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January 20, 2005

wired magazine cover

Looks like Firefox made the cover of Wired magazine -- in Blake's hands, nonetheless.

I really think that the media is way too focused on personalities in all of this coverage (over the last three or four months) that features Ben and Blake.

I guess it makes their story easier if they can focus on a person rather than a project. To get the cover right, Wired would have had to find a way to include the hundreds of other developers, the thousands of active testers, and the tens of thousands of people spreading the word, and the teams of people that have been organizing this effort over the years.

I know that's just too much to expect. At a minimum, I think that Ben should have been on there with Blake (they did come out here and take about a million pictures of the two of them) and it's a pretty uncool slight to have left Ben off. Well, that's the media for you.

I did hear that the article inside is, on the whole, quite good and that there are photos inside that do include both Ben and Blake.

For your viewing pleasure, here's a photo I took of Blake getting his lipstick applied for the wired photoshoot.

Also, Blake Ross and Ben Goodger were together nominated in the 6th Annual WIRED Rave Awards in the category TOP RAVE - WIRED Renegade of the Year. They're in with some good company so check it out.

I'm really enjoying all the gains that Firefox is making and I certainly don't begrudge anyone their moments in the spotlight. I just wish that the press would work a little harder because I think there's a great story to tell here -- and that story isn't about any one person.

(cross posted to with minor edits.)

update: I found a few more photos I took of the photoshoot. I've added the one over to the left so you all can get a feel for what it's been like in our office with all this crazy press. The photo shows Ben and Blake standing in front of the first screen. It was taken from underneath the sodacan bridge with the real photographer to the right (out of view).

This was taken before (I think) they got all wardrobed up with their $2,000 leather jacket (seriously) and $300 belts and whatnot. I wish they would have shot them in their street clothes. Well, again, it's all about image and Wired's got a certain image they're after. Oh, and that globe and hands was Photoshopped in.

Posted by asa at January 20, 2005 04:57 PM

Great to see Firefox on the cover of Wired. It's too bad that such a prominent position can't be shared by all deserving of credit. However, I'm sure the final descision about the cover was made by an art director based on what photo looked best - and regardless of their contributions to Firefox, I think we can all agree that Blake is prettier than Ben ;-)

Posted by: Steven Garrity on January 20, 2005 05:28 PM

Could someone please explain the full-size picture of the wrestler with a sombrero?

Posted by: ChrisI on January 20, 2005 05:42 PM

I agree with much of what Asa says. I would have preferred a picture of Ben and Blake on the cover - and it would have been great to incorporate pictures of many of the people who worked on the project in some kind of mosaic inside the Firefox logo. Steven also makes a good point in his post about the decision making process.

Congratulations to Blake and Ben for being nominated as renegades!

Long live Firefox and Thunderbird!

Posted by: marcia on January 20, 2005 05:44 PM

I don't want to blog about the Wired business, because I'd rather draw less attention to it, not more. But I would like to second what Asa, Steven and Marcia have all said. Firefox, and Mozilla before it, are the products of hard work by a large group of people. I know this as well as anyone, having started humbly as a tester myself five years ago. I wish as much as everyone else that all of these people were recognized as widely for their contributions. This cover should have had Boris Zbarsky, David Baron and Mitchell Baker on it, with me in the background bringing them coffee. At the very least, it should have had Ben on it; he was right there next to me in every picture!

Alas, I didn't design it. But I sincerely hope the issue serves its purpose--promoting Firefox itself, and not its poster child--well. Believe it or not, getting all this press isn't the kind of fun people assume it must be; it's actually a major distraction.

Posted by: Blake on January 20, 2005 06:14 PM

The cardboard standup in the corner belonged to Leaf, our previous build engineer :-)


Posted by: Asa Dotzler on January 20, 2005 06:14 PM

Congrats to Blake, it must be pretty shocking to see your head on the front of a magazine :D.

Not to deminish what you've done, (I highly respect you), I do however think it's sad that Ben was left out of the picture.

