Why Did Google Reader Die? And what free Web service will be next? by Farhad Manjoo
Anyone using web apps with some regularity, especially if you rely on them heavily, should read this article. What are web apps? Everything that does something for you online. I use Google Reader, Google Voice, Google Docs, Twitter, bit.ly, Gmail, Google Plus, Diigo, Flickr, and others. Many are really useful and would not easily be replaced by desktop applications.
The bottom bottom line lessons from Farhad's article:
- Consider an app's business model before investing in it--how does the company expect to keep it going? (And remember, you're investing in it simply by getting used to it, putting your data and time into it.)
- Remember that your favorite service might just die anytime. Unlike desktop software, there is no possibility of continuing to use your legacy product you love so well. You might or might not get your data back.
- If you use a web app that has a paid version, support it by paying, if you can afford it--how else do you expect it to remain viable?