Two weeks is laughably short and disrespectful to your users. If at least they were open about the issue that forces them to shutdown, maybe users would be able to help out by donating to keep it online for longer? Shit like this makes me hate startup culture.
It could take more than a couple of weeks for many users to realize the service is shutting down (skip past the email in their inbox, etc.)
Even if a user receives notification with the full two weeks notice, they could be on vacation and unable to download the files.
They could figure "Oh, I'll make a note to download my stuff when I get home from work" then forget all about it.
Sure, the code allowing for the export of data might seem trivial but you still need someone to maintain the system. It's almost guaranteed to need some kind of attention over a couple of months in use. Especially if the export feature was written quickly after the announcement was made.
Now, we've decided to maintain a couple of employees for 2 months to support user exports, where will those 2 people work? Will they work from home? Do you have infrastructure in place to allow them full access from home? No? That means they'll need to come into the office. Will it just be the two of them in the office all day on their own? Do they need some kind of HR? What if they find other jobs during this 2 month export process?
What about customer service? People will have questions about how to export the data or what to do with it. Does anyone answer those questions over the next few months? What if those people found other jobs. Do you hire and train someone new just for those 2 months?
At the very least they could be open and honest about what is going on instead of pulling a "thanks for being part of this incredible journey, we've had our fun so now we will let you stand in the rain".
There's nothing fun about shutting down a company and putting people out of work. Also, standing in the rain is being dramatic.
Yes, it's expected that a service provide you wait an export feature when they shut down but you also need to consider the ramifications of a company shutting down: people jump ship. And rightfully so. They have families that they need to take care of and looking for another job is #1.
If you're this concerned about being able to export your data, don't start using a company unless they already have data export feature available and publish a detailed user-friendly exit plan in advance.
Presumably, this company sent out emails to everyone notifying them of the closure and export feature. Yes, 2 weeks is a little short but I understand the complicated logistics of extending the export timeline.
Where there's a will, there's a way.
(Though it shouldn't be a problem for those who have it in their sent boxes, but some even wrote on the website sometimes like I did).
Don't the Internet Archive keep some private collections?
If I'm already just going to scrap the code, might as well spend a week to give my customers an alternative, it isn't like the code is worth anything at this point.
Thanks to the founders for keeping such an easy-to-use service around for so long. I'm off to find an alternative. My list of features isn't long. A daily email with a reminder and a previous post from the last year, month or week. It's that simplicity that kept me using the service.
If the founder(s) of OhLife are reading this thread, I'd like to make an offer: I'll pay to host the infrastructure/servers (up to $1,000/month) as a contribution to the community. My guess is, a lot of people are using this app and would like to keep it around.
Ping me @dharmesh on twitter if you're interested.
Now looking for alternatives too. So far Penzu is looking like the winner. It seems to have everything ohlife had plus apps.
Can you imagine getting back from a trip to discover everything had been deleted.
It seems like they should give more time than this.
it's far from perfect. I just created them, but I will give it a try.
A comparable question might be:
Disclosure: I'm the founder. If there’s interest, I’m happy to add an import for OhLife exports.
The feature of the 'one year ago you wrote...' would also be incredibly great to have and would ensure I stuck with DailyDiary for the future!
Similar to a few posts here, I've been using OhLife for 4+ years and have ~1500 entries that I'd love to be able to port into Daily Diary.
every night i will wait for your email and input what i think or meet today, and i can know what i thought one year ago, and i have the chance to remember the good/sad life i experienced before.
it's always in my daily routing and the habit, i also introduced this service to my family and friends, everyone like it very much.
thanks guys, hope i can do sth to save this site.
I have multiple calendars (about 20), some log things to do with work, one logs all SMS messages and phone calls sent/received, another logs fitness/health.
At any time I can look at any day, and there is enough information in the calendar to tell me everything that happened that day and for me to recall the day clearly.
Most of this is recorded implicitly (IFTTT handles whatever doesn't have calendar intgreation), only a little is recorded manually. It used to be more manual, now it's more automatic.
