Thursday, September 30, 2010

Xmarks is Dead. Long Live Xmarks?

First off, a big thanks to all of you that sent kudos and “Nooooooo’s” in response to our shutdown announcement. We take enormous pride in the sync service we worked so hard to create and it means a lot to hear how much our users love what we’ve built.

We've also received a lot of credible interest from companies interested in acquiring the Xmarks assets and taking over the service - no guarantees, but we've been pleasantly surprised by the volume of interest and we may yet find a path to a continued Xmarks sync service.

But on to the main thing we've heard... many of you have cried from the rooftops that you would be willing to pay for Xmarks. There’s an interesting thread on our customer support forums discussing this. I want to add some history and data to this discussion, so you can better understand where we’ve been as a startup and why we haven't tried to pivot into a premium service.

But first, the punch line: we're revisiting the idea of Xmarks as a premium service. We've set up a Pledgebank page where you can sign up if you're willing to pay at least $10 a year for Xmarks. No credit card is required, but please only pledge if you are genuinely willing and able to pay:

www.pledgebank.com/XmarksPremium

This is not a scientific experiment to predict what % of our base will pay, but it's a data point that will definitely help.

So, why hasn't Xmarks tried to charge for a premium service in the past? Here's a three-part answer:

1) Charging users for sync was not our original strategy


  • Foxmarks started, before I joined, with a strategy to crowd-source bookmarks at scale and then aggregate and analyze that data to create valuable new web services that tens of millions of users would use every day.




  • As CEO, under the direction of my investors, I led my team to execute on that original vision. I’m proud of how agile we were in launching, testing, and iterating on a number of search and discovery services. Ultimately, none of those services achieved significant user traction and scale, but they were spot on our strategy of leveraging our “corpus” of over one billion bookmarks. Keeping the sync service was an essential part of our strategy to grow that bookmark corpus as quickly as possible.



2) Early "freemium" tests and models were discouraging


  • We were one of the first add-ons to turn on the Mozilla “contributions” feature, allowing users to make a suggested $7 donation when they download Xmarks. Participation was abysmal… less that 0.001% of users contributed. (Interestingly, most of the contributions came from Europe, not from the US.)




  • In a true freemium model, we would hold some features back behind a pay wall. Successful services in this category typically see 1-3% of free users convert to paid. The popular service Evernote, for example, have said publicly that 2% of their free users convert.




  • For Xmarks, 2% of our two million users paying $10 a year would generate $400,000 of annual revenue. Today Xmarks costs over $2 million a year to run. For two developers in a garage this could be a nice business, but we had big aspirations (per point #1) and have already invested $9 million dollars to create the technology and grow the data corpus. If $2MM / year seems crazy high to you, remember that we staffed senior engineers to keep up with changes on multiple browsers and operating systems, plus a team building our search features.




3) Free alternatives have significant market power


  • The advent of Mozilla and Google building in sync to Firefox and Chrome has had significant negative impact on Xmarks. While we have lots of users signing up for Xmarks, we have also seen increased "churn," with users switching over to the native Firefox and Chrome sync solutions. When Firefox 4 is released with free sync built in, it will become harder for a standalone add-on that must be purchased and installed separately to compete.

    UPDATE: Many comments point out that Xmarks is the only game in town for cross-browser sync; that's something that Firefox or Chrome can't hold a candle to. Absolutely true! Point #3 is still relevant to our business prospects, as over 75% of our current users are Firefox-only.



    Hopefully you can see that, for us and our investors, we were aiming for a different business, and staffing at a different level, than what it is likely appropriate for a freemium model. For a new company taking a fresh start with Xmarks, a freemium model could be really compelling. The overwhelming positive user support from all of you, combined with strong interest by companies looking to take over Xmarks, means that the service might just find a ninth life. Please stay tuned.

    James Joaquin
    CEO, Xmarks Inc.

495 comments:

  1. Pledge signed, please take my money!

    ReplyDelete
  2. Instead of selling the service for $10, maybe you could ask if users would allow you to sell the bookmark data anonymously, which would allow you to make more money with marketers.

    As in, the true cost of the service would be giving you permission to use the data (again, anonymously)

    Otherwise, your $10 annual fee will compete with the free versions that Chrome and FF now use...and will hurt getting new customers.

    I don't have a problem with the $10 per year...but I don't think you'll get enough traction with that approach.

