PodServe moves to a paid-for exclusive service

A couple of weeks ago we announced that we would be no longer supporting or accepting new free blogs.  The reason was simple, for honest businesses that do not have a strategy to build a large user base to then be hopefully bought out by a larger company doesn't pay the bills.

Now some say that if you have a "web2.0" business that isn't wanting to be bought out then you lack ambition.  Absolute nonsense.  Some of us are quite happy with our business, servicing our members with care and respect and answering their support calls usually within the hour (compare that to say eBay or even TypePad, where after 3 days I am still waiting for a real human to answer).

So it gives me great pleasure when I see some other innovative companies also take this approach.  The excellent PodServe service have too realised that free users don't pay the bills.  This is a signal that they are trying to build a revenue model to actually stay in business the good old fashioned way.

We don't have the venture funded war chest of the likes of TypePad and WordPress.   They can afford to offer free services to some of their users, because really, they are subsidized by the investor in the hope that one day they will be swallowed up by a Google or a Yahoo.  So let them I say - it sure as hell takes the load away from our infastructure.

Big In Japan, the company behind PodServe, cite similar reasons as to why they are moving to the paid-for model.  Although with them only giving their free users until the 1st of May to move, I am wondering if have been maybe a little too generous giving our free bloggers to the end of the year!

I don't know about you, but the less adverts I see the better, as ultimately it's the user that suffers.  TypePad's new sister site, VOX, which is pitched at the real novice has a very high noise level, even within their adminstration area.  I mean, if you have to sell advertising inside the users adminstration area then surely you are not building a system focused on your customer, but your advertiser?

We have vowed to remain advert free and in our new version, we even give our bloggers the ability to turn off ALL Blog-City branding on their site.  They have paid for the service, they can brand it how they wish, using as many of their own domains as they wish.

We have priced our services competitively (ironically resulting in a little cheaper than other blogging hosts) and we are proud to say we have a large loyal customer base that stays with us.  We have a large percentage of our bloggers that have been with us over 2 years and are still very active.  They tell us it's the excellent customer service and the vast array of features that no other blogging host offers. 

Can't argue with that I guess.

PodServe - more power to you 


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