The Problems of Web 2.0 & Free Software Applications

Twitter has locked me out. I can’t “tweet” or “re-tweet”, I just can’t do anything. At all. I’m not sure if someone has hijacked my account, if something odd happened. I installed the latest update of TweetDeck, signed in using my regular account and now I’ve been locked out. Done. Two hours later and I still can’t get in.

Herein lies the main problem with Web 2.0 Apps; you do require patience and some knowledge of getting applications to work for you. At some point, you’ll run into an issue with software updates a service shutdown or some other related technical issue. As I did with TweetDeck.
Unfortunately, TweetDeck has not found a simple way to enable updates without requiring a total re-sign-in. This issue resulted in me wiping TweetDeck from my hard drive and installing competitive (and better) solution, Seesmic. But I’m comfortable with doing this. Many, in fact, the majority of people, aren’t.
So they stop participating. Frustration sets in. And here we find another issue. Economics. TweetDeck is free and the general public expects it to be so. TweetDeck is looking for a way to monetize it’s solution I am sure, but it hasn’t yet. So this challenges the expectations between consumer and the products they use when they are free – just how much service should we expect and what happens when we don’t get any service?
As a consumer, we expect service, but when the product is free, the “social contract” changes. We haven’t paid for anything and in a capitalist society, that means the provider really isn’t obligated to do anything.
I don’t have an answer. What do you think?
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