Egreetings lowers the portcullis.
December 6, 2001 11:46 AM   Subscribe

Egreetings lowers the portcullis. No longer can you send that flishy-Flashy virtual birthday card for free. Now you've got to sign up as an Egreetings member to access all the cards ($12 per year). Luckily, many of their cards are still free, including the indispensable farting section. Has anyone, so far, spent money on an internet service that was once free but now costs something?
posted by scarabic (21 comments total)
I plunked down $17.95 for premium membership to Nerve, but only because I got a subscription to the magazine with it. Considering it's questionable whether the mag will ever be released again, it probably wasn't a great move on my part.
posted by me3dia at 12:07 PM on December 6, 2001

Yup. Funny you should link to that -- I subscribed to Salon. And I've been reading it less and less ever since.
posted by Badmichelle at 12:07 PM on December 6, 2001

Scarbic, thank you for posting the farting link. I have been laughing straight for the past 10 minutes. Yes, I have the maturity of a five year old. God bless gas.
posted by aj100 at 12:08 PM on December 6, 2001

I was an early Slate subscriber. I still have the umbrella.
posted by luser at 12:09 PM on December 6, 2001

Sheesh -- I forgot about Slate. I have the umbrella too! I stopped reading that one not long after I subscribed. Weird.
posted by Badmichelle at 12:13 PM on December 6, 2001

I wholeheartedly agree with Cory's post at BoingBoing regarding this move. I never found any value in getting or sending an ecard to someone, and I couldn't imagine many people paying for this service.

I currently subscribe to Salon and, but only because I wanted to help support them. I haven't crossed over from any web service I demoed that has since ended up at End Of
posted by mathowie at 12:15 PM on December 6, 2001

Has anyone, so far, spent money on an internet service that was once free but now costs something?

Well, Excite spent money on a greeting card company that cost something, then gave it away for free. Sort of.
posted by dhartung at 12:19 PM on December 6, 2001

e-cards, as well as anything, represent the false content/profit paradigm of the gone .com era. May egreetings' demise be quick and painless.
posted by ParisParamus at 12:26 PM on December 6, 2001

Interesting, so some how paying for something made you forget about it?
you'd think after you paid you go back more often, no?

Something in the back of your mind says... what? I pay for this, so it ain't worth it for some reason?

I wonder if anyone keep stats on this.
posted by Blake at 12:30 PM on December 6, 2001

I prefer my e-cards without the accompanying banner ads.
posted by barkingmoose at 12:37 PM on December 6, 2001

I started paying for my services from TheCounter cuz I liked the ease of use.

While I get slightly more than what some of the free hosts seem to provide (I test drove a few before I decided to pay for what I was already using.), there haven't been any real *extras* that I wasn't getting when it was free. But since it wasn't free anymore, and I wanted it, I had to pay.
posted by melissa at 12:53 PM on December 6, 2001

Best cards are free.

So far nothing I consider indispensible (MetaFilter, Mapquest, um... that's it) has gone pay. When The Counter stopped being free, I started using EXTREMEME! tracking. Works pretty well, and it has a snappy name.
posted by jennyb at 1:21 PM on December 6, 2001

Whoa. An eXTReMe typo, there.
posted by jennyb at 1:22 PM on December 6, 2001

Blake, I don't think paying made me forget about those sites. I subscribed in response to frenzied calls for money that they needed because they were going downhill. More than once, I've subscribed to paper magazines, only to have them fold one or two issues later. Come to think of it, I've subscribed to both Nerve and Bust. Maybe I'm just a harbinger of doom...

posted by Badmichelle at 1:46 PM on December 6, 2001

I liked MetaFilter much more before we started having to send Matt $30 in small bills each first of the month.

Wait...what? Just me?
posted by ColdChef at 2:59 PM on December 6, 2001

I discovered today (my sister's birthday) that bluemountain has gone mostly pay. (including all the birthday cards.) I think I'm just gonna start making my own, the same way I make my own (paper) Xmas cards.

so far, I haven't switched to pay for any service yet. and I can't think of a whole lot that I would: MeFi, of course, and probably Blogger. my web host (which I pay for) offers web-based email, so I don't really need my free webmail accounts.

the services I use most often, other than that, are my credit union, the bus schedule, and reserving books at the library. and I don't see any of those going pay anytime real soon. :)
posted by epersonae at 3:50 PM on December 6, 2001

I have to say I would gladly pay to use Blogger. I bought the Blogger Tee as a show of support. It's actually a pretty nice shirt for only $10.
posted by scarabic at 6:22 PM on December 6, 2001

I work as a product manager on a free web site that serves millions of users. We temporarily suspended a few features recently when we ported the product over to a new serving platform. When we did, we had a slew of fans write in asking us to start charging them so they could get their features back.

Clearly, not everyone is willing to pay, but I think there will be some successful advertising-free pay services that were once ad-supported and free. It's seems like it would be a lot easier to make money from a core set of paying subscribers than to fight to make fractions of pennies from them via advertisers in this market.
posted by hitsman at 6:36 PM on December 6, 2001

Hooray! Maybe people will stop sending me those stupid things. (After the first few, I no longer bothered clicking anything but DELETE when I'd get an e-greeting link in my inbox.)
posted by StOne at 10:13 PM on December 6, 2001

I paid for BookmarkSync only because it had become entrenched in my routine. I thought about paying for Salon, but their new 10,000 ads per minute and interstitials in between policy has forced me to give up on them almost completely. I'm getting ready to take out some textads on both MeFi and Blogger as a means of "paying" for what I see as good service that I want to see stick around!
posted by fncll at 9:08 AM on December 7, 2001

I thought about paying for Salon, but they hired some people who's work I didn't want to read, and some people left that I admired. Not all of the stuff they advertised as being in the premium version seemed to in fact materialise, or when it did, it was pretty belated and a shadow of it's former self, thus I no longer wished to read it.

Perhaps part of the problem is that up till now, sites have often decided on the "premium" and "pay to use" services as a last-ditch effort to get out of trouble. When in fact, they should be implemented when the site is doing well, and is worth every cent. That in a percentage of cases at least, we have become attuned to seeing a request for money as the sign that the site is about to hang up a 404 message on their door.

*Disclaimer - There are certainly some sites that have started charging that are indeed worth every cent, and the sites in question don't look like they are about to up and die. I'm just generalising.
posted by lucien at 3:47 PM on December 7, 2001

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