Don't Let Software Die

This email landed in my inbox last week, but it’s taken me this long to post it…

Dear Resellers,

I’m writing to you today to give you a long overdue update on our Blogware and Web Site Builder services.

Over the past year Tucows has been working to refine its overall reseller strategy, putting greater emphasis on the four core services we see as essential for the success of resellers and Tucows alike. The services we’re focussed on are the “traditional” Tucows Domain and SSL Services, our new Email Service, plus our recently launched Personal Names Service.

Despite our love of Blogware and Web Site Builder, we just haven’t found the interest from Resellers in these services we had hoped and we’ve decided to de-emphasize them going forward.

What does “de-emphasize” mean?

Essentially, these services are no longer part of our growth strategy and as a result we are no longer actively marketing or selling them to new resellers.

What does this mean to you as a Blogware and/or Web Site Builder reseller?

Probably less than you might expect.

We will continue to operate and support the services for the foreseeable future. You and your customers should not see any change in the quality of service or the level of support you receive. Essentially it is “business as usual”.

We are however not planning any updates to Blogware beyond maintenance windows and major bug fixes that might required to maintain the service at its current state. Our Web Site Builder vendor continues to enhance the service and we expect to pass through these updates.

Should you have any questions about this, please contact your Account Manager or, if you prefer, me.

We thank you for your continued support of Tucows.

Ken Schafer
VP Product Management and Marketing

I migrated from MovableType (another locked platform) to Blogware a few years ago, and ultimately saw stagnation in product development – which put me in quite a pickle, as I really didn’t want to go back to hosting my own blog. It was around then that I decided to make the leap into WordPress, which is what this blog is running today – and I couldn’t be happier. I’ve not yet upgraded to WP 2.5, but that change is coming as I’m working on a new template for this very domain.

What worries me most about building communities on closed platforms is that as soon as those platforms change direction or stop innovating, you’re locked into a toolset that has nowhere to go but down. A blog is only ONE community tool to use – but not the only one that the community may need at any time.

For anybody still using Blogware on my earlier recommendation, I deeply apologize. Tucows has given absolutely no indication that they’re interested in opening the platform at all – leaving you in more of a no-win situation. My “continued support of Tucows” is completely contingent on what they decide to do with Blogware now… aside from abandoning it.

Don’t let software die, please? If nobody wants to pick up the ball and run with it, at least you would have given them the opportunity to do so. This is what worries me most about spreading more of my data across more of these networks that have little (if any) chance of surviving another digital downturn.