Journalong has been limping along for a few months now. With almost no interest from myself in rolling out anymore features and a lack of activity from those users that have accounts there, I made the decision a few weeks ago that I would kill the Journalong service off completely and transform it into something else. There were two main factors that influenced this:
- Lack of Interest & Activity - Journalong started off well with and managed to accumulate over 100 users in the first couple of months. The next few months weren't so great. A couple of users signed up to the service every month since then but in the last few months there has only been two sign ups. From those people that signed up, just a few accounts used Journalong on a monthly basis. Not exactly a busy service you could say.
- Being Free - In the beginning Journalong was free, then it was paid, then it became free again. If anything from this, I've learned that products and services like this should be paid right from the start. Yes, it can be a hassle coding the payment processing for a web site, but even just a basic monthly subscription should be there if you want the product to become a sustainable business. Once something has been free, it's almost impossible to convince all users of the product or service that they should pay for it.
So that's the reasons for killing Journalong as a service so what next for Journalong? Well I did want to remove myself from managing a dead service, but I think there's still value to having a Markdown journal for your Dropbox. So, over the last couple of days I took the source code for Journalong apart and repackaged it as an open source Sinatra application that you can run on your own computer.
The great thing about this is that I can keep Journalong going at my own pace. Being open source I can make any changes I need or others need in my own time and accept changes from others.
Building and marketing products isn't for me. I prefer to be neck deep in code rather than marketing tools.