    ReplyDelete
  3. You have Got My Plegde :)

    ReplyDelete
  4. Unless I am mistaken, sync features in Firefox and Chrome work only with their respective browsers...not across different browsers. So users who are only using one brand of browser, a non-free version of Xmarks is not for them. However, for those, like me who regularly use more than one brand of browser, paying for Xmarks makes sense.

    That's why Xmarks is such a compelling product for me. For all of the people who are saying they will pay for Xmarks versus using a free tool for Firefox or Chrome...the question to ask is "why?".

    I think if you discover the "why" then you will have a better picture of value inherent in Xmarks. MHO

    So, I've pledged and now I'm ready to pay!

    ReplyDelete
  5. Sure, I also pledge. LOVE Xmarks.

    ReplyDelete
  6. Thank you for sharing details of your decision. No doubt, this is first time that I cared too much about any company's shutting down decision. I am also willing to pay for this Xmarks service but it is also reality that majority don't like to pay and in the end looses a great invention.

    I just pray that people come up and show interest to pay for Xmarks service and keep this service alive. Hopefully big giants can also play role by giving handsome amount for running the service. God bless you and your team. Thanks for letting us to use such a nice n great service.

    ReplyDelete
  7. Hi James, I just wanted to comment on 3) above, to me (and I'd imagine a lot of others) the main selling point of Xmarks is the cross browser/platform syncing that the inbuilt sync's do not offer!

    ReplyDelete
  8. Syncing accross multiple browses is your niche. I use chrome for business/ IE9 on windows 7 notebook and firefox on desktop XP
    Be There

    ReplyDelete
  9. I would much rather pay $10 to $20 per year for a syncing service that keeps my bookmarks the same across EVERY platform and EVERY browser on those platforms that pay $99 per year for bookmark syncing from Safari to Safari (on Mac only), Firefox to Firefox (for free), Chrome to Chrome (for free), and IE to IE (for free).

    Xmarks is simply the best bookmark syncing app out there today. And, with the ability to view my bookmarks online, there is no other that can compare!

    ReplyDelete
  10. Pledge signed. I'd pay $50 a year or $80 for a family pack (me + wife). This is the most useful sync service. If the addressbook sync guys were half as good (or if you went there), you could have $250.

    ReplyDelete
  11. http://ma.tt/2010/09/msn-spaces-closing-becomes-wp-com/#comment-486775

    Have you cantacted ma.tt automattic founder - the wordpres guy ? He may be interested himself being an xmarks user.

    ReplyDelete
  12. You should update the notice in the Firefox Extension and link to this post from the last.
    Every links helps :)
    (which is why we like you - because every link matters to us)

    ReplyDelete
  13. Long live to Xmarks!

    ReplyDelete
  14. I have to be honest, the bookmark syncing isn't the biggest draw for me.

    It's nice, it's handy, but there are lots of services I can centralize my bookmarks on (though maybe not as handily).

    The true value for Xmarks for me is the password sync. I never have to worry about a password as long as I've saved it somewhere once. LastPass tries to do this but is not nearly as seamless as Xmarks is. The Password sync is the true value of this service and is what I am most definitely willing to pay for.

    ReplyDelete
  15. XMarks/Foxmarks is too good. I have used it for quite awhile. The problem is that it simply works and works well. It is unobtrusive, efficient, and a great asset to my work.

    The fact that you don't want to immediately pivot to a premium service is of great credit to your vision and your clients. I would be willing to pay $10 per year based on that position alone. We are in an interesting time. Free services with Premium versions are fine, but I get daily reminders from some apps that I am using the free version and could actually do want I want/need to do if I paid for the "Upgrade". It's tough. Companies are absolutely entitled to revenues for their products and services and it is the obvious way to monetize an app and site. But Xmarks, like many others, is being subverted by the BIG players giving away your free products and services. It's not a take-it-or-leave-it scenario, more like take-it-or-else.

    Look at the numbers differently. If you charged all 2M users $2/Per Year you would make $4M. Intuit started with nothing more than an electronic checkbook program at $9.95. They gradually raised the price as they added functionality so that the value was unquestioned. Now when they raise the price $1 for all of their users they make tens-of-millions. Great strategy because their users feel that it is completely worth the money.

    Finally, thank you for the classy way you are supporting us through this difficult time for your company. It is a model for other companies to use regarding customer care. Best wishes for your continued success in all things.

    ReplyDelete
  16. Signed!

    And again... you can't really compare Mozilla Sync or Google Sync to XMarks. What makes XMarks outstanding (and hopefully will enhanced in the future to any major plattform and browser) is the easy abbility to sync across browsers, while these other build-in sync-tools are limited to their own world in the first place.

