wasting bandwidth since 1999

Here Today, Gone Tomorrow

News about the economy seems to get worse every day with the many reports that large numbers of businesses will likely close up shop before this is all over.

Today was Circuit City’s turn to announce it will go belly up.

All of this got me thinking about the free or absurdly inexpensive tools and resources on which I (and many others) have come to rely.

WordPress, Firefox, Delicious, Twitter, Flickr, NetNewsWire, ecto, Twitterrific, Google Maps/Earth, Google Reader, lots of other Google stuff.

Even the hosting service for this rantfest costs me less than a decent hamburger every month.

Will these and other companies providing and supporting a vast array of internet tools be able to survive the current economic mess, especially in light of the fact that many have no visible means of financial support?

Going beyond simple personal use, there’s also the situation where many of us are actively recommending these resources to our colleagues and others.

Should we be concerned about getting them hooked on something like Delicious only to find it splattered with billboards, or worse, gone altogether.

After all, even giants like Google have been shutting down some of their projects.

Other “old reliables” are trying to generate revenue by inserting ads into their free resources and charging for “enhanced” services (WordPress.com and EduBlogs quickly come to mind).

So, am I being paranoid (selfish?) or is anyone else concerned about web 2.0 going bust? What tools would you miss if they disappeared?


  1. teacherninja

    I would miss all things google. I am their drone and will do their bidding. Although, don’t tell them but I like buzzword better than google docs.

  2. Doug Johnson

    This is the curmudgeon in me speaking, but I think if about half this stuff shut down my life would be simpler and happier.

    But not the stuff I find useful! Of course, I am also willing to actually PAY for a quality service.


  3. sylvia martinez

    The question isn’t IF, it’s WHEN. There is no way to sustain free services without some payment at the end of the day. Some of these services will remain free, but it’s just an educated guess you are making about which ones.

    Like you said, it’s no big deal if it’s simple personal use. You can switch services or decide to pay up. The problem is if you’ve transitioned school systems to free, but proprietary tools. The time and energy needed to switch might be much more costly than setting up a low cost or open source alternative in the first place.

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