How to close an online service gracefully

Adam Tinworth
Adam Tinworth

Festive AdamThe problem with today’s startup-centric web culture is that increasing numbers of services fail or get sold, and they close down, taking their content with them. DailyBooth was a hot site, particualry amongst teens and 20-somethings, a couple of years ago. It encouraged you to shoot a daily photo of yourself using your webcam and upload it to the service. I played with it a little, and then it dropped from my conciousness.

Well, the service is now closing, and they dropped users an e-mail with insturctions on how to grab their content. I did so, and then left it as an archive in my downloads folder for a while. I finally got around to dealing with it this morning, and found, to my delight, not just a folder of images, but a set of HTML files with the photos. One quick upload to my server later, and you can now see my (brief) history with DailyBooth captured for posterity.

The contrast with online polls service Vizu which sent an e-mail saying that the service was closing – and that we should screengrab or print out – on paper no less – our polls is rather marked…

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Adam is a lecturer, trainer and writer. He's been a blogger for over 20 years, and a journalist for more than 30. He lectures on audience strategy and engagement at City, University of London.