It has been a while since I last posted on GoGolian. There are multiple reasons, the main one I want to say was not having time, but if I am honest it was more that I did not know what to do with my brainchild linkaGoGo.
I started linkaGoGo in April 2001. It grew originally out of my bad typing and as I always typed in bad urls. These took forever to resolve in to nothing or a website that I had no interest in. I tried to use the browser bookmarks features but got frustrated with their folder only oriented UI and the fact I used browsers on multiple machines and it was a nightmare to keep the bookmarks in sync.
Since then I added a whole bunch features that I needed in my use of linkaGoGo, which made my life a lot easier. Then I got requests from members also using linkaGoGo and added more features. Some I used as well others less.
Things changed a bit when another bookmarking website del.ico.us got bought by Yahoo. I thought I had an opportunity here and moved my focus from pure bookmarking to selling sponsored links, which worked, but caused a huge inflow of a different kind of user. People trying to promote their website by bookmarking it on every bookmarking site they could find. There are even services that allow you with one submit automatically a link to a number of website.
linkaGoGo ballooned and ended up with 1.5 million registered users and 650 million bookmarks. As a result of that I had to scale and invest to keep the service running. This year was pivotal as Google started to threaten all those folks that used linkaGoGo to promote their website to get it off some of linkaGoGo’s public pages or it would demote them in Google search result ranking, the result was I got zillions of people asking, begging and even threatening me to remove their links.
This summer I was ready to pull the plug, but then realized I would lose exactly why I started linkaGoGo. My need for a fast, convenient online bookmark manager. Pulling the plug was not an option I liked and decided to change course and clean ship. At the moment I’m in the process of focusing back linkaGoGo’s core: personal bookmarking. This has resulted in a number of changes and will continue to do more changes.
Things that have changed are that all public facing bookmarks have either a nofollow attribute on the page or the bookmark and according to Google’s policies should no longer be punished for being linked from another “non-content” related website. Still can’t believe the grand censorhip of our favorite “no-evil” search engine. Also removed all the advertising and sponsored links, unless there were running contracts, but they should be gone by September 2013. I also removed the large directory sites go/Sites and go/Directory. This had a positive impact on the load of the servers.
In the planning for the near future are a number of things. First clean out the database and only leave accounts of members that really use linkaGoGo as it was intended, by visiting their websites using their bookmarks on linkaGoGo.
Second is to remove free subscriptions, I’m still thinking about how to implement this. But basically I want to get rid of spammers and since linkaGoGo has no longer advertising income will need to increase subscription income. In the end linkaGoGo does not charge that much, only $4.95 for a Plus subscription and $19.95 for a full Premier subscription, and this is not per month, but per year. So I’m thinking of either a $.99 trial for 2 months (this will definitely get rid of spammers) or a 7 day free trial, which can then be upgraded to a Plus or Premium subscription.
Third I also want to make the Premium subscriptions a little simpler by just providing the full Premium subscription.
Next is to upgrade the user interface, it still has the early 2000 look and it really could use a facelift. You can see an example of it on the linkaGoGo iPad page. I have also been thinking about browser plugins, made a Chrome extension prototype which look very promising.
So 2013 promises to become an exciting year for linkaGoGo. Let me know in the comments what you think of all this.