Nov. 25th, 2008

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So Values of N is shutting down (which, I suspect, means that that's a volatile link). I had played around with Stikkit and thought it was interesting; I was more interested in I Want Sandy (a digital personal assistant, lest the name makes you think it's some sort of questionable content!) but was frankly disappointed with the fact that the Stikkit API never made it to I Want Sandy despite the fact that they were both based on the same technology and there was a long-running user request thread to implement such a feature. Ignoring all arguments for and against the viability of giving away your core product for free, I think one of the key things in making a product successful is allowing other people to add value - whether that's through an API, or through a SDK, or some sort of developer program is not relevant; the fact of the matter is that one company can't come up with all the possible ways in which their product will be used, and even if they could, they have limited resources and have to concentrate on the applications of that product that are expected to provide the greatest return on investment. Anyway, if you had accounts on either of these sites, now would be a good time to go and fetch your data and/or nuke your account. I'd been meaning to shut mine down anyway as the lack of API had pretty much turned me off most of the possible interactions I'd otherwise have had with the site, so for the last year or more it's been emailing me the same to-do list and I've just been deleting it and ignoring it.

update: I've just finished reading the followup comments on the linked post. They're laughable, to say the least. People apparently feel that because they put their data into a free service, that free service is obliged to stay running ad infinitum. And various people are standing on soapboxes declaring the death of Web 2.0/Cloud Computing/Buzzword Buzzword Buzzword. Dollars to dimes these people have free accounts on last.fm, twitter, myspace, livejournal, facebook, flickr, etc. and while soapboxing against Values Of N will not even consider these other places storing their precious bodily fluids data. It's very simple: whatever else you do with your data, keep a local copy. If you're blindly putting data you value into the hands of others with no scope for force majeure recovery, you really don't value that data very much.

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