A reader emailed me about yesterday’s post on Mocavo, asking why I needed to find out how this new search engine planned to generate money. She felt it absolutely was rude to inquire about about money.
Well, maybe it is. I’m gonna keep asking, though, about every site I take advantage of. Because if there’s one important thing I’ve learned on the net, it’s this: Hardly anything is 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 prefer a number of their products, and so i like them perfectly. But asking myself, “How can this for-profit company generate profits when it’s providing me with these free services?” led me to investigate and know what I’m giving them in return for that get free stuff online for free. I’m making a well informed decision to use those tools, plus taking steps to control the quantity of real information I provide them with.
Facebook isn’t free either. Actually, if you’re on Facebook and you aren’t paying close focus on the way they make money, you’re nuts. I prefer Facebook, nevertheless i be sure I continue of what they’re doing with my information. I don’t trust that Zuckerberg kid one bit.
Another concern I actually have about free sites is stability. I’ve noticed a great deal of companies previously year roughly who definitely have started offering free hosting for the family tree. That’s great. Before you spend hours building yours, though, it seems wise to ask: How are these individuals earning money? Will they be backed my venture capital, angel investors, or even a rich uncle? Are individuals who are bankrolling this thing planning to desire a return on their investment at some time? When they don’t see one, don’t you believe they might pull the plug? Have you been able to view the work you’ve put in your internet family tree disappear if those sites can’t make enough money to satisfy their investors? Since you can’t have it both ways. You can have a site that lasts a long time, or you could have a site that doesn’t earn money away from you a technique or another…but not both. Prior to spend hours entering yourself plus your information on both living and dead people, you might want to ponder how it will be used. Marketers pays a whole lot for demographic facts about living people. If you’re entering your entire living family’s dates of birth, wedding anniversary, kids’ names, etc. on a “free” site, ensure you are super clear regarding how that will be used, now and in the future. That’s not to imply you shouldn’t use those sites. Just be certain you’re making informed choices.
There are also sites that start off free, but don’t wind up this way. Increase your hand if you know anybody who submitted their loved ones tree to RootsWeb, and then got mad when Ancestry bought them and made the trees available just to those with subscriptions. The Huffington Post was built largely by writers who worked for free, and are now furious as the owner has sold the site to AOL for a cool $315 million. Actually, building websites with content users have generated for free (and making money during this process) is an extremely hot topic lately. Many people have determined available customers to make the site more valuable and then sell it.
From the comments on yesterday’s post about Mocavo, the site’s owner, Cliff Shaw, has suggested twice that we submit the websites I want Mocavo to index. Now, notwithstanding my belief that all websites should be indexed if the search engines is usually to be valuable, I might decide that I wish to spend some submitting “genealogy” sites for Mocavo, to ensure I could make it more valuable when he sells it (as he has with sites he’s owned in past times). I certainly contribute a great deal of other dexkpky12 content to sites I prefer regularly (Twitter, Facebook, blogs, forums, etc.), so that’s actually not much of a stretch at all. But I know how those sites earn money off from my contributions, and that i don’t think it’s unreasonable to inquire how Mocavo will work the identical. Regardless of whether I Truly Do contribute sites…what’s to express they are free? Reader Debi commented on yesterday’s post that this only result she’d found was one for e-Yearbook, which isn’t free in any way. Are paid sites now submitting themselves for inclusion? Can nefarious operators build websites filled with spammy affiliate links after which submit them for inclusion? What is the process for guarding against that sort of thing? Are sites paying for 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 useful for the full field, and because the property owner appears to be a guy in the genealogical community, having a history within this “neighborhood”…not some random stranger). I simply want to understand how it will achieve this. Inside the search-engine world in particular, where earning money has been this sort of challenge recently, this seems like a good question for me.
Maybe it IS rude to question how companies generate profits. Maybe I’m a total weenie for asking (and this wasn’t my intention at all; I just though this is this type of obvious, softball question that the company would be able to copy-and-paste a solution). But I’ve been on the web of sufficient length to understand that it’s always a smart idea to ask.