So, what should Firefox do? Here’s an idea:

Fixing broken urls since 2006

Lots of people type the wrong thing into Firefox. When they do (like typing .con when you meant .com), they see this:

Oopstr can fix that. They can fix it by showing users a page with relevant recommendations and make it easy (with just one click) to find the thing they really wanted in the first place.

Lots of websites would like to reach people but are unable to get the right message in front of the right person at the right time. Well, the best time to give someone directions is when they’re lost. Make it easy for an advertiser to buy ads (through Google) or even better, to buy the whole page.

So, instead of seeing that useless error message, the surfer might see something like this:


THE THIRD THING: There’s a phantom net out there, an alternative reality that isn’t built around domain names. Instead, given the power of search and the browser, many organizations are profiting by grabbing traffic that isn’t heading for a specific branded URL. By leveraging the browser, Oopstr expands this opportunity dramatically.

For example, imagine a new virtual TLD like .safe. Type travel.safe and Oopstr takes over and suggests a number of relevant sites, all on a page paid for by a travel site.

The cool thing about this is that it can be organic and user driven. Once people start leaving breadcrumbs behind in Oopstr, other users can follow, seeing what the popular trails are.

THE TECHNOLOGY: Firefox knows what the person using the browser typed in that caused the error in the first place. They hand that information to oopstr, which compares it to a database of what previous lost searchers have typed in to correct themselves. They also use some common-sense algorithms—for example, replacing .con with .com.

Oopstr can quickly present the top seven matches, with the most common one set as the default. The user can click on any of them or type in a correction, which oopstr remembers and adds to the database.

This is the way computers are supposed to work. It’s not a test, after all. It’s a service, and if the computer knows what you want…

THE ADVERTISING: Every page carries Google adsense ads, which ought to have  higher-than-normal clickthrough and revenue numbers. Figure $2 per thousand as an average.

Each page is also for rent on a monthly basis. To rent a page, an advertiser gives oopstr a credit card and bids for the right to own all the ads in that column for a month. They set a minimum for each page based on what their Adsense revenue was in the previous month. Each month, the auction is redone, for each page. So, would you like to own traevl.com?

Once oopstr demonstrates the technology works, Firefox can add this option to Firefox preferences:

This will enable users to skip the page that oopstr runs with ads by permitting them to give oopstr permission to automatically take them where they want to go in the first place.

The upside to the user is one-click surfing.

The upside to Oopstr is that they can now create useful new TLDs and sell them. Things like .safe and .shop and others can bypass the existing systems.

Hey, it’s an idea. Have a nice weekend.