    ReplyDelete
  17. When I read that XMarks was to close I went off to read about Firefox sync. Have you read the problems people are having with it? It is no alternative. That, the cross platform ability, the password sync... how can that not be worth a couple of beers a year? Where do I pay?

    The number one feature for me - and let's not forget this - it just works.

    ReplyDelete
  18. Yay! I'm glad you are looking into this! Cross Browser and Cross platform bookmark sync is just not possible with the other options. I hope you do go the route of a freemium service. Even if the free option allows you to sync 2 browsers up and the pay service allows more options plus password/tab/history sync.

    While I see you wanting to monitize all the data you have, the core of why people want the service and use it is for the sync capabilities. Focus on that and the rest will follow!

    ReplyDelete
  19. Glad to hear it, but surprised to find myself among the first 200 pledgers. For the record, I'd be willing to pay ~$3/mo.

    I understand that your staff didn't sign up for a freemium Xmarks model, but if you could convince some other team to do it, (some of) your customers would be pleased and I think money could be made. [That is, I'm just repeating what the blog post said.]

    ReplyDelete
  20. Pledged.

    Your service is amazing, you cannot compare Xmarks to any in-browser sync services. Xmarks is reliable, I've never had any problems with it. It's not this bulky monster with stupid limitations, I hardly know its there, running in the background backing up my beautiful bookmarks, tabs, passwords. When I got the email I was sad and yet wanted to punch a baby or two.

    It is rare for me to say this but in all that is Chuck Norris I hope you become a paid service if it keeps you alive, I'd love to pay for this service, it'd be a joy for me to know that its keeping this Xmarks alive.

    Please, please if you cannot get a good company to buy you, become a paid service.

    ReplyDelete
  21. "The number one feature for me – and let’s not forget this – it just works." $10 or $15 dollars a year for the time it saves me. No doubt that is worth it.

    ReplyDelete
  22. Did you really just "turn off comments" on the "We're Closing Down Xmarks" post?

    Really?

    ReplyDelete
  23. I've been a day one user - here are my thoughts.

    MAKE IT AN ALL PAID APP

    want to please the users, make it $2 per year
    want to reduce your overhead, make it $10 per year

    I'd like the first option better, though ;)

    ReplyDelete
  24. I left my emailadress on the pedge site, but have not yet recieved a confirmation email. I hope my pledge will count, as I would love Xmarks to stay up, as I have my doubts about bookmark.com

    ReplyDelete
  25. This is very promising news. I will keep my fingers crossed. I have spent my whole day so far reading comments about how badly people want to keep this alive. I think you will have no issue getting 100,000 commitments. May want to extend the date to 10/31 instead of only allowing 2 weeks for people to respond and sign up.

    Thank you for being open-minded to keeping Xmarks alive

    ReplyDelete
  26. I am sad but I understand.

    Anyway, the most valuable function was cross-browser sync (no other sync tool does that). Now Xmarks servers are going under - it would be really cool to be able to use Xmarks plugins at least with local ftp server. Xmarks for Firefox can sync with local ftp server - is there any way how to sync Xmarks for Chrome? Please, pretty please!

    Good luck with your future endeavors.

    Jan

    ReplyDelete
  27. I am using xmarks for the BYOS feature - knowing where my data is, in a format that I can use elsewhere / is service independent.
    I would definitely be willing to pay for a sync app, allowing me to use my own server with different browsers/platforms.

    ReplyDelete
  28. Hi,
    I'd pay gladly IF synching between FF and Chrome worked. I tried and failed, Very often I get the news that I need to 'merge' 2 files (meaning I get lots of dozle entries), sometimes and most oif the time synch between the two is not 'synching' anything, And I'd deperately need a feature to fight duplication. (I estimate that 80% of my bookmakrs are duplicated now ;( )

    I find Foxmarls/Xmarks extremely helpful, but to me it also feels buggy like hell (I am sorry).
    SO: If you plan to relieve those problems (and maybe also synch for opera?) I'd even pay 20 a year ;)

    BTW: Also Safari on a PC (I know ;) ) does not synch as the sych plugin is only for Apple Hardware.

    ReplyDelete
  29. How about asking your millions of users for support or donations instead of just giving up without a fight?

    I for one would be willing to pay for your services. I tried syncing with Google Bookmarks/Chrome/Firefox, but Xmarks has always been BY FAR the best! Syncing across browsers is very unique and should be praised for its flexibility.

    I also bought the Xmarks app for iPhone and I can't tell you how convenient it is for me.

