Subscriber’s Remorse

I sign up for almost every web application/service available. I try the alphas and the betas. I use OpenID or create logins. My GMail is crammed with automated emails. Many of the services add social networking features. I add some of the same friend’s on almost every service.

I have user accounts on hundreds of websites. I am not claiming to be in the top 1% of early adopters either. I would venture I am in the top 50%. Off the top of my head I have tried, Social Median, Profy, Toluu, FriendFeed, Diigo, TripSay, TradeVibes, Jott, Xoopit, Yokway, RememberTheMilk, Skribit, Woopra, Newscred, Socialthing, Plaxo, Plurk,, and MyBlogLog many many others all in the last 6 months.

OpenID is a good idea. We all could use one less username and password combination to remember. But once you are signed up for the service my questions begin.

My remorse centers around several questions.

  • When I sign up for a service who owns the data? Can I get data out that I put in? – The most annoying would have to be Facebook and their strangehold on user data. But generally I want the ability to export any data I put in.
  • How many annoying emails will I receive? Can I effectively opt out of them? – If a startup begins without some set small set of options for email notifications I contend it is doomed for failure.
  • Can I block users on the service? Can I import contacts from other services? – The Hide function on FriendFeed makes it one of the most useful applications around. Functionality that allows the end user to customize their experience even a little is a brilliant benefit.
  • How do I quit the service all together? – What if the service is just not for me. I do not ever want another email about it. I just want to quit and be assured my data is destroyed.
  • Is the application just a proof of concept? Is active development taking place? – Toluu is my greatest example of this. Toluu enhancements have been implemented and rolled out so quickly that there is no doubt that the application is in active development. Let me reiterate I understand the effort that scalability and keeping an application running takes. The development must continue and readily be seen by the end user.

Have you ever had subscriber’s remorse?

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