|"This truly is the cup of the King of Free Web Tools!"|
Note the past tense.
I intended to look into Drop.io as a possible tool for something I'm working on in my new gig, only to discover the service is no more. In fact, it was acquired by my sworn-enemy, Facebook, toward the end of last year. Well, good for the Drop.io folks, anyhow. They created a tool that proved its value and was scooped up by a company with money and influence. Capitalist success story, huzzah! (There's no sarcasm here. I've said it before and I'll say it again: Why create a service that millions of people use if you're not going to get money for it?)
So I navigated over to Mashable to see if they had a post on alternatives in the wake of the Drop.io dissolution, but was struck by some of the comments under their post about the acquisition. I find them to be a well-articulated counterpoint to some of the central tenets behind the aforementioned Ben Franklin Project, and the disappearance of Drop.io proof of the validity in these arguments. Here's a sample:
For the smaller ones, yes… But I have faith in the bigger services such as Evernote that even if an acquisition were to occur, the data wouldn't disappear.
"He chose ... poorly. That cup was acquired by Facebook!"
That kind of suck for users of drop.io
Andrew David Baron
Totally agree with the Evernote reference. There are just some services that will always be there. (Or at least we'd like to hope so…heh) Twitter, Facebook, Linkedin being some of those staples or vanguards you can always count on. But with data storage and sharing services? Wow…Who knows what the future has in store for that industry.
Andrew David Baron
It does suck as the loyalty of their users was far higher than the loyalty of the company TO their users. I'm sure Facebook waved some serious money in front of their faces and everyone was like….yeah…in this economy? We'll take it.
What does this say as a whole to the Social Media industry where communities are built on trust and adaption. Looks like drop.io's version of adapting was becoming extinct! ON PURPOSE! Tsk, tsk, tsk…
I'd be willing to bet that they didn't get all that much money from Facebook. A decent chunk of change that made it worthwhile to walk away from your own project, but nothing more. Think about it, a service with tons of paying users wouldn't just close shop same-day and then delete all data a couple months later.For the record, though, I do believe BFP was a success, and provides a model for the news industry (and others) moving forward; nor do I believe that the use of "free" tools was the end-all point; rather, it was about using those tools to create a little leverage with vendors who charge astronomically for their programs and services and put you in a fiscal vice when it comes to updates, maintenance, etc.
However, I do firmly believe that: 1) There's a reason some things are free, and 2) There's a reason you pay for some things.