A reader emailed me about yesterday’s post on Mocavo, asking why I wanted to know how this new internet search engine planned to generate money. She felt it was actually rude to question about money.
Well, maybe it can be. I’m planning to keep asking, though, about every site I personally use. As if there’s something I’ve learned on the web, it’s this: Hardly anything is free.
Google isn’t free. You’re trading a chunk of your privacy to work with it. That’s not a knock against Google; I personally use a variety of their products and services, and I like them all right. But asking myself, “How can this for-profit company earn money when it’s providing me with these free services?” led me to research and know what I’m providing them in exchange for that free stuff to order online. I’m making an educated decision to utilize those tools, and also taking steps to deal with the quantity of knowledge I provide them with.
Facebook isn’t free either. In reality, if you’re on Facebook and you also aren’t paying close focus on how they generate income, you’re nuts. I prefer Facebook, however i be sure I continue on which they’re doing with my information. I don’t trust that Zuckerberg kid one bit.
Another concern I have got about free sites is stability. I’ve noticed a great deal of companies in the past year roughly who may have started offering free hosting for your family tree. That’s great. Before you spend hours building yours, though, it appears to be smart to ask: How are these individuals earning money? Is it backed my venture capital, angel investors, or perhaps a rich uncle? Are individuals who are bankrolling this thing going to require a return on their investment eventually? Should they don’t see one, don’t you imagine they may pull the plug? Are you presently able to begin to see the work you’ve placed into 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 will have a site that lasts a long time, or you can have a site that doesn’t generate profits off from you one of many ways or another…but not both. Before you spend hours entering yourself and your information about both living and dead people, you may want to ponder how it will likely 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. with a “free” site, ensure you are super clear about how that will be used, now and down the road. That’s not to imply you shouldn’t use those sites. Make absolutely certain you’re making informed choices.
There are sites that start off free, but don’t find yourself like that. Raise your hand if you know anybody who submitted their loved ones tree to RootsWeb, then got mad when Ancestry bought them and made the trees available only to those with subscriptions. The Huffington Post was built largely by writers who worked at no cost, and are now furious as the owner has sold the website to AOL for a cool $315 million. In reality, building websites with content users have generated for free (and making profits in the process) is a very hot topic lately. Lots of people have discovered available people to create your site more valuable after which market it.
In 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 all websites must be indexed if an internet search engine is going to be valuable, I might decide that I would like to spend submitting “genealogy” sites for Mocavo, to ensure that I can help make it more valuable for when he sells it (because he has with sites he’s owned before). I certainly contribute a lot of other dexkpky12 content to sites I personally use regularly (Twitter, Facebook, blogs, forums, etc.), so that’s actually not much of a stretch at all. But I know how those sites generate profits from my contributions, and I don’t think it’s unreasonable to inquire about how Mocavo is going to do a similar. Even when I Truly Do contribute sites…what’s to say that 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 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 sort of thing? Are sites purchasing search engine placement on Mocavo? How could we understand whenever we didn’t ask?
I am hoping Mocavo makes money (because I feel success in genealogy is good for the complete field, and furthermore, as the property owner appear to be a guy in the genealogical community, having a history within this “neighborhood”…not some random stranger). I just want to know how it would achieve this. In the search-engine world in particular, where making profits has been this type of challenge recently, this may seem like a good question to me.
Maybe it is actually rude to inquire about how companies generate income. Maybe I’m an overall total weenie for asking (and this wasn’t my intention right here at all; I just though it was this kind of obvious, softball question how the company could copy-and-paste an answer). But I’ve been on the web for enough time to know that it’s always smart to ask.