Freeloaders: stop whinging

If you’re using a free web service that has no obvious revenue stream, you cannot complain if it suddenly decides to cease existence.

Yesterday the Twitter rumour-mill was fuelled with talk that del.icio.us (or delicious as it’s more recently become known) was being closed by Yahoo!  Yahoo! later confirmed that it was not closing the service, but was instead looking for a buyer.

Twitter talk soon turned to other Yahoo! services, specifically Flickr, as people panicked and talked of backing up all of their photos.  (I’m not sure how this is done, btw.  Would be a useful thing to know.  Anyone?)

But the message has to be clear: if you’re using a service for free and you’d be more than a bit miffed if it closed down or they started charging you for it, then that’s a bad place to be.  And if you can’t see a revenue stream that is supporting your free-loading (for that it what it is), then it’s time to find something new.

Google Apps. is my biggest weakness here.  I don’t pay, yet I “contribute” to the revenue stream via adverts targeted at me.  But if they were about to kick me out, I’d upgrade in a flash to the premium version—no questions asked.

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