Monday, July 02, 2001
The Internet isn't what it's cracked up to be. Admittedly, it's still a fantastic tool for communication, but many other things have been a huge letdown for me, and for many other people. I guess people went into Internet expecting it to be the next big thing, and in many ways, it is. But for those people expecting to make big bucks, it's a major disappointment. I didn't come in expecting any money, but I made the mistake of trusting those people who expected to.
Disappointment #1: XOOM.com and NBCI.com
There are lots of free stuff on the net and like many people, I got caught up in many of them. Free web space being one of those. Many of these free services have promised free lifetime claim on your own home on the web. I put a couple of my sites on XOOM. In exchange for the free service, Xoom would put a banner ad on every page on my site. Which is OK. Free isn't really free after all. I trusted that my site will remain there for a long time.
Less than a year later, XOOM gets absorbed by NBCI.com. There was some concern, but NBCI promised to continue whatever service XOOM has offered. Less than half a year later, I am informed by NBCI that I need to move my site outside of NBCI. They were very coy about it, but the gist of their long-winding email is that they're closing their free web space service. I got a little angry at that. If you are going to usurp something like XOOM, then it stands to reason that you've got the machinery to back it up. What happened? Bite off more than you can chew?
NBCI recommended the site be transferred to Homestead.com. Doing some web research, I discovered that Homestead has gotten really good reviews and come well recommended. Going to Homestead, I was further disappointed to learn that they will soon be charging for their service. A free service will still remain, but bereft of features which made Homestead a good place to go in the first place.
Disappointment #2: NAMEZERO.com
A year or so ago, a new service surfaced on the net offering free domain names in exchange for an ad on the site. I got one for one of my sites. But less than a year later, they deprive me of the use of the domain, demanding that I pay for it or they will sell the name to the highest bidder. Fuck you. Keep your stupid name. And while you're at it, change your name from NAMEZERO.com to NAMENOTZEROAREYOUCRAZYPAYFORMEYOUSHILL.com
You reeled me in because you said it was free. Now that you got me you make a u-turn and ask me to pay. That's tantamount to extortion. If you couldn't hack it, why offer the free service in the first place? If that was the case, then I wouldn't even be here yammering about it.
Disappointment #3: Ravelly.com
Ravelly.com is also a free service on the net offering free message boards for your site. They haven't asked to charge, but they are down a lot. For a service that ought to provide a stable environment for communication, it's a major disappointment. I have gotten in touch with a lot of my former classmates and friends because of a couple of message boards I put up with them. Now they are gone, along with all those messages, and contact info I have of my friends.
Ok, ok, nothing is really free in this world. I know that. And while these people offered their services for free, I should have been wary enough not to trust any of them. But I still can't help but feel angry at them for not living up to anything they have promised.
I can't totally blame them though. They trusted that they could profit from ad based revenues, but it's just not cutting it. The only thing making any real money off the net are pornographers. It's a match made in heaven (uh, pardon the reference). The Internet is a place where you can buy porn while affording you the utmost anonymity. It's the best any pervert can ask for. (Hey, I'm no saint. I look at porn sites myself but only those that are free of course.)
Now I can't trust anything that comes to me with "FREE!" written on their foreheads. I still entrust some of my things to a couple of these services. (Including this here BLOG) I have to because there's no way I can afford to pay, and have no means to pay those offering the same services for a fee. I've put my sites up at Geocities and my mailing lists at it's partner, Yahoo. Because of their popularity, I hope they are some of the more stable free services out there. If these 2 go down, then I guess it's time to bail out of this area of the Internet for good.
Posted by Gerry Alanguilan at 7/02/2001 08:59:00 AM