The Dangers of Using Online Tools

I use a steady mix of both online and offline tools/software. I use Bloglines to read my blog feeds. I use Microsoft Word for serious document writing. I use QuickBooks for finances and I use MovableType for my blog management.
When I do not have access to the Internet I do not have access to my online tools. There are pros and cons.
The Blog Herald gives these questions to ask before using online tools:

  • Can I afford to do this on my own, not using an online tool, or am I forced to go with one?
  • What happens if the tool in question goes offline for a while? Will that make my site look bad, and what damage would that do me?
  • What guarantees do the tool offer me, in terms of availability? Can they compensate me should they fail to live up to them, and is their compensation worth the damage I might’ve taken?
  • What happens if the tool goes bankrupt, closes down? What plans do I have to replace it, and how much work will that render me?
  • If I go with a certain tool, what advantages does it have compared to its competitors? Can I gain more readers using Tool A instead of Tool B, or maybe make some money?
  • How reliable is the tool’s service? Is it widely known? Does it work in every web browser, or have a bad reputation?
  • If I’m embedding video, is the video player any good? What pros and cons are there to going with a certain video tool, as compared to another? Will my readers understand how to use this player intuitively?

Read the full article here.

One thought on “The Dangers of Using Online Tools

  1. Gregory Peterson

    I really think this article poses the issue in the wrong way, exactly opposite of what web based tools offer to people with small or no budgets.
    With web-based tools, small business clients have access to far better technology at far less cost than could be found locally.
    Also, these utilities tend to have a more narrow focus to solve certain problems, and they usually have all the issues thoroughly covered.
    There is an element of automation. How can small business entrepreneurs connect the dots on their own? It takes a lot of time, and then again it would take lots of money without the general availability of tools.
    For example, here at FastCommerce, we provide a web-service, and on-line tool, that lets small business entrepreneurs get on-line automatically with a web-store and back office management tools simply by signing up and signing in.
    What Bezos described as Web 2.0 applies directly to free online services and on-line tools: self-service, low-cost and easy to use.
    Some day small business entrepreneurs will have access to all the tools they need to run a business at no or low cost. It will be a kind of Netsuite, with accounting and online e-commerce, just not with a very high price tag.

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