I've been doing this for so long I'm not even sure when I started... let me look. Well, May 2006 I see densely filled out, but Google Calendar doesn't seem to like looking before that... I guess that Google must store info prior to that in a cold storage solution.
Even looking at 2006, wow. I see the day I met my first wife, the film I saw at the cinema a few days before, my weight, the bike ride I did, some work appointments and a trip to Gloucester, someone's leaving party at work, and that my finances were flush that month.
I remember the weather for almost every day in May 2006, and it makes me realise how much weather is also a signal to recall information. I think I'll add weather history for wherever I am too.
For Android https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.zegoggles.... backs up all calls and SMS to Google Calendar and Gmail respectively. IFTTT can copy the SMS messages from Gmail to Google Calendar. I label the GMails, and copy them to a distinct calendar.
I run an IFTTT to detect calendar attachments on email and copy those to a distinct calendar.
I run a personal calendar for personal appointments, and then other calendars for friends appointments. Another calendar tracks gigs, films, exhibitions and theatre visits.
I run a different work calendar for every employer/venture I've had.
I run different calendars for process based work, i.e. I have a calendar that tracks visa applications and progress, and I have another calendar that tracks key dates regarding all financial obligations (start of agreements, agreement expiry, cliffs for option vesting, etc).
It's just a slow accumulation of information into buckets that I consider to have time-based views of them.
The Google Calendar agenda/search results is usually how I find things, but sometimes I do the whole "browse to this month and see what I was doing then".
This is fascinating stuff. Have you read the book "Experience Curating" by chance?
Inspiration came from two things:
1) Hearing about Stephen Wolfram documenting/logging every conversation.
2) Learning to meditate, and my first attempt at this was to label every thought I had and collate things together in my head
I figured I could log the stream of events that occurred in life, and label everything and collate things.
There are lots of subtle advantages. And it does seem that the book you mentioned ( http://www.amazon.co.uk/Experience-Curating-Increase-Influen... ) is a very similar concept to what I'm doing. No, I hadn't read it or heard of other people (beyond Stephen Wolfram) doing anything like this.
I don't use spreadsheets though... I consider time as being the primary key for all information. From that point of view, the storage should be a time based system.
That stems from how I personally recall things. I recall consuming music as a chronology of life... play a song and I know what I listened to in the months before, months after, where I was, who with, how I felt, what I was up to. But time is the thing there, the expansion of the pinpoint into a line stretching forward and backward provides all the extra context. I log way more than I need to because it's so effortless to do so.
I should've added another of the small processes as I added a few bookmarks today and remembered that I hadn't mentioned this one. I use pinboard and bookmarks are pulled from the RSS and put into yet another calendar.
Edit: I take that back.. day one looks pretty awesome
Found https://twitter.com/kylesethgray/status/513476424955482112 which let me import all my OhLife data into this.. and this is backed by my DropBox account which makes me feel safe about my data
You can use Day One as an OhLife replacement by setting a notification at your email time. Then just write and ignore all the other features.
It's basically a 2 way SMS reminder system that allows for flexible and simple scheduling. I've been using it for months to SMS myself and record thoughts throughout the day. At the start of each day I get a link to my recent summary which gives me performance metrics along with past content (see screenshot)
I haven't really focused on how to make a business out of this and OhLife shutting down is another data point around whether or not this type of service can be monetized effectively. For me email would never work to get me to do this kind of activity. SMS does work because it's invasive enough, on a clearer channel than email, and even simpler to respond. (even though my response rate over the last week is as low as it's ever been :-)
Comments and thoughts welcome as to whether or not people would be into something like this. I've actually been working on another idea that uses this app as a foundation but I (along with a few others) do use it everyday for journaling.
This service was so important to me that I think I'll have to make a Python script to keep this going in my life.
If anyone knows how to get in touch with a decision maker, contact me via my profile info.
I can sum this up quickly, key players in the company (I know they only mention 2 on the about us page) lost interest and now its hurry up and shut down.
What the founders are failing to see is people remember these things and this un-thought out idea will haunt them for a long time. I personally have put them on my do not do business with list.
As for the tool itself, its uber easy to duplicate this so I will be making my own internal tool for myself and clients/students.
