I have a couple of places here at Newsome.Org where I publish breaking news headlines. One is in the right hand column of The Home Place, my internet start page, and another is on a dedicated Headline News page. For years, I have used the service that is now called Feed.Informer to combine RSS content into combined RSS feeds, called digests, to display this news content.
The other day, I noticed that Feed.Informer had inserted a Feed.Informer logo and link at the bottom of each of my digests. Being very stingy with my web site real estate and deeply ad-averse, I visited the Feed.Informer web page in search of a way to get rid of this logo. What I found was interesting.
Like most of its generation of web services, Feed.Informer has offered both free and paid accounts. Because I like the service and have found it to be the best option for combining and displaying content, I have had a paid account for a long time. In fact, I thought I still had a paid account, and my account details at Feed.Informer confusingly indicate that I still have a premium account, though one that expired in April of last year. This confusion seems to result from Feed.Informer’s decision to eliminate premium accounts, seemingly in favor of paid support and, get this, paid logo removal.
A paid support option is just another way to spin a premium account. I’m cool with that. What I am definitely not cool with is having to pay $50.00 per digest to get rid of the logo. I have 6 digests, so if I were insane enough to do it, it would cost me $300 to have logo free content. And that charge would apparently apply even if I had a premium account.
Which I can’t get, even if I wanted to, because the Buy Premium Account button doesn’t work. No harm here, though, since I don’t need priority support. I’d just like to lose the logo/link/ad.
There seems to be a smattering of complaints in the Feed.Informer support forums. I don’t know if the lack of a general uprising is indicative of Feed.Informer’s user base (e.g., that it is small) or that most people don’t mind choosing between a logo/link/ad and stack of $50s.
But I think this is one wacky business model. Sure, I have and would pay for a premium account to avoid the logo/link/ad. I don’t recall what the premium accounts cost back in the day when you could buy one, but if they keep the service fresh and feature-rich, I’d pay $20 a year or so. But $50 per digest to get rid of the logo/link/ad? Not in this lifetime.
I’m not sure what other options are out there, and a logo/link/ad or two is not going to cause me to rip down my Feed.Informer digests in some tea party 2.0 hissy fit. But it does make me wonder about the decision process that led the Feed.Informer folks to this business model.