What internet services would you be willing to pay for?

By Mark O’Neill

I seem to be finding some thought-provoking lists today online. This one, on the website of Ryan Spoon (great name!) is what internet services you would be willing to fork over money for if you were forced to.

A lot of stuff on the internet is free these days, to the point that if someone dares to ask for money for a product, there are howls of indignant protests and calls for a boycott. There are also so many competing products that many developers are probably very nervous to ask for money, because they figure that their users would just defect to a free similar product instead.

But would you be willing to pay for your favourite products if money was asked for? Personally speaking, as a Scotsman, I am loathe to hand over money for ANYTHING unless my life depends upon it (and even then I want an expert second opinion on my chances of survival). That means that during the past two years, I have only personally paid for one piece of software and that was SnagIt (and I made sure I could claim it as a tax write-off!)

But if they started charging for Gmail, Google Reader, WordPress….would I pay? I don’t know…..it depends on what extras they throw in to sweeten the pill. I probably would in the end get out the credit card, grit my teeth and hand over the cash though. Most of my online life is centered around these applications and to move to another application is just too much time and hassle.

So how about you? Using Mr Spoon’s list as a guide, what currently free internet services would you be willing to pay for if they suddenly became paid services? Or would you refuse to pay as a matter of principle and move elsewhere, regardless of the hassle and inconvenience?