    If you guys are throwing in the towel, would you mind at least releasing the server component for us nerds who want to run our own bookmark (Xmarks) server?

    Thanks for everything you've done. I hope one of the 2 million users is an angel investor that will brighten your future.

    ReplyDelete
  30. The donation request is lame because I won't donate until iI try it, and after a few weeks of trying something, I forget to donate.

    Everyone has taken xmarks for granted and the responses to the blog are the proof. We don't know a great thing until it's gone or in this case, about to be gone. Your loyal users will pay. I'm afraid of a sale of xmarks as that gives another company the green light to change things due to a different vision, and in the end, usually just ruins a product.

    I hope this works out in the end for everyone, even if it dents my wallet 10-20 bucks a year

    ReplyDelete
  31. Just spent a morning trying alternatives - there aren't any, folks. The cross platform/cross browser power of Xmarks sets it apart from all the others. Please try to find a way to continue/spin off/sell the bookmark sync. It is such a valuable resource to those of us that use multiple browsers, multiple systems and multiple locations on a daily basis. I'll subscribe tomorrow if it becomes available.

    ReplyDelete
  32. I hope a solution looms on the horizon enabling the Xmarks to live on as a paid service by yearly subscription, so that us present users (and many more in the future) can benefit from a truly simple, efficient and imensely useful product. A second leap of life that would, I have no doubt, give the present owners or new ones the required thrust to continue improving Xmarks and maintain it the remarkable service it is. Competition is a hard game, a wit of minds and intelligence. It seems to me that the overwhelming trust and satistaction shown by Xmark users is an invaluable advantage to be taken seriously into account when evaluating Xmarks competitive edge. I have pledged and so will 99999 others until 15 October.

    ReplyDelete
  33. Xmarks Team,

    Thank you so much for your efforts over the years to build an amazingly useful system. I wonder if perhaps your tools were almost *too* good. I relied on the cross-platform, cross-browser bookmark and tab sync like it was oxygen. At a certain point, I simply took it for granted. Somehow, I didn't know about the additional features beyond password-syncing. While I would consider paying for the service, knowing that there are multiple free alternatives that cover the basic function makes it difficult to commit. I can say that Xmarks is the only service I would trust at this point to sync my passwords, given your performance to date, and in a world of ever-increasing numbers of passwords, I'll soon need such a service.

    I am surprised that the treasure-trove of a billion bookmarks wasn't of more interest to advertisers. I'd have thought that, combined with the potential for mining usage data, could have turned into something.

    As you wind things down, I want to express my empathy. I've been in the same position, and understand the emotion that goes along with shutting down your company, having to let go of the vision and start anew.

    Regards,
    Marc

    ReplyDelete
  34. Marshall KirkpatrickSeptember 30, 2010 at 2:43 AM

    100k people have to pledge? So you won't keep the lights on unless the service goes from zero revenue to $1m/year right away? That seems unrealistic and unfair to me. Am I reading it wrong?

    ReplyDelete
  35. I will commit to pay (gladly) when I'm sure you're in it for the long haul. (Strangely enough, I don't feel confident of that, at the moment, but I'm hoping like heck!!! Really!)

    I guess paranoid doofuses like me could make or break your goal. I jumped ship quickly, when you announced your 90-day warning. I looked far and wide across the web and could find no alternative, and so, I decided to do my syncing manually. Meh.

    Here's best wishes for your continued success.

    ReplyDelete
  36. I pledged.

    To me, one of the most valuable components of xmarks is the online access to my bookmarks. If I'm on a firend's computer, a library computer, a friend's cell phone, or whatever, I still can get access to my bookmarks. AND: the search functionality (and bookmark editing, for that matter) is so much easier online than in Firefox, that often I log into my.xmarks.com just to *modify* my bookmarks, with the modifications trickling down to my browsers after the fact.

    There's so much value here. And cross-browser synchronization doesn't seem to be happening with any pace, although it's possible someone will hack something up in IE to access the Firefox bookmarks, or in Firefox to access Chrome bookmarks, or something. Xmarks already has this kind of action going on. Maybe we won't have to lose it after all!

    ReplyDelete
  37. Cross browser support for IE, FF, Chrome, Safari and I'm in.

    ReplyDelete
  38. I totally agree with Ella!
    Don't give up! we will pay for this amazing cross browser solution.
    There is also a growing business in the smatphone area. I was looking for something to sync FF with Dolphin on Android when i found this post. I'm sure you know how many people buy apps on the Android Market and in the Apple App Store...keep trying! We are with You!