The one additional feature I'd like to see in an OhLife replacement is the incorporation of some cues about my day to help me get writing. Show me my calendar entries, photos, check-ins, etc. to jog my memory. This would be especially helpful when back-filling in entries a few days later. It would also discourage you from writing simple lists of what you did in your journal. These lists make for dull reading a year later. It's much better to write about stuff that won't be recorded otherwise: what you were thinking or looking forward to.
I started using it since 2 years and always used to wait for the daily email reminding me what i wrote earlier.
Really liked you "ohlife"!!
This was the only service I started using on my own and I really liked it.
When I was initially looking around I tried Penzu and a few others but it was more than I wanted. I loved the simplicity of Oh Life and having the email sit in my inbox as a "to do" reminder. I suspect Day One uses Apple's built in reminders which wouldn't force me to clean up my inbox the way a dozen Oh Life emails does.
Thanks Oh Life. I'll miss you.
I don't want to lose my journaling habit, so I looked into every recommended replacement in this thread. Sadly, I found each one to lack the relentless simplicity of OhLife.
Since I couldn't find what I wanted, I rolled up my sleeves with a fellow developer and started building.
Our plan is to add exactly one feature to OhLife: non-optional paid plans. We hope this means our service won't just disappear due to lack of financial stability.
If you'd like to know when we launch, you can drop your email on this simple page: http://notify.trailmix.life/.
You have a habit-forming business. I'm dependent on this and worked it into my daily rituals.
I would have gladly payed money to continue using this service.
Why was this model not experimented with, before deeming your venture "not financially stable"?
Thanks for the memories.
Give people a chance to save OhLife. Set an amount for giving the server another year. Put this amount on your website or a crowd funding site like Ycombinator invite all of your users to donate to raise the fund just like what Wikipedia do every year. Don't simply shut it down without giving the users a chance for keeping the door open.
email to them hello[at]ohlife.com
You can already get a daily reminder email and hit reply to save your thoughts. We're currently reworking the website (long overdue), and will add the option to see a previous post in the reminder email by mid October.
A project like this should be an open source side project we build because we want it, not a startup.
I downloaded everything I had so at least I have my postings. Definitely looking for an alternative. Good luck to those who made OhLife possible!
(also: none of us - I assume - knows the back-story. I wouldn't judge before you do and have time to digest it)
It doesn't have the email built-in, but I plan on building that out over the next few days.
It does have an OhLife importer and you can add new entries through the web user interface.
I started using OhLife after psobot wrote a clone for it. His clone is now unmaintained, but I do think he had the right idea.
Does anyone know anything about the founders or how they tried to make money? I never saw a premium option.
Maybe it is an IP filter. I remember having seen the option for the last few years, both in Canada and in the US.
I hope one of the many alternatives listed in this thread hop on providing import functionality.
I'm not suggesting you treat it as a private diary of intimate details, more like a time capsule for future generations to read. How you viewed the world around you, how you viewed world events. Maybe allow people to put time locks on their posted info, so it wouldn't be public for X number of years.
Why not putting this on one Linode instance or Amazon Cloud, pay $50 a month and keep free users by offering premium $1/mo package to some of them?
But no, its easier to shut down.
Less hassle, right?
Edit: And I got downvoted. I guess armchair quarterbacking is the right thing to do around these parts.
While it's 'trivial' and 'not hard', the time it self is priceless.
Yeah, that's not how it works.
Committing time and money to a failed venture is the biggest mistake an entrepreneur can make.
Committing time and money to enhance your reputation is never a mistake.
This is pretty typical. Every single business owner out there knows that the non-paying users generate more noise and complaints than an average paying customer.
The bullshit 'reputation' angle you are playing is a total non-sense.
Tell that to Max Levchin and 99% of other entrepreneurs that had to fail and fail hard prior to actually making it. I'm sure their 'reputation' is ruined.
TLDR: You live in a bubble.
I wonder when majority of people will dislike Startup folks like they did dislike Stock Brokers thanks to thinking like yours.
Greed is good. Right?
Honour is just a myth?