A reader emailed me about yesterday’s post on Mocavo, asking why I wanted to know how this new google search planned to generate money. She felt it had been rude to inquire about money.
Well, maybe it is. I’m gonna keep asking, though, about every site I take advantage of. Since if there’s something I’ve learned on the internet, it’s this: Hardly anything is free.
Google isn’t free. You’re trading a slice of your privacy to utilize it. That’s not much of a knock against Google; I personally use a number of their products and services, and so i like them perfectly. But asking myself, “How accomplishes this for-profit company generate profits when it’s providing me by using these free services?” led me to investigate and determine what I’m offering them to acquire that online free stuff. I’m making an informed decision to use those tools, and in addition taking steps to manage the amount of data I allow them to have.
Facebook isn’t free either. In reality, if you’re on Facebook and you also aren’t paying close focus to the way that they make money, you’re nuts. I prefer Facebook, nevertheless i ensure I maintain on which they’re doing with my information. I don’t trust that Zuckerberg kid one bit.
Another concern I have about free sites is stability. I’ve noticed a lot of companies in past times year or so that have started offering free hosting for your personal family tree. That’s great. Prior to deciding to spend hours building yours, though, it seems best if you ask: How are these people earning money? Will they be backed my venture capital, angel investors, or possibly a rich uncle? Are those people who are bankrolling it going to require a return of investment sooner or later? When they don’t see one, don’t you imagine they might pull the plug? Have you been ready to begin to see the work you’ve dedicated to your online family tree disappear if those sites can’t make enough money in order to satisfy their investors? Since you can’t already have it both ways. You can have a site that lasts quite a long time, or you will have a site that doesn’t make money from you a technique or another…but not both. Before you spend hours entering yourself and your information on both living and dead people, you should ponder how it will be used. Marketers pays a whole lot for demographic facts about living people. If you’re entering your complete living family’s dates of birth, wedding anniversary, kids’ names, etc. on the “free” site, ensure you are super clear regarding how which will be used, now and later on. That’s not to imply you shouldn’t use those sites. Make absolutely certain you’re making informed choices.
Additionally, there are sites that start off free, but don’t end up doing this. Raise the hand once you know anybody who submitted their loved ones tree to RootsWeb, and then got mad when Ancestry bought them and made the trees available merely to people with subscriptions. The Huffington Post was built largely by writers who worked totally free, and so are now furious as the owner has sold the internet site to AOL for a cool $315 million. In reality, building websites with content users have generated totally free (and making money during this process) is an extremely hot topic lately. Many people have worked out that you can get people to help make your site more valuable then market it.
Inside the comments on yesterday’s post about Mocavo, the site’s owner, Cliff Shaw, has suggested twice i submit the sites I want Mocavo to index. Now, notwithstanding my belief that all sites on the internet ought to be indexed if a search engine is usually to be valuable, I may think that I would like to spend submitting “genealogy” sites for Mocavo, in order that I will make it more valuable for when he sells it (while he has with sites he’s owned before). I certainly contribute a lot of other dexkpky12 content to sites I take advantage of regularly (Twitter, Facebook, blogs, forums, etc.), so that’s actually not just a stretch in any way. But I understand how those sites make money from my contributions, and I don’t think it’s unreasonable to ask how Mocavo is going to do the identical. Regardless of whether I DO contribute sites…what’s to state they are free? Reader Debi commented on yesterday’s post the only result she’d found was one for e-Yearbook, which isn’t free whatsoever. Are paid sites now submitting themselves for inclusion? Can nefarious operators build websites loaded with spammy affiliate links after which submit them for inclusion? What is the process for guarding against that kind of thing? Are sites investing in internet search engine placement on Mocavo? How would we understand once we didn’t ask?
I am hoping Mocavo makes money (because I believe success in genealogy is good for the whole field, and because the dog owner seems to be a man from your genealogical community, by using a history with this “neighborhood”…not some random stranger). I would like to understand how it will achieve this. Inside the search-engine world especially, where creating wealth has been this type of challenge recently, this seems like a fair question to me.
Maybe it IS rude to ask how companies generate profits. Maybe I’m an absolute weenie for asking (which wasn’t my intention at all; I just though this was this sort of obvious, softball question how the company would be able to copy-and-paste an answer). But I’ve been on the internet long enough to learn that it’s always a great idea to ask.