A reader emailed me about yesterday’s post on Mocavo, asking why I wanted to find out how this new search engine planned to make money. She felt it was actually rude to ask about money.
Well, maybe it is. I’m planning to keep asking, though, about every site I take advantage of. As if there’s a very important factor I’ve learned on the net, it’s this: Hardly anything is free of charge.
Google isn’t free. You’re trading a slice of your privacy to make use of it. That’s not a knock against Google; I use a variety of their products and services, and so i like them perfectly. But asking myself, “How does this for-profit company generate profits when it’s providing me by using these free services?” led me to investigate and know very well what I’m providing them in exchange for that win free stuff online. I’m making a well informed decision to utilize those tools, and also taking steps to manage the volume of information I give them.
Facebook isn’t free either. Actually, if you’re on Facebook and you also aren’t paying close focus on the direction they make money, you’re nuts. I prefer Facebook, nevertheless i be sure I maintain 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 previously year approximately who definitely have started offering free hosting for the family tree. That’s great. Prior to deciding to spend hours building yours, though, it appears to be wise to ask: How are these individuals creating wealth? Is it backed my venture capital, angel investors, or perhaps a rich uncle? Are those people who are bankrolling it going to want a return on their investment sooner or later? If they don’t see one, don’t you think they could pull the plug? Have you been ready to view the work you’ve dedicated to your online family tree disappear if those sites can’t make enough money to satisfy their investors? Simply because you can’t have it both ways. You will have a site that lasts a very long time, or you can have a site that doesn’t generate profits from you one way or another…but not both. Before you decide to spend hours entering yourself and your facts about both living and dead people, you might like to ponder how it will likely be used. Marketers are going to pay a great deal for demographic facts about living people. If you’re entering all of your living family’s dates of birth, wedding anniversary, kids’ names, etc. on a “free” site, ensure you are super clear how that will be used, now and in the future. That’s not to say you shouldn’t use those sites. Just be sure you’re making informed choices.
In addition there are sites that start off free, but don’t turn out doing this. Increase your hand when you know anyone who submitted their family tree to RootsWeb, after which got mad when Ancestry bought them and made the trees available just to people with subscriptions. The Huffington Post was built largely by writers who worked for free, and they are now furious since the owner has sold the site to AOL for the cool $315 million. Actually, building websites with content users have generated totally free (and earning money at the same time) is definitely a hot topic lately. A lot of people have worked out available customers to help make your site more valuable and after that sell it off.
Within the comments on yesterday’s post about Mocavo, the site’s owner, Cliff Shaw, has suggested twice which i submit the sites I want Mocavo to index. Now, notwithstanding my belief that sites on the internet should be indexed if an internet search engine is going to be valuable, I might choose 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 (as he has with sites he’s owned in the past). 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 generate income away from my contributions, and so i don’t think it’s unreasonable to ask how Mocavo is going to do exactly the same. Even though I Actually Do contribute sites…what’s to express they are free? Reader Debi commented on yesterday’s post how the 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 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 internet search engine placement on Mocavo? How would we all know if we didn’t ask?
I am hoping Mocavo makes money (because I feel success in genealogy is good for the full field, and also since the owner appears to be a man from your genealogical community, by using a history in this particular “neighborhood”…not some random stranger). I just want to know the way it is going to achieve this. In the search-engine world in particular, where creating wealth has become such a challenge recently, this looks like a fair question to me.
Maybe it is actually rude to inquire how companies generate income. Maybe I’m an overall weenie for asking (which wasn’t my intention right here at all; I actually though it was this kind of obvious, softball question the company could copy-and-paste a solution). But I’ve been on the internet for long enough to understand that it’s always a good idea to ask.