Today I was surprised to see an advertisement for the Camino web browser while surfing the web. This struck me as odd because Camino is an open source project that is available for free. Camino exists under the Mozilla Foundation which I know has a good chunk of money but I’m certain that they aren’t giving any of it to Camino for advertising. So how are they paying for it?
According to Samuel Sidler, Team Coordinator of the Camino Project, the money came from the generosity of various people. First of all, kudos to the various people. I really respect people who donate to open source projects, but is advertising really what Camino needs?
Camino certainly deserves more attention. Camino is currently my favorite web browser on OS X and I would like to see it be more widely adopted. Firefox 2 is slow and fugly and Safari does not have some of the features I demand like quick searches. I’m expecting Firefox 3 to give Camino a good run at being my default browser on OS X. I would certainly love to go back to using extensions without having to open another browser.
I remember when Firefox was making a big push to build up their user base. They did a great job of getting their users to promote Firefox in a zillion different ways including homemade commercials, a crop circle, and a New York Times ad. The Firefox marketing team always got their users involved and never “just bought ad space” to my knowledge. Why isn’t Camino doing the same?