    ReplyDelete
  39. This link seems to be dead...please update
    www.pledgebank.com/XmarksPremium

    ReplyDelete
  40. I would also suggest you send out another email to your users about the pledge. I stumbled across this info on techmeme.

    ReplyDelete
  41. Your service was awesome, and free = more awesome. It's a shame you can't go on, but I'm sure you will find something else to do. :)

    ReplyDelete
  42. Zoals alle mooie liedjes duren zij niet lang, eerst klanten lokken en daarna geld vragen tja zaken doen hé

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  43. Well said Ella - totally agree

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  44. I would definitely stump up $10/yr for Xmarks. I know you had aspirations to broaden the service with recomendations and other features, but even if you had to scale back a bit to save costs, as long as you do the core cross browser sync (which no-one else does) I would definitely continue. The reason people didn't pledge to the contribution when you started is simple human nature - most people (me included) would say if you can have it free, why pay. But, now you are in a different situation. It's not nice, but you can say, pay up or we disappear. You are actually in a much stronger position since your product is both good AND unique. I bet you could get 25% of your users to agree to a subscription model if you priced it right.
    Good luck, live long and prosper.

    ReplyDelete
  45. you had me at hello! i love the service!

    ReplyDelete
  46. Pledged.

    Would love to see Xmarks continue... I switch between Firefox, Safari, and Chrome on both Windows & Mac, along with using the iPhone app. Nothing else provides what Xmarks does. Hopefully it'll be able to continue in some way...

    ReplyDelete
  47. I would probably be willing to donate but the fact that I live in Canada and XMarks HQ is in the states would pretty much drive me deep into debt and I don't want to end up in debt. Is there a way that you could use some potential funds from the Premium payed version to keep the free version up and running?

    ReplyDelete
  48. Great to hear, but you have to do one thing. Just like how you sent us an email of you guys shutting down, send an email to us all about the pledge for paying an annual fee so that you are able to truely see the responce because not all of us are going to read this post of yours.

    ReplyDelete
  49. Pledged.
    I'd pay $10 a year for the current services, $20 a year if support for Opera Desktop and mobile browsers were pledged to be in supported in the future. Cross browser syncing + profiles are the features I'd pay for and the features no other competitor has.

    I sync across at least three computers and 8 browsers.

    ReplyDelete
  50. I realize this would also require significant restructuring, but could you utilize the built-in sync mechanisms in Firefox and Chrome and still offer value added services? If you did so, you no longer need to maintain all the synced data, you'd essentially be writing an adapter to unify the the built-in sync APIs of the various browsers, instead of a whole system - (like a library in the style of MooTools or jQuery, but for sync)

    Not sure if this is a viable idea, just thought I would put it out there :)

    ReplyDelete
  51. Витя ХаблучокSeptember 30, 2010 at 5:07 AM

    Прывет ребята.
    Я хочу вам сказать - как это вы так осноили 9 миллионов долларов ? дали бы мне хоть 100 тысяч долларов, я бы сделал сэрвера из фанэрки, разметил бы их в сарайчыке и сдел бы сервис.

    В год платили бы только за электричество и уборку сарайчыка, подумайте.

    ReplyDelete
  52. There need to be more press about this, otherwise, it'll never get the numbers it needs.

    ReplyDelete
  53. Pledged and I'll pay. But why not investigate further a free/premium scheme? Let the firefox only customer use xmarks for free and provide a premium service with more features.

    Donations are a lost cause but affordable premium services are a winner.

    ReplyDelete
  54. Deal me in for $60 a year. As a capitalist, I expect to pay for value I receive. If you had been charging what your service is worth, you wouldn't be going out of business now. Do your people work for free? How do you expect to pay them if you don't have any income? Your inability to develop a viable business model may cost me the use of an excellent service. I signed the pledge. Now I hope you grow up and face reality.

    ReplyDelete
  55. The only reason tha made me choose for Xmarks was the cross browser sync it offers... I use daily Firefox Mac,Firefox Win, Safari Mac and sometimes I use Chrome Mac/Win... I hope a solution will be found to keep Xmarks up and running. I am ready to pay €10/year for it.

    Noel from France.

    ReplyDelete
  56. For me, the compelling use case for Xmarks - even with built-in browser sync for individual browsers - is cross-browser syncing. With Xmarks for Firefox (my primary browser) and the Xmarks for Safari/Mac PrefPane, I can continue to use Firefox as my desktop browser and still have access to all my bookmarks AS BOOKMARKS on those rare occasions when I fire up desktop Safari and on those far more numerous occasions when I use MobileSafari on my iPhone or iPad.

    I think the key to selling Xmarks in today's post-browser-sync environment is identifying use cases where Xmarks fills needs that single-browser syncing tools can't.

    ReplyDelete
  57. It's good news that you guys don't give up. I pledged for your great sync tool. Fingers crossed from Germany.

    ReplyDelete
  58. I use Xmarks with Explorer, Firefox, Safari and my iPhone.

    I don't want Xmarks to dead.

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  59. Ok for $10/year.

    Tanks

    ReplyDelete
  60. Come on, dude most of the start ups are trying to reorganize half of the shit that's already present on web in one form or another.
    At least you gusy came upw ith something unique and innovative.
    Don't let that source code get dusty on a stupid 1$ cd

    ReplyDelete
  61. For this service (i switch between chrome and firefox and safari) i can pay 25 dollars / year)

    What's the link for the pledge ? your link seem's broked... !?

    ReplyDelete
  62. $10 is a fair price, money is on it's way.

    greetings from germany

    ReplyDelete
  63. Ill support you only after we get a BYOS Chrome version.

    ReplyDelete
  64. that's good 10$/a year

    greetings from Morocco

    ReplyDelete
  65. I'll pay $10 a year for Xmarks, which I like better than any other solution. I'd really want to ideally host it on my own server with cross-browser capability though.

    ReplyDelete
  66. My wife uses Firefox, while I use Chrome, and the only way to keep all of our bookmarks in Sync is Xmarks! None of the alternative solutions help me. I would gladly be willing to pay $10 a year for Xmarks premium!

    ReplyDelete
  67. $10 pledged, good luck, we are spreading the word

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  68. What makes your product unique and great is that it's cross platform AND cross browser. You're citing costs as a reason to shutdown but what we're willing to pay for is your technology not your hosting.

    So here's my suggestion. Find a way to make the plugin/app use Dropbox for the hosting and make a license $9.99 or even $19.99 purchase.

    I'd be willing to help develop this solution.

    ReplyDelete
  69. $10 bucks is fair! count me in (i have pledged)

    Rancho Cucamonga, CA

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  70. I would pay 10€ per year for Xmarks. This is an amazing service !

    ReplyDelete
  71. I will gladly pay £10 or even £20 a year for Xmarks PLEASE dont shut down

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  72. Just when i posted i wanted something to still rescue you on your previous blog post with over 6600 comments, you post this.

    Glad to hear that there is still a chance that you can continue the service. Keep up the good work. Geeks love you. :)

    ReplyDelete
  73. Common guyes keep xmarks up!!

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  74. I would pay to have a premium service !

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  75. I would pay as well. I use FF, Safari, Chrome and IE on several Mac and Windows computers. This is devastating news.

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  76. Hmmm... Off the top of my head I can only think of about 800 things that I spend $10 or more on in a year that are less useful than Xmarks. I have been using the service for years. My heart sank when I got your email. So, yeah... $10? That's a no-brainer.

    ReplyDelete
  77. My team is also interested in purchasing assets or participating in a buyout or partnership.

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  78. Another thing the other sync services can't hold a candle to is the ability to access bookmarks from a website from any device even if you don't have the xmark plugin installed which you can't really do on a smart tv and such. Xmarks should be kept free and Google why aren't you buying Xmarks already. Google Bookmarks is web 1.0.

    ReplyDelete
  79. Damn right I'd pay. Your service ROCKS!!! Syncs my many Macs and PCs scattered about. FF, Safari, and Chrome sync PERFECTLY.
    I would be lost if you stop your service. Move forward and prosper Xmarks!! This service is a bargain with the small price tag you're considering. Please do not leave us!! I have cash!!

    ReplyDelete
  80. I already said I'd pay....so glad to hear this might not be the end.

    Signed the pledge

    ReplyDelete
  81. This really is sad. As I work with different computers and different browsers, Xmarks really makes live easy to keep all bookmarks in sync. It's simple and reliable. I am ready to pay for this good service!

    I just wrote about this on my blog. I hope you will get your 100'000 pledges. I wish you all the best!

    ReplyDelete
  82. Outstanding! Thanks for considering a user-funded model. I've pledged my support on PledgeBank & welcome the opportunity to put my money where my mouth is. ;)

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  83. I can't live without Xmarks...no-brainer to pay even $20 a year.

    I second my appreciation for Mr. Joaquin honesty.

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  