I have always heard that big business knows how to make a profit in a hurry. Fire all the employees and give management a raise. While this is great for short term profits, long term it doesn't work.
Evidently, Tripod decided to try something a bit similar on their free hosting site.
Tripod earns money by displaying advertising banners on the web pages of the sites that people build there. Since site space is provided for free, this seems at first like a reasonable tradeoff.
Seems, is the key word here.
A friend had started a free web site with Tripod. The day before he was going to be on television to talk about his product and his web site, Tripod deleted his site. Naturally my friend e-mailed Tripod to find out what was going on. Not hearing anything, and unable to wait for a response from Tripod, my friend had no choice, so he went with a fee based web host instead. More than a month later, Tripod told him his account was deleted accidentally and Tripod put his web site back online. Needless to say, Tripod is losing out on a fair amount of traffic and income because of this. In my case it was even worse. I had already spent the last four years creating a web site, updating it regularly, submitting to search engines, ... I have been fairly successful at this, as I now get 10,000 visitors per month as well as requests for listings on my web site. I had just gotten my first screen credit in a television show from a producer that had found my web site. One day, I tried to update my web site, and it wasn't there.
I was frantic.
The initial message to me was that I have violated their terms of service. According to the Tripod Terms Of Service, Tripod is not required to inform the web master if there is a problem with the site, Tripod is free to delete the site without any notification of any kind. So the only way to find out if Tripod has deleted your site, is to actually visit it on a regular basis. So, taking them at their word, and knowing they are slow to respond to e-mail, I set up my web site at a fee based web hosting company.
So, imagine my surprise when a week later I actually received an e-mail from Tripod explaining that my web site had been restored, and the deletion was an accident.
Like that really makes up for it.
Like I can afford a web hosting company that can delete my web site for whatever reason (or no reason at all) and not be liable for it.
Seems to me like the new cyber economy is learning a trick or two from the older style economy. The problem, is they are learning all the wrong tricks.
-- The Cynical Optimist