A reader emailed me about yesterday’s post on Mocavo, asking why I needed to understand how this new search engine planned to generate money. She felt it was actually rude to question about money.
Well, maybe it is. I’m going to keep asking, though, about every site I prefer. Because if there’s one important thing I’ve learned on the internet, it’s this: Hardly anything is provided for free.
Google isn’t free. You’re trading a slice of your privacy to work with it. That’s not a knock against Google; I personally use a variety of their products, and so i like them all right. But asking myself, “How performs this for-profit company generate income when it’s providing me using these free services?” led me to research and know very well what I’m offering them in return for that how to get free stuff online. I’m making a well informed decision to work with those tools, and also taking steps to control the amount of information I provide them with.
Facebook isn’t free either. In reality, if you’re on Facebook and also you aren’t paying close focus on the way that they earn money, you’re nuts. I personally use Facebook, however i make certain I keep up about what they’re doing with my information. I don’t trust that Zuckerberg kid one bit.
Another concern We have about free sites is stability. I’ve noticed lots of companies before year approximately that have started offering free hosting for the family tree. That’s great. Prior to spend hours building yours, though, it appears to be wise to ask: How are these individuals earning money? Will they be backed my venture capital, angel investors, or a rich uncle? Are individuals who are bankrolling this thing gonna require a return on their investment at some time? Once they don’t see one, don’t you imagine they might pull the plug? Have you been able to start to see the work you’ve put into your online family tree disappear if those sites can’t make enough money to fulfill their investors? Simply because you can’t have it both ways. You will have a site that lasts a long time, or you may have a site that doesn’t earn money from you one of many ways or another…but not both. Prior to spend hours entering yourself as well as your information about both living and dead people, you should ponder how it will probably be used. Marketers are going to pay 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 a “free” site, ensure you are super clear about how which will be used, now and down the road. That’s not to say you shouldn’t use those sites. Make absolutely certain you’re making informed choices.
In addition there are sites that get started free, but don’t find yourself like that. Boost your hand when you know anyone that submitted their loved ones tree to RootsWeb, after which got mad when Ancestry bought them and made the trees available just to people who have subscriptions. The Huffington Post was built largely by writers who worked free of charge, and so are now furious because the owner has sold the site to AOL to get a cool $315 million. In reality, building websites with content users have generated at no cost (and making profits during this process) is an extremely hot topic lately. Lots of people have worked out that you can get individuals to help make your site more valuable then market it.
From the comments on yesterday’s post about Mocavo, the site’s owner, Cliff Shaw, has suggested twice that we submit the sites I want Mocavo to index. Now, notwithstanding my belief that every internet sites must be indexed if a search engine is going to be valuable, I may choose that I want to spend submitting “genealogy” sites for Mocavo, in order that I can help make it more valuable for when he sells it (as he has with sites he’s owned in the past). I certainly contribute lots 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 know how those sites make money off from my contributions, and so i don’t think it’s unreasonable to inquire about how Mocavo will do exactly the same. Regardless of whether I Really Do contribute sites…what’s to state they are free? Reader Debi commented on yesterday’s post that the only result she’d found was one for e-Yearbook, which isn’t free by any means. Are paid sites now submitting themselves for inclusion? Can nefarious operators build websites packed with spammy affiliate links after which submit them for inclusion? What is the process for guarding against that sort of thing? Are sites investing in google search placement on Mocavo? How could we realize when we didn’t ask?
I really hope Mocavo makes money (because I believe success in genealogy will work for the full field, and since the dog owner is apparently a guy through the genealogical community, with a history in this “neighborhood”…not some random stranger). I only want to understand how it can do this. Within the search-engine world particularly, where making money is such a challenge recently, this seems like a good question in my opinion.
Maybe it IS rude to question how companies generate profits. Maybe I’m an overall weenie for asking (and this wasn’t my intention here at all; I actually though this was this sort of obvious, softball question the company can copy-and-paste a response). But I’ve been online of sufficient length to learn that it’s always a great idea to ask.