institutionalized.