I woke up this morning to this e-mail:
Dear Jumpcut user,After careful consideration, we will be officially closing the Jumpcut.com site on June 15, 2009. This was a difficult decision to make, but it’s part of the ongoing prioritization efforts at Yahoo!Very soon, we’ll be releasing a software utility that will allow you to download the movies you created on Jumpcut to your computer. We’ll send instructions to this email address when the download utility is available.Once you download your movies, you may choose to upload them to another site such as Flickr, which now allows video uploads. You can find out more here: http://www.flickr.com/explore/video/
Thanks for your understanding and thanks for being a part of Jumpcut.
The Jumpcut Team
I can’t say that I was surprised. Although, 12 or so months ago I would have been.
I’m not sure what made me believe that all of these free services would just continue without any sense of a business model or support from their parent company. I think I had a special kind of naivete that allowed me to believe that Web 2.0 would all just sort itself out without anyone really taking responsibility for millions dollars spent in development without any return on the money.
I don’t think that I can be so naive anymore. In fact, in the hopes that I will no longer be duped by the all flash and no substance of a new tool, I am writing down some rules that will guide my tool choice and promotion.
- An exit strategy (my content must be in a format from the very beginning that can be taken elsewhere, not as an afterthought as seen above)
- A working API that is used by other major platforms (If it is in use by other applications, rather than a standalone, it has a better chance of being bought, kept around, or supported beyond its original inception, i.e., released to open source).
- Integration with other major platforms native to the web application (For Example, Screentoaster’s being able to upload to YouTube directly to add functionality and archivability of content)
- An observable business model (not free to all, unless it is an open source project that has community support)
- A parent company that isn’t specifically looking at shedding unprofitable projects (Yahoo specificially, which why I am so worried about delicious.com)
- A community of users that is continuing to grow (This does seem to be the death knell of any web application. If any community stops to grow, it is very hard to regain momentum. Even if I find it useful, if the service isn’t growing, it is probably dying.)
So, that is my advice to myself for choosing tools for myself and others. Are there any other rules you are using in order to ensure that your web applications don’t find themselves with no option but to close and leave you with no option for further learning.