* Have a full featured API right out of the gates
* Outline how users get their data out of your system
* Open source the code to ensure the ability for it to live on
Pledges are cheap.
As for feedback to Garry: it would be nice if the line width would be shorter or text being larger, I find it myself playing tennis a bit (fan of large article type here)
Postponing the forever message until the underlying features to support it are built would go a long way.
Personally, I don't see the issue in launching with an API early. We launched the API for OpenPhoto well before we had any UI.
I've blogged and posted about this topic for a while . I've also spent the last 2 years full time on a project that relates to data ownership and portability . For those of us who write software specifically designed to solve this problem it's unfortunate when others make the same claims based simply on promises.
Give us some time -- Posthaven was a vague idea just a few months ago. We are under the gun to ship software at the moment.
But until those features are released I have to remain a cynic :).
Ping me on Twitter (@jmathai) if you wanted to grab coffee. I never pass an opportunity to chat with someone about the preservation of digital archives.
I think a lot of people could get behind the idea of a permanent entity that wasn't a for profit corporation. There is a strong case for building something that endures, something that can be counted on to last for decades if not centuries. Fiduciary responsibility means that corporations must sell their assets or shut down service if it's the most profitable thing to do. Not to mention that companies can wind up selling all kinds of data and usage information to whoever in a fire sale scenario.
The world needs more services with incentives aligned to long term investment and global benefit as opposed to quarterly earnings numbers. Plus posthaven founders are a rare type of people with a record of making cool things. They have the ability to put together something that will be as useful in 2065 as it is today.
A sort of "Posthaven Permanence Foundation" would be interesting. The key insight is that it might be valuable/profitable immediately, or even in the next 10 or 20 years. But if my back-of-the-envelopes are correct, posthaven could run for a very long time on a relatively small amount of capital. Organizations that are built around long term value have a way of winning in the end.
"To actually commit to the claim of being 'the most durable blog platform ever created' and 'made to last forever', a blog hosting service should either:
A) Require new users to bring their existing domain.
If you're talking "forever", or at least a lifetime, a 10 year cliff is a long time but not that long.
You could do things, like actually turn off the domain service after 9.5 years, giving people a 6 month retention reminder of the blunt sort, but there's not much clever that I can think of.
The day you do finally shut down Posthaven-- which will happen-- this will give all your customers a built-in migration strategy for their URLs. I think that's a stronger offer.
"The shutdown will be quite abrupt: Memolane accounts and content are set to be deleted tomorrow"
Your point still stands, that's just a poor example.
But I would not choose App.net simply because it is a little cheaper than Posthaven. I would choose App.net because the guy who founded it, Dalton, seems to have some kind of long term vision. There is a heavy focus on the API as the future to a platform that goes beyond what Twitter is, and goes beyond what Posterous was. That longer term vision is enticing, because it also offers slightly more concrete possibility of longevity than the mere verbal promise offered by Posthaven. After all, the only way any of these services can offer longevity is by surviving, and the only way they can survive is to have an idea that really is adapted to what the world needs next.
We certainly have a road ahead of us to show how we will make it to forever. For now, we're building software.
If they are trying to improve on Posterous they need to be up front with the fact that Posterous is closing and people don't want to move again in an year year when Posthaven shuts down.
Businesses close, people die. If you are going to make a promise, make it worth it.
I just built Urgeous, a (very beta) Posterous clone, and describe my motivations here: http://urgeous.com/p72t3aaa40h-mourning-posterous-how-and-wh...
An API is coming (later today!) that will let you serve the posts from your own server, while Urgeous deals with storage and the like.
The (current) plan is to stay free for things hosted on the Urgeous domain, and to charge for the API (other suggestions welcome).
But since it's still very beta, the API will also be free when it opens.
Check it out! Send a message to email@example.com (supports Markdown)
>Will it be $5 a month forever?
>As long as we can! We'll do our best to keep it as reasonable as possible. If costs go up, we'll have to raise prices. If they go down, we'll lower them.
>We believe fair's fair -- and we'll always be fair.
$5.00 in 2006 had about the same buying power as $0.43 in 1930, so $5 in 1930 is equivalent to $58 today.
That said, I'm not sure I'd trust another blogging service by the people that created Posterous. They already had a chance to demonstrate that they would keep the service running for the long haul and they didn't. I'd suggest people take their $5/month and spend it on Wordpress.com.