Blogger Pro

I was reading through the featureset of Blogger Pro and although it does not meet my needs, it certainly does hit most of the things that anyone interested in just maintaining a weblog would need.

The thing that really made me take notice was something that Seth Dillingham had originally raised about Radio Userland — can they possibly build a sustainable business model on such rock bottom prices.

The planned price for Blogger Pro $50/year (per user). However! Since we are still building out the functionality, the cost will be $35* for a year for users who sign up now. (This cost will cover most users. See “Posting Limits,” below, for caveats.)

On the one hand, Blogger users now have a lot of free or near-free options to choose from, but on the other hand, $4/month for the service is ridiculously low. Maybe Pyra Labs feels it doesn’t have any choice but to offer it at that price, but I’d have gone for a much higher price — you can always come down with specials, etc. (especially given the publicity that Blogger is going to receive), but going up in price after you’ve realized you can’t offer support, etc. at those prices is a lot more difficult. And users will have higher expectations once they start paying for it, even if it is just $4/month.

The other interesting thing about the pricing scheme is the additional charges for heavy users,

It works like this: The base subscription price covers up to 100KB of posts per month. Each additional 100KB is $3. That number probably doesn’t mean much to you, but it’s substantially more than the vast majority of bloggers publish—even with multiple blogs—so you probably won’t have to worry about it. For those who do, what we do is keep track of the length of all the posts on all the blogs you own (i.e., you created) for the month, and as you are approaching 100KB, you’ll get a warning. Once you’ve reached that limit, to post more stuff, you’ll need to approve a $3 charge for an additional 100KB. You’ll never be charged or billed without specifically approving it.

Interesting. Again, I’d build a higher charge right into the system. BTW, I was curious so I brought up my text file for this week — I posted 112KB worth of material to my web sites this month. I guess I’m finally an overachiever at something! My mom will be so proud! (Now to slink back into slacker mode).

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