Add-ons and extensions often get accused of slowing down browser performance. The short answer is true, but that discounts a lot of scenarios and value. In many cases, you’ll have a better experience when you have the right extensions installed – and that can speed your personal performance if not the bench speed of the browser.
The browser itself can bring its own nuance to the performance equation. The discussion below relates to developing add-ons for Internet Explorer (IE) and unique properties of that environment. The way IE is built can impact add-on performance. Here are a few things to keep in mind.
The debate continues over whether it’s better to have a closed system for distributing apps or a more open one. You see it a lot in comparing Apple’s App Store to Google’s Android Marketplace. Apple reviews and approves every app before launch. You’re ensured a certain level of product quality, integrity and safety because of that pre-approval. Android – buyer beware. It’s easy for anyone to upload an app, and while it’s a waste of time when you download a poorly designed and functioning app, it’s harmful when that app carries malicious code with it.
The battle is also fought in the browser space. Firefox has a “sandbox” that all extensions must enter to be reviewed by one of the Mozilla community volunteers before it’s ultimately released into the public. The Google Chrome Web Store is like the Android Marketplace in that anything and everything loaded is immediately available for public consumption.
You may have seen the frightening warnings that Google Chrome will pop when installing a theme. “WARNING! This extension will follow you home from work!” Eek!
OK, it’s not that bad, but it can feel like it. To be fair, Google is just trying to warn you of what could happen, not what will happen. It’s kind of like your mom following you around and telling you not to get run over every time you cross the street. I appreciate the consideration, but…
We’re proud of our announced relationship with MLB.com, and we think fans will be excited about the newly available themes. As a result, we’ve been giving shout outs to baseball bloggers so they can weigh in and hopefully share with their readers.
We love the feedback we get and in whatever form it comes. This week we had a good dialogue with the folks over at Infieldfly.ca. There was concern over the warning that pops on Chrome when you install our theme on Chrome. It concerns us to, and Google will even admit it’s a little intimidating – but it’s an honest share of information. Google wants you to know this theme can see all the web pages you visit. It’s true we can, but we don’t.
It’s not so surprising to see the surge in activity. The desire and the effort to cut through the clutter of information is high. For products that carve out a connection to the user in the browser, it provides a persistent presence to the online user in an environment where its much easier to capture some of the users attention through the course of the day. Despite these similarities, there are some differences that separate the Neobars created by Macte Labs and the community toolbars and mobile apps offered by Conduit.
Jason Calacanis recently wrote an editorial called “The Age of Excellence” and he raises a lot of good points. His visual of a ratings gun and it’s effect on the future of business is compelling. Those of us who are fans also know Jason can be a little over the top, and he is with his passion for excellence. I don’t take issue with the goal of excellence. It’s important, however, to realize what excellent isn’t, and to know we can’t be great at everything.
Excellence is Not Perfection
The folly of perfection was planted as an idea in my first economics course. If 90% is an A, stop when you reach 90%. Shooting for 100% is wasted effort. It has taken me far too long to recognize the significance of this. I held the ideal of perfection for too long with too high a cost. This is a nuance that I think is lost in Jason’s appeal for excellence.
Fathead knows the market they play in. Their taglineGo Big – Real. Big. says it all. And with that vision, they became the leading brand in sports and entertainment wall graphics with thousands of officially licensed products. That’s BIG!
That’s what fan marketing is about. Connecting with a group of passionate users in a way that taps the affinity they have for that thing they love. So, what’s it take to connect with your fans in this way? It’s a three step plan. Let’s take a look.
Musicians today are part artist, part business person and all hustle. You have to be if you’re going to make a living in the post-apocalyptic era of the music industry. It’s no surprise that bands and fans are connecting through BT:Engage, our do-it-yourself browser theme creator. Though it may have surprised us how the fans themselves are creating themes they love for the artists they love.
While the music industry doesn’t look like it did in the Tower Records heyday, it’s alive and well in its current iteration of local nightclubs, iTunes and Amazon music stores, Spotify and Pandora music streams. Here’s a collection of band and artist-inspired browser themes to show Brand Thunder’s small contribution to independent musicians, bands and the community they serve.
Themes from the Band
Nine Lies Theme
An award winning Indie Rock Band from Belfast, Northern Ireland, Nine Lies have had incredible success since their inception, realizing milestones that most unsigned bands can only dream of. Their determination and drive set them apart from the crowd, as does their guitar-forward sound with musically matched vocals and percussion. As the first band to use BT:Engage for their fans, Brand Thunder continues to be a big fan. Get more from the band at http://www.ninelies.net/ or get the Nine Lies theme.
A cosplayer portraying Ezio from Assassin's Creed II at Sac-Anime in Sacramento, California. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
When Brand Thunder turned over the keys to browser theme builders with BT:Engage, we knew lots of different communities would be attracted to it. We recognize some of the best in our weekly browser theme of the week contest. Others seem to stand out when you look at the full collection of themes that are built and offered in Brand Thunder’s Theme Gallery. (You know you can publish the themes you build to Brand Thunder’s Gallery, right?)
The following represents some of the themes we’ve discovered in the gallery devoted to popular computer and video games. I’m not sure if these were created by gamers turned artists, or artists with an affinity toward games. All I know is some of these are pretty cool themes of upcoming, current and classic games.
Take a look and tell us your favorites in the comments.
At the start of the NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament, there were 34 teams with browser themes. Thirteen teams that reached the Sweet 16 offer their alma mater browser themes. Guess what it takes to be a winner? The positive energy of a connected fan base, of course! Though a talented team, good coaching and solid free-throw percentages don’t hurt either.
It’s not too late to get on the bandwagon of your new favorite team. The official browser themes of the Sweet 16 schools are all listed below. If you want to hedge your bets, you can follow all the March Madness with Brand Thunder’s Bracket Madness theme. But don’t forget, it’s easy to switch between themes. So, install as many as you like and be ready come tip off!