the web is hard


For someone that thinks so highly of his own tech smarts, Dave Winer can't seem to tell the difference between a random Google Adsense participant and the official Firefox website.

Take a look at what Dave thinks is the correct place to download Firefox here and then take a look at the official Firefox page here and see if you can tell which one is the right place to download Firefox.

If you can pick the right site, you're one up on the self-proclaimed "Creator of RSS".


that guy needs what we in the south call an "ass whippin".

Watch his explanation be "it was the 'Mozilla' name that confused/scared him". LOL

He feels like a goof right now, I'd imagine.

Appropriately enough.

If you don't spend any time on the mozilla site (because there's absolutely no point for most people to spend any significant time on there) then it's a believable mistake.
"Dave Winer ... created or was a lead contributor to ... including RSS 2.0, XML-RPC, OPML, and the MetaWeblog API."

A nice change to see you attacking someone and insulting them, very mature.</sarcasm>

What's more amusing is that his followup, that "that was an adware site" he got to "through Google", means Google is bahving "more and more like a spammer" and it just makes things even worse.

Wait, so if Google's search listings include adware companies, and you click on one, that makes Google "like a spammer"?

Of course Google is becoming a spammer. The evidence is clear. I went to check my Gmail account recently, and guess what? I found spam!

That's a bit unfair: if you search Google for 'download firefox' (without any ad-blocking on), the results are surrounded with adverts for "Free FireFox Downloads", including one that's prominently above the first actual search result (the Mozilla site).

That's... bizarre. The first 7 search results for "download firefox" are actual Mozilla sites: Two, two,,, and finally Spread Firefox. After that it turns up Digg.

He had to either ignore all that, or click on an advertisement instead of a search result. And they're still clearly labeled separately.

So his issue isn't with Google the search engine, it's with Google the advertisement displayer.

D'oh! Alf, I started writing my response before yours, and didn't see it until after I'd posted.

To me, having just read the RSS article on Wikipedia, I didn't get a good impression of Dave Winer. He just demoted himself even more with this post.

For the fun of it, I tried and could come up to the official Fx download page, though an extra click was necessary. This is something that even a n00b would try. What a snob.

And they removed me from Wikipedia for "vanity" and then here some inarticulate, incompetant idiot with more than a page of BS probably written by himself. You'd think after years of blogging he would learn how to articulate, or at least what spam is. Goes to show the degrading quality of wikipedia.

Try to search for "download firefox" on yahoo or MSN, then click on the ads around there. Same thing will happen. It'd be one thing if the ads were pointing to spyware, but it is a legit version of firefox (+toolbar).

A follow-up on sites trying to make a buck off of Firefox: Site Advisor blogged about a site called FreeDownloadHQ that apparently charges for membership, advertises all over the place, but does nothing but point to free downloads on other sites.

So there is a problem here... but it isn't Mozilla's or Google's conduct (unless you want to blame the newspaper for the actions of people who buy classified ads). The only case you could make for it being Google's "fault" is that the ads appear on the same page as the search results.

Matt: Yahoo actually seems okay in this respect - at least there are no adverts directly above the first real search results (whereas MSN has 3, which is even worse).

Are the non-Mozilla download-bundling sites allowed to use the official Firefox icon?


I don't think this is a very nice or fair post.

If someone like Dave can fall for this trap, it is a serious problem that goes far beyong the particulars in this situation. Imagine how a regular person such as Ma or Pa Kettle would find and download Firefox. With the plethora of fake sites offering Firefox for a fee or bundled with who knows what crap, this is only bad for Firefox.

We give Linux distros a hard time about distributing officially branded versions of Firefox. What are we doing to protect our users from bottom feeders who are trading off our good name?


Bob Clary:

Dave Winer hates wikipedia (along with Richard MacAnus) because wikipedians know he didn't really invent RSS, just like Al Gore didn't actually invent the web (some will say he helped fund its expansion but that's still not inventing it). I really don't take anything Whiner says seriously, and would reccomend users not to regard him as some superintelligent being.

My only problem is

Well really the problem with this is google. They pay 10 cents for each windows install of firefox+google toolbar through their adsense program. Then they let the ad-rate for firefox keywords get low enough that it pays too make a site that has nothing but a link too another google ad.

I can't thing of any crazier economics then that, but hey thats the web. At least its all clean downloads of firefox, and not people trying too pull spyware stunts.

All these soapboxes ... and they'll need the soap too, to wash off the mud.

Don't mock the author -- he just made a mistake anyone can make, mock the WSJ which sanctions this sort of "stream of conscious" reporting.

Could it be that ASA had a run-in (or run-out as you prefer) with Winer?

Oh and btw, who believes anything written about a living person on Wikipedia after many US government / congress members started modifying their own bio's? No ethics at the top who're leading by example!

Why would a "tech professional" even need to google a firefox download site in the first place?

None of the links work and he spelled Firefox wrong at the top (FireFox).
Is this a joke?

Oops, it's an image, but Fx is still spelled wrong.

What a pinhead.

No wonder we gave him a Bastard of the Blogs card.

Click here to download the web...

in your browsers cache. :D

Mr. Winer has responded (hat tip via Technorati search).

BTW I had to consult Technorati to find it, after trying to browse's front page... (then again I may be an idiot) works fine for me ;)

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