My i.ph story: Service shutdown and lessons learned

My i.ph story: Service shutdown and lessons learned

Continued from: My i.ph story: Fun blogging times and letting go

Reasons for the shutdown

Here are some factors which, in my opinion, were the main reasons for ultimately shutting down the i.ph blog service:

  1. Competition from other free and more popular social networking sites. Most Internet users prefer Facebook, Tumblr or Twitter accounts to share their ideas and photos and connect with friends.
  2. Limited user control over an i.ph blog’s interface particularly with JavaScript. Personally, this is one reason I consider as i.ph’s disadvantage. You can’t fully customize an i.ph theme. I can’t even post a JavaScript version of Sitemeter on the sidebar. I’m sure the limited customization prompted most of i.ph bloggers to move on to other platforms, especially building their own self-hosted blogs.
  3. Limited blog monetization. Users can enable Adsense in their blogs but income is cut to 50% for the user as 50% goes to i.ph to help them with the operation costs. Also, some advertiser plugins cannot be installed due to Reason #2. I’ve also noticed that it’s been months already that the links for Adsense were not anymore displayed, giving me no choice but to disable it. I already sent an email to the support about this but to no avail.
  4. According to i.ph, they can’t keep up with the costs of providing a free blogging service, as stated in the email they sent me.

i.ph blog theme - Candy
Using the “Candy” theme. This was the last blog redesign I did for ideasnpink until the i.ph shutdown.

Lessons learned

The shutdown of i.ph made me realize these three important things:

  1. There is no guarantee that a free service will stay free forever.

    i.ph graphic ad - “Blog for free. Blog for life!”“Blog for free. Blog for life!” I remember this as i.ph’s graphic ad in their website. I wish it remained true to this day.

    I am just thinking of the other free services we get from the Internet, such as Facebook or Yahoo! Mail or WordPress. Sometimes, I wonder if they can really stay free forever, or how they can keep up with future operational costs. I know most free services thrive on advertisements, but who knows what the future brings?

  2. Don’t put your eggs in one basket. As with stocks and business investments, don’t invest your time and resources in only one provider, whether it is a free blog platform or paid webhosting company. It’s wise to have multiple providers, so that when one of your sites experience downtime, the others are still up and running.
  3. Invest in quality products and services. If you can’t afford it now, do save up for it. A friend once bought a dirt-cheap webhosting service that came with free domain and unlimited bandwidth. Now it is giving him lots of headache with server downtimes and unreliable customer support. He decided to invest in another webhosting provider, although more costly but they provide reliable support and almost no downtime.

Goodbye and welcome

My ideaspink.i.ph blog may not anymore physically exist but it continues to live and breathe through this blog, its dot com version, ideasnpink.com. This dot com blog started in 2007; the following year after my i.ph blog went live. Most of my blogsy friends were already transferring to their own domains that time. I was planning then to transfer my i.ph blog here but later decided against it, for sentimental reasons. I decided to keep ideasnpink.i.ph side by side with ideasnpink.com.

Now, I am given no choice but to welcome and accommodate my i.ph posts here. I already imported all 700+ posts which all came in draft status, as this is the default mode. I have already published some of the imported posts and still have to browse over many more, deciding on which ones to keep, edit or discard. Some of the blog photos were stored in the now defunct i.ph servers, so I need to upload them again. It will be one tough ride to finalizing all posts and, you bet, it’s going to be a walk down memory lane for me.

So long i.ph.

i.ph shutdown graphic - “i.ph is going on a permanent vacation...”

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