Web 2.0, and the art of charging…

One of the few web applications I was actually waiting eagerly for is FeedLounge, a new feed reader, which I thought may be a much better interface to use instead of my old trusty Bloglines. I’ve found Bloglines to be clunky, and not full enough of Web 2.0 goodness (read: AJAX) for me to be impressed each time I use it.

However, and this is a major problem, FeedLounge requires payment. I know these guys have a need for a wage, but $5 per month? Hmm, a bit too much, I think. Especially when there are plenty of free web-based feed readers out there.

I’m not against paying for web applications (after all, I paid for Mint just the other day), but there’s a very thin line to tread when it comes to charging for a website. Even a very nice looking website that does a lot.

Some companies get it right, realising that giving something away for free can actually be a good business idea. What 37 Signals have given away is a very limited online project management system – only one project can be managed for free. But that’s fine, it gives people a taster of what is to come.

Actually, as an aside, I would prefer to have been able to manage 2 or 3 projects for free in Basecamp, that way I could have seen how multiple projects are displayed and handled. Of course, my project management system will be better. But I would say that, wouldn’t I?

So, pricing. It’s a big problem, especially when you’re trying to sell services on to of something that is essentially free like RSS feeds. But I suppose there are people that will pay for these things. But, unfortunately for the FeedLounge crew, I’m not one of them.