Lately, I’m finding myself replacing free web-apps with desktop software or commercial web-apps. Allow me to explain my evolving philosophy for you.
Web applications make the most sense when people get together to create something greater than the sum of their individual parts. GitHub and Readernaut are great examples of this. The latter, in particular because its _fun_ to use, but also in its focus. The former is great in how it puts a radically different spin on the act of sharing code, but also because their team is *kicking ass*.
I am eager to pay for continuity. Ergo, I put down money for Sifter, GitHub and Flickr. Sure, it’s entirely possible that any of these services will go under. Paying for them makes that less likely, and I’m happy to vote with my dollars on an app.
“Living in the cloud” is kind of a drag. I travel just enough to want to use airplane time as a super-focused work sprint. If my links, for example, live out in the cloud, it becomes tedious to save things away while I’m disconnected, let alone impossible to access them.
Ergo, I now favor web apps in spaces where getting my friends involved is more interesting and I favor paid apps or desktop apps where I want it despite my connectivity or where my friends, as great as they are, can’t help or prove a distraction.
fn1. My friends are awesome. Its just that an app like Facebook is more of a distraction than a must-have tool. For me, at least.