Yahoo Pipes: More down than up.
Yahoo Pipes is a free Internet service by Yahoo, which allows you to aggregate and manipulate RSS feeds. I use them extensively for several of my aggregation sites like Humanitarian News and AidNews, to name a few.
Recently, Yahoo Pipes silently went from “Beta” to “Production”, a migration which was only noticed as the word “Beta” disappeared from their logo.
Let me correct that statement: when they went from “Beta” to “Production”, the only thing the users could notice was that their service became unreliable. Since about four weeks, users have been complaining on the Pipes discussion forum about problems saving and running their “pipes”.
Several Pipes staff are monitoring the discussion forum, and have been putting out messages in the gist of “we had a problem, but all is fixed now”, but other than that, there has been silence.
Which makes me think: how far have we, the Internet community, become reliant on free services like Pipes, or Google Apps, Google Gmail, Blogger, Flickr, Picasa, etc.. And how far do we have a say on “our rights as a consumer”?
It is not because an Internet giant like Yahoo puts out a service free for all to use, that the service is to be taken “as is”. Where are our not a “consumers’ rights” in all of this? Are we not lured into the free services, because the services are free, and when we become reliant and dependent on them, understaffed as they might be, we just “cope” with the down time? Have we, as consumers, become reluctant to demand our rights? And what is the forum of to do that?
Think of it. How many organisations, if not companies, use free Internet services provided by the “Giants”. What is our say when these services go down? What are our rights? How much longer will we cope with their downtime by saying “oh… but it is for free, so we have no right to complain?”.
Nothing is for free in this world. If a company decides to provide a certain service “for free”, than there is a certain reason for it. Either because they want our contents, they want us to develop applications based on their platforms,… But it does not mean because services are for free they should be unreliable.
This is the time to demand to these companies a certain acceptable level of service. We need to demand the right to be informed.
Yahoo Pipes: your service sucks at this moment. Get your act together!