On The Stupidity Of Blocking Firefox Users
from the think-this-through-for-a-second... dept
Ferin alerts us to a story at Slashdot about some new campaign among some websites to block Firefox users. To be honest, it’s tough to know how real this is. The actual site is down from the Slashdot Effect, and it certainly hadn’t received much attention before. Even if it is real, it seems unlikely that many sites would sign up and take part. Most people just aren’t that stupid. However, assuming (big risk here) that the campaign is real and some sites actually are doing this, it’s worth explaining why it makes no sense. The complaints are basically that Firefox users “spend less” and sometimes use extensions like ad block to block out ads. Even if true (and it’s only a small percentage of people who use ad block), that makes no sense if you understand the bigger picture. First of all, they tell people to go use other browsers — but if those people aren’t going to click on ads anyway, then they’re still not going to click on ads from other browsers.
Just like with the full vs. partial RSS debate, people need to get past the idea that every single visitor needs to be monetized. Instead, recognize the indirect benefits of having more users. Even if a Firefox user doesn’t buy something or click on an ad, he or she may tell someone else about the site and they may click on an ad or buy something. Word of mouth is an ongoing process — and even if someone doesn’t directly contribute to the revenue of a site, the fact that they potentially could cause others to drive revenue is the key. For example, here at Techdirt, we make our money by connecting companies that need insightful analysis with the experts in the Techdirt Insight Community for collaborative analysis and by providing news and trend analysis to all sorts of companies, large and small. Techdirt, the blog, helps promote those services — even if the vast majority of our readers never pay for either service. However, they’ve helped make Techdirt incredibly popular, driving additional brand recognition and helping us sell a lot more from the corporate side of the business. So even though only a tiny percentage of our readers provide revenue, there’s tremendous benefit in getting as many others aware of us and reading the blog as possible.