• http://www.blakeross.com/ Blake Ross

    Danny:

    I didn’t delete your post. It was, as you considered, caught in the spam filter, and I have now “released” it. My spam filter currently has 6,000 posts in it so forgive me for not catching it earlier.

    I have already responded to the majority of your points on Blogoscoped, but I will repost my comments here momentarily.

    I’m dismayed that you’re holding my post up as an example of losing balance, because I spent plenty of time thinking about the issue before writing on it, and I’ve spent the last 48 hours debating the finer points of it. I’ve changed many aspects of my position in response to fair criticism, as you can see from the comments on my blog.

    Like you, I am weary of people who judge before thinking, but you do the same thing here many times. You assume that I inherently approve of everything Firefox-related, even though I am not a employee of Mozilla and do not control its business dealings. Where have I ever said, for instance, that I support the Google $1 promotion? Furthermore, you assume that I never credit Google for the things it does right. But I do that all the time. It is *because* I’m so impressed with Google that I was taken aback by this feature. And it’s because I want to see them improve that I wrote about it.

    I am just as annoyed by the knee-jerk “Google is evil” stories of late as you are, but nowhere have I called them “evil”; you are attacking something that is larger than my post. If you’re going to wish for perspective and balance, I’d ask that you practice it yourself, and I will try harder to do the same as well.

    Blake

  • http://www.blakeross.com/ Blake Ross

    As promised, here’s what I posted in response to you on Blogoscoped:

    Danny:

    > And I’m sure the next time Google does a promo for Firefox, Blake will be screaming that maybe it should have been Opera that gets the pitch, because maybe it crashes less, does less memory bloat,

    I find it unfortunate that you seem to believe everyone on the planet is only looking out for #1. I support Opera, link to it in my sidebar, and will gladly begin recommending it to my own parents the day I feel it is better for them.

    I have nothing to do with the Google Firefox promos but I will begin “screaming” about them if that’s what it takes to demonstrate to you that I’m not a hypocrite.

    > Blake might not feel they are best in class, but Google likely disagrees.

    My issue is that Google *does* agree, judging from its own search results.

    > But seriously, how about Blake puts his money where his mouth is. Why isn’t Live Search a default in Firefox? Why isn’t Ask there?

    I would love for them to be there and was just thinking about that last night. I don’t control the Firefox project but I will pitch the idea publicly.

    > It’s kind of sad that I’ve had so much trust and faith in Firefox as an open source community driven browser that makes decisions apparently on who is willing to pay the most to be a default.

    We chose Google long before anyone had ever heard of Firefox because we believed it offered the best service for our users. You can see this in the earliest builds of the product, back when it was still called Phoenix.

    The revenue deal came much later, and as you can imagine, most search engines would offer similar incentives today. So as with every other default in Firefox, this one is decided based on what serves users best.

    > If I were on the Firefox team, I wouldn’t be celebrating that the product is apparently so bad that they had to cut a partnership with Google to pay people up to $1 to generate downloads of it.

    Please stop assuming that “the Firefox team” is a single-celled organism. I don’t assume that everyone at Google shares the same opinion.

    > But you can spin the same accusations about Google back at Firefox, and it doesn’t look so pretty.

    Then we need to fix that, don’t we? Does that somehow detract from my post on Google? I’d be happy to do a follow-up post on the shortcomings of Firefox.

  • http://www.blakeross.com/ Blake Ross

    To address something else you said:

    > Blake notes that Microsoft and Yahoo both do self-promotion, but he somehow thinks it’s Google that should be put on fire. I disagree. They all should be put up on fire.

    I agree completely (although I only said Yahoo; I hadn’t seen the Microsoft “google” example you supplied). You might see my brushing off competitors’ behavior as an unfair attack on Google, but I see it as an affirmation of all that Google has done right. Microsoft and Yahoo have earned so little of my trust and loyalty that their transgressions neither surprise nor matter to me. Google has impressed me for years, and that’s why this matters to me.

    My blog isn’t a chronicle of all that’s wrong in the world, but–like any blog–a chronicle of what matters to me.

    Blake

  • http://searchengineland.com Danny Sullivan

    Thanks much for your comments, Blake. They’re very appreciated. And apologies I didn’t see you’d responded over at Google Blogoscoped.

    I don’t think you inherently approve of the Firefox deals. I’m highlighting those as an example of another well trusted product that in some quarters has lost trust because of promotional deals.

    Poking at Google on its promo stuff just naturally raises why it’s not bad for Firefox to do similar things, especially given your closeness with the product by reputation and development. It does leave you open to accusations of being hypocritical.

    You don’t have to scream about them, but they weren’t addressed at all. As I said, that feels like an big omission. Firefox is one of the few thinks I can think of that comes close to having the trust and support that many give to Google.

    Correct, you didn’t call Google an “evil” product pusher, so I apologize for using that particular word. Product pushing, sure — and clearly concern over a lack of trust that this might bring. That’s a real lack of trust, regardless of the debate. You’ve lost trust with them over this. That’s undeniable, despite what I or others might think. Others agree with you as well, and that has to be respected. It definitely has to be considered by Google.

    I definitely don’t assume that everyone at Firefox is the same. I also totally know that you’ll have people at Google who completely agree with your view about the tips and be glad someone externally is speaking about them. They’ll want that type of ammunition to push for changes. I wasn’t kidding about saying I have respect for these charges being aired in general and by you in particular, at the end of my post. I do. Things like this help keep Google, and any company, honest and on track.

    As for perspective, I do generally try to aim for that and appreciate you do the same. I’m sorry you didn’t feel it was there in this post, but I’ll also try harder on that front.

  • http://www.blakeross.com Blake Ross

    Danny:

    Thanks for the response.

    > It does leave you open to accusations of being hypocritical.

    Agreed, I can’t help that. But research, or even asking me directly, would help defuse those accusations before they’re lobbed at me.

    > As I said, that feels like an big omission.

    Honestly, if I felt like the Firefox promos were analogous, I would have repudiated them as well. As I said elsewhere, I almost wish Google were advertising Firefox on “browser” so people would believe that this isn’t about self-interest. But as I said in my post, I do believe that Google’s front page ads are different, and since the Firefox ads (not the $1 progra) currently fall in that category, I haven’t taken issue with them. Whether or not they’re two different things is certainly debatable, but I don’t think I presented the tips issue unfairly.

    > I’m sorry you didn’t feel it was there in this post, but I’ll also try harder on that front.

    I would appreciate if you could remove or clarify the suggestion that I may have decided not to air your comment, and perhaps insert an update indicating that I’ve responded in the comments.

    Thanks for listening.

    Blake

  • http://searchengineland.com Danny Sullivan

    > But research, or even asking me directly, would help defuse those accusations before they’re lobbed at me.

    I was sort of doing that with my comments on your blogs, asking about this. But I really didn’t mean them as accusations against you personally but as issues that should be addressed about Firefox in general. As for the research, I’ve covered that Google has deals in place that give it presence in Firefox, along with the ways that Firefox gets promoted by Google. Absolutely, I can believe that Firefox wouldn’t do deals if Google wasn’t a good search engine. But there’s still the deals.

    > But as I said in my post, I do believe that Google’s front page ads are different

    Like I said, I personally don’t see the tips on the search results as bad. But that’s my personal opinion. The debate is good in that way. I’ve seen some people say they’d like them at the bottom. Some people think they don’t belong on the results at all. Perhaps the best thing to say is that Google clearly stepped them up and perhaps they should have had a discussion on a sensitive topic like this. But maybe they didn’t really realize it would be that sensitive. They do now :)

    > I would appreciate if you could remove or clarify the suggestion that I may have decided not to air your comment, and perhaps insert an update indicating that I’ve responded in the comments.

    Done!

  • http://www.daviddalka.com/createvalue David Dalka

    Thank goodness that is over! The arrows in the responses looked intense!