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News Xmarks fights to stay alive

Discussion in 'Article Discussion' started by CardJoe, 1 Oct 2010.

  1. CardJoe

    CardJoe Freelance Journalist

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  2. Eriku-Kun

    Eriku-Kun New Member

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    Is this the next big thing to get PR?
    day 1:company:"Oh, we'r closing down because you didnt love us enough"
    day 2: fans: "Oh no! I've never heard of you guys and would love to use your service!"
    day 3: company: "But you still can since we were only kidding about the closing to get publicity"

    First gog.com and now this...
     
  3. logonui

    logonui Member

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    Consider me pledged, at £10 - £20 a year it hardly makes a dent in my bank balance and I'm getting a great service that's unrivaled. Here's hoping its enough to keep them going if they reach they're mark
     
  4. yuusou

    yuusou Well-Known Member

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    I highly doubt this is a scheme. I've been using Xmarks for well over a year, since the monkeying times of Foxmarks. $2million/year is a lot of cash for a free service. 10 quid to keep it alive is by no means a brainer.
     
  5. mclean007

    mclean007 Officious Bystander

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    Right, colour me sceptical but how can it possibly be costing them $2m a year to run? 2 million users is a reasonably sizeable user base, but their infrastructure requirements can't be that outrageous - they are only synchronising a relatively small amount of text based data.
     
  6. MrJay

    MrJay You are always where you want to be

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    I'd pay $10 a year for this service.
    I use atleast 3 different browsers across no less than 5 computers both at work and at home.
    I dont know how id cope without it tbh.
    And i cant see the major browser contenders coming up with a solution that is cross platform...i mean thay would have to work together and play nice and everything..
     
  7. yuusou

    yuusou Well-Known Member

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    Encryption power for your passwords, and everything else for that matter. Also if you're like me, you've got hundreds of bookmarks, it's not all that "small" anymore if you have 2 million doing that. Also imagine 2 million users with a home PC, a laptop and a work PC, that's 3 different sync spots. Plus bandwidth, which must be insanely high. Also, if you're mad enough, and you like it syncing between your Firefox, your IE, your Chrome and your iPhone, there's even more...
     
  8. mclean007

    mclean007 Officious Bystander

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    Bandwidth won't be outrageous - if they have a remotely efficient sync algorithm (which I assume they do) it will only sync changes, and I don't know about you but I don't go around bookmarking hundreds of sites every day. Usually it's maybe two or three, so that's all that should need to be replicated. Also it is only syncing text content, which is bandwidth light - a single bookmark consists, in essence, of an url (maybe a couple of hundred characters at most) and some light metadata (tags / folder, friendly name, etc.). I expect it will be well under 1 kB per bookmark, especially with a bit of compression.

    As to "encryption power" this is trivial too. First off I expect most of the encryption is done client side when using browser plug-ins, so the server workload for these jobs is nil. Only when you log in to view bookmarks on their website (relatively rare, I imagine) would the server need to do any crypto work. Secondly, encryption and decryption workload scales more or less linearly with data size. As noted above, the size of bookmark data is very small.

    I'm not going to argue their numbers - they must come from somewhere. I'm just curious as to how it breaks down, because $2m buys a heck of a lot of hosting and bandwidth, and I can't see how they are possibly using that much. I'm speculating that their $2m figure factors in payments to developers (which aren't really "running costs", since they are one-offs) and some kind of return to investors.
     
  9. eddtox

    eddtox Homo Interneticus

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    I can see how they would have that kind of running costs. It's more or less what I thought it might be. And I would probably pay £10 a year for xmarks - it rocks!
     
  10. mclean007

    mclean007 Officious Bystander

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    Care to expand on that? I am really intrigued as to how they manage to hit that kind of figure. The big ticket items must be hosting and bandwidth, which by my reasoning above can't be outrageous. They don't have huge marketing spend; I don't imagine they have a huge ongoing administrative burden; so their only other substantive cost is likely to be software development, which is a capital rather than revenue expense.
     
  11. wuyanxu

    wuyanxu still wants Homeworld 3

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    i still think my advertise method is better: ad folder insert into your bookmark menu.
     
  12. mclean007

    mclean007 Officious Bystander

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    But who will ever look in the 'ad' folder? They could add a small banner ad to browsers as part of their plug-in, but that won't endear them to users (though of course 'premium' users paying $10 a year could get rid of the banner).

    Personally I don't use Xmarks any more. Google bookmarks does everything I need it to do, and the fact I can log in with my Google account saves me having yet another login to remember! But if I was an Xmarks user, $10 a year would be a small price to pay for a decent product. I don't think the 'pledge' idea is particularly good - they should just give users ample warning then go to a 'paid only' system, or implement a 'freemium' service where you're restricted on number of devices or features unless you pay, and then see what the uptake is and whether it's commercially viable.

    On another note, going back to the $2m running costs point, assuming a significant proportion of that is bandwidth / hosting (which I don't believe), their argument is flawed - if $2m is their cost to run a site with 2m users, then the cost will fall dramatically if they exclude the 98% of those users whom they don't believe will pay to use the service. So an annual income of $400k might be enough to cover the reduced running costs, and they can build the service from there to increase profitability.
     
  13. delriogw

    delriogw New Member

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    no brainer, this is by far the best programme of this type, and i have memory issues so for me it's invaluable

    $10 is nothing to me even on my small income - just hope enough people pledge
     
  14. rickysio

    rickysio N900 | HJE900

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    I don't see the point now. I've already switched over to Firefox Sync, which too has encryption, tabs sync, bookmark sync, history sync, passwords sync, etc. And for free.
     
  15. tad2008

    tad2008 New Member

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    So they have 2million users and they want to charge $10 a year? A nice $20million in their pocket less their paltry $2million for costs leaves them sitting pretty on $18million!
     
  16. Farting Bob

    Farting Bob New Member

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    No if you carried on reading past the second paragraph you would see that usually only 1-3% of users of a free version will upgrade to the premium version. Lets be overly optimistic and say 5% do. Thats 100,000 users paying $10 a year (or whatever they charge). That optimistic 5% will generate half the required revenue....
     
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