Community Lessons Learned From Spread Firefox World Record Attempt

The Spread Firefox community created a call to the masses in helping them set a Guinness World Record for the most software downloads in a 24 hour period. As of now there are 3,616,856 counted downloads of the newly released Firefox 3.0 browser. The new release became available at 10:00 a.m. PDT and after a rocky start, in which their servers were overloaded with all the influx of requests, the official 24 hour period began at 11:16 a.m. PDT. If you are reading this before the time period runs up, you can help set the record by going to the World Record Download Day 2008 site here.

What lessons can be learned from the Spread Firefox communities’ success in gathering so much interest and support in their cause?


Mozilla and the Spread Firefox community combined a strong effort, at the end of May, of mass marketing of the upcoming plan to try to set the World Record. Popular new media sites such as Lifehacker and TechCrunch wrote about this announcement and reached a broad audience. On the Download Day Headquarters page, a Pledge Now button was added, along with a global map, that showed how many pledges have been made per country as well as the total pledges.

People like to see results. Although at the point many decided to Pledge Now, they knew they would have to wait, it didn’t matter, because the idea that you could participate in a community effort to set a World Record seems cool, and interesting. On top of that seeing the tangible totals of other pledgers increases the allure.


The mission is simple. Get as many downloads in a 24 hour period as possible, and see if Guinness World Records will accept the results and label it a World Record.

Many communities and groups over complicate marketing. Marketing is complex, I do realize that, however, many people often make it harder than it needs to be.

Basic rules: People like a clear mission, people like a sense of accomplishment and especially when they can make a difference

Loot to Fill the Boot

When someone offers you loot, especially something you like or are apt to liking, then you typically will accept, gladly. Offering a quality, useful, and valuable product or service generates high interest.

The Mozilla team has been working hard on Firefox 3.0, and know it to be a quality product. Offering it as a pledged download with a clear mission behind it has made the success of the Download Day possible.

At the close of this writing the amount of downloads is up to 4,128,306. If you haven’t, I’d encourage you to download Firefox 3.0 here.

Update: Wow the community really did an excellent job! The final download number is over 8 million. via

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