He's done wonders for what Firefox is today, and between Firefox 0.7 and 1.0, we wouldn't be here if it wasn't for him.

I guess my point it, I would agree with Asa, that (although cool) a 17 year old hacking/creating firefox is a very cool story (david vs Golaith), there is a much COOLER story that is invloved.
An Aussie, a 17year old (now 20?), a wierd dude named "Asa" :D (jk) and countless other's who have made a difference in the world... sigh.

Anyhow, congrats again Blake, I'm not dissing, I think it's great, and as you say, anything to promote Firefox, I just hope some Saab new reported reads these comments (yeah, right) and can make an even better, marketable story involving more people who make Firefox happen.

Cool stuff

Posted by: Jed on January 20, 2005 08:07 PM

btw: Who's that blond headed dude with the black Firefox Shirt on, in the right-most pic in the background?

Since when are their BLACK shirts?? (I want one)!!!

Posted by: jed on January 20, 2005 08:09 PM

Jed: were you thinking of any Aussie in particular?

Posted by: Alex Bishop on January 20, 2005 08:51 PM

Jed: Turn up your monitor's brightness. The shirt is blue.

Posted by: me on January 20, 2005 09:18 PM

Hm, Blake in a black shirt, looking reverent, no emotion on his face, makeup...

Anyone thinking Keanu Reeves' stunt double from "The Matrix"?

Posted by: Alex Vincent on January 20, 2005 11:49 PM

"Jed: were you thinking of any Aussie in particular?"

From the context, I imagine he meant Ben Goodger, who is a British-born New Zealander now living in the USA, not an "Aussie".

Anyway, this is good publicity. The details of the project and who did what are always going to be too complicated for this kind of press...

Posted by: michaell on January 21, 2005 04:30 AM

That cover makes me want to have sex with Blake. Just saying. :-)

Posted by: Jonathan Dobres on January 21, 2005 04:39 AM

That last comment almost made me spit my coffee out all over the screen!

Posted by: Drew Stile on January 21, 2005 05:28 AM

Well now someone comes to mention sex, imagine how easy it would be to get this kind of media coverage if Blake was an attractive girl of the same age...

Posted by: michaell on January 21, 2005 06:34 AM

Note to Mozilla Foundation: Hire attractive 18 year old women as new "developers."

Posted by: Ted Mielczarek on January 21, 2005 06:56 AM

Well, I agree that it'd be nice to have a photo getting across the idea of all the people behind the project, but it probably wouldn't be as visually striking as a single person shot like that. (ie, catch attention and sell magazines)

Keep in mind all the articles about corporations with 10's of thousands of people and the articles are all about the CEO, with only his photo, as if he did all the work. Looks like moz is just being treated the same. ;-) ??? ;-(

Posted by: Jeff Wilkinson on January 21, 2005 09:22 AM

Damn, it is blue, sorry, I got excited for a second.

Yeah, I mean't "Kiwi" instead of "aussie", my bad, and no edit options here.

I just bought the mag today, very nice article, Blake did a great job with the answers/quotes.

Great to see this kind of coverage of Firefox by the media.

Posted by: Jed on January 21, 2005 01:52 PM

Is the February 2005 copy of 'Wired' out then?

Posted by: Alex Bishop on January 21, 2005 03:50 PM

Alex, yes, it is.


Posted by: Asa Dotzler on January 22, 2005 12:03 PM

Photos shmotos, I agree with Steve G. Calling me Australian on the other hand, now them's fighting words. :-P

Posted by: Ben on January 22, 2005 02:04 PM

But still, who's this guy with the Firefox shirt?

Posted by: Mardus on January 24, 2005 05:24 PM

The guy with the firefox shirt is Peppie, the office cheerleader. After seeing what an Office Linebacker could do...Firefox's offices wondered what an Office Cheerleader might be able to ull off...

Posted by: John on January 27, 2005 08:58 AM

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