Free services litter the web. The web is built on “free” after all.
Gmail, Facebook, Twitter and the like all give services away, supplementing it with advertising and account upgrades. That’s called freemium. I use to be totally opposed to paying for things like that. Friends upgraded their Flickr accounts. Not me. I switched to Posterous.
Lately, my thinking has shifted. I laid down the paltry amount of $25 a year for an upgraded account to Remember the Milk, an online task management app and site. The upgrade gave me the site’s sweet Andriod app. Just yesterday I paid $9 to open an account on Pinboard, an online bookmarking service. Sure, Delicious is still viable, but I grew tired of it long ago. I tried Google Bookmarks, but missed RSS feeds and the public nature of bookmarking. Thanks to a post by Andrew Spittle, I discovered Pinboard.
I love both these services. Does that tell you that you get what you pay for? Probably not. I just think it means I, and others, are willing to pay a little extra for an efficient and beautiful experience in our web tools.