When you rely on a service, particularly a "free" (ad-supported services aren’t really free) service, you always run the risk that whomever is maintaining and controlling the service will shut it down, or strip it of functionality so as to make it less useful (or even useless) for you. This happened to Google Reader, it almost happened to Delicious, it happened to Posterous; this list will continue to grow over time.

The lesson for me here is not to rely on these third party servives, but take the time to maintain and control my own services. Right now, I maintain my own blog, my own online bookmarking site, and my own RSS reader. Running these services myself has been very easy as I have had minimal interruptions in the service of my website, and the code-base for these services is also under my control (so I can modify them as I need) since they are all open-source projects.

When OX Text is released, I am considering increasing the investment I put into my website (currently about $150 a year) so that I can consolodate all of the various projects I am maintaining onto one site, and migrate away from Google Docs. I just found Roundcube, which looks like it has the functionality I need to replace my current Gmail webmail. 

I would like to migrate completely away from all services that are maintained by third party organizations because these organizations have a history of misusing the data I provide to them, and suspending support for products that do not meet the organization’s goals, regardless of the popularity of the product with their customers.

What other alternatives do you know about for popular services?

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