I don't recall anybody there making an argument that it's better because it's ad free. I don't even think that's mentioned.
Check the article.
On the surface, this seems suicidal. Why charge money when your massive competitor is free? Ceglowski has a one-word answer: advertising.
It's also NOT free. It has a one-time sign-up fee (currently $9.67 USD). And it doesn't offer a free trial period - although you can get a refund within the first 3 days following your sign-up.
I never said anything about their model being free or paid. I just pointed out their business model which is based on flaw in one popular revenue generation model : advertising and his attached (yet hidden) plug of "upsell" to it.
And it's not just me that liked what they're doing. Time, Wired, and The Economist magazines all had good things top say about it.
Sorry to say but this looks like argument from authority. If tomorrow time,wired and other news agencies start to talk against free software, are we going to quote them again with same respect and authority in other context? Let's just keep journalism where they fit to pitch readers for- critic and praise. That's not all there are some 'help-a-journalists' sites where you can connect with these brands and spread the word about your startup. I came across this type of promo stuff while observing picplum startup. I usually don't pay attention to testimonials from news sites or paid authors.
So where's the "sleazy" tactic you're talking about?quote from website : Should you switch from delicious? Of course you should!
I think you're not paying attention to this type of business model where you figure out the flaw of your competitor (in this case ads) and hit on them until you get some customers under the disguise of being a good guy. Pinboard owner did exactly the same. His product is not good on it's own but because the competitors are showing ads or time and wired is talking about it and some random customers are happy with it. That's not all there's an hidden upsell too. Archival account. I can understand financial situation of startups where they need money for BW/HD space but then again upsell should be open on front page too instead of faq, if the tactic to attract customer isn't sleazy. http://pinboard.in/faq/#archival_account
These type of tactics are used by many sleazy marketers on this forum
. One product connected with another and so on. I have seen more than 100 marketers talking against wordpress, artisteer and many other products only to see that they're offering some similar product. Sure, It's not sleazy if you're not checking the part - "Delicious is bad for showing ads, that's why you should use my product
It's like microsoft talking against free software and open source five years ago with tagline -"Open source is buggy, that's why Microsoft is better". I remember the day when one microsoft employee in daniweb said (referring to thread made in 2006) " I get paid to write code and docs, I am not going to help with pointers, figure out your own " and then ends up in stackoverflow sharing code with active participation. You know where these type of tatics to show your competitor bad stand today, If you're paying attention. Especially in case of all the brands which were once against free or open source software in past.
You don't become a better by showing negative areas of your competitor. You don't become better when paid press release shows your product good or some random customer posts testimonials. If the product is good, you don't have to do anything. It sells.
He's using typical sales trick - show flaws in your competitors and you become a savior. It was used by many marketers and so people don't find it sleazy. I wonder how you people think if tomorrow apple and Microsoft come up with headlines - "Free software is for ghettos, Get class with our software". Are we going to back that claim with testimonials of time, wired and other press sites? Is their claim not part of this age old sleazy trick?
Forgive me If I'm digging too much into their sales and copy-writing tricks and your expectation is just "point-click-buy-solve problem" from such startups.
You can't build geocities by charging people 9.95$ per month. You can't build free facebook by charging people, you can't build pinterest by charging people. Sure, most of us here hate ads and we are leaning towards using ad block plus but ad-free paid sites don't build communities in millions. That is one more point I can add to this thread.