On Friday I posted an entry to my blog about the sad news that Etherpad would be no more thanks to being acquired by Google, but less than 48 hours later I am pleased to report that Google have u-turned on the decision so it looks like Etherpad will survive – http://mashable.com/2009/12/05/etherpad-user-victory/
so what has been learnt through this little incident:-
we cannot rely fully on web 2 services. in the last 2 years I have used and promoted many services (Jaiku, veotag, Gabcast etc) only for them to die or start charging. now when I use and promote free tools I try to think about how the founding company is going to make money and work out the likelihood of the tool surviving. with Etherpad I thought it was a good bet, but the way that we so very nearly lost it shows if nearly wasn’t.
however from a bigger perspective this has shown how the power of the social web can be used by the masses to challenge the big boys like Google. this should make all companies (in any area of work) take note as some may have to rethink their customer service strategies. Also this fills me with confidence that as and when other sites are acquired by Google, Yahoo or Microsoft etc. the power of the people will stop them slipping into oblivion (like Jaiku did).
anyway glad to have Etherpad back up and running.