Tuesday, November 25, 2008

What if your Bloghoster isn't anymore?

The story was told so many times, but still people wondering what will happen if the service A shuts down it's operations - including your blog, pictures or whatever.
Normally your data is gone, except the service was sold to another company who will continue operations.
So, how to avoid this? Instead of blaming the companies it's better to have a look on the Terms of Use.
Let's have a look on Facebook:
The Company reserves the right to change any and all content, software and other items used or contained in the Site and any Services and Platform Applications offered through the Site at any time without notice.

The Company may terminate your membership, delete your profile and any content or information that you have posted on the Site or through any Platform Application and/or prohibit you from using or accessing the Service or the Site or any Platform Application (or any portion, aspect or feature of the Service or the Site or any Platform Application) for any reason, or no reason, at any time in its sole discretion, with or without notice

And even if your life ends, your FAcebook account will be still alive:
When we are notified that a user has died, we will generally, but are not obligated to, keep the user's account active under a special memorialized status for a period of time

You can like it or not, but once you checked "I agree", it's a little bit silly to complain.

What about Flickr?

First of all, Flickr is a PUBLISHING service, not a STORAGE service. If you don't back up your pictures, it's your fault.
Second, if Flickr is closing the portal (tehy don't mention this in their Terms of Service, but Yahoo does):
You acknowledge that Yahoo! reserves the right to log off accounts that are inactive for an extended period of time. You further acknowledge that Yahoo! reserves the right to modify these general practices and limits from time to time.

So, these are just two examples to show that it's always a good idea to read the Terms of Use.

Another way to understand is common sense. Imagine a friend wants to stay in your house over night. Of course he will not charge you for the night, but you will also not expect to have a breakfast buffet and a maid. So companies like yahoo do the same, the offer you a free service, get some advertising revenue for this, and you can use the service as it is. If you want more, its not free anymore.

It's funny to see that people always complain about a free service. If you don't like it, just use another or set up your own. It's like the overnight stay: You will not use your friends underwear just because he invited you to stay in his house.

Sounds simple?

Oh, that doesn't mean that you cannot be a critic of their Terms of Use or their business concept. You can say it's good or bad, of course. But as a user you still have to follow their rules.


Anh Hung Nguyen said...

Hi Thomas,

If you take a closer look at my post on Life 2.0, you will see that I was not "complaining" about the discontinuity of the service at all. My approach was that I stated the problem as it happened/ would happen and then suggest some of my ideas as to how to tackle these problems. I didn't find myself whining about anything regarding that subject matter.

As for Caravat.com, I was unhappy with their filtering policy but in every single blog of mine, the approach's been the same. Problems stated, and solutions suggested.

I think it's not about whether I should follow any of these rules or not, but about giving my opinion of how these rules should have been crafted out and implemented.

Please take a look at the posts and reconsider the word "complaint". Otherwise I will have to really "complain" about that :D

Thomas Wanhoff said...

Aehm I did not say that you complained. I just said that you were "wondering what will happen". And I used that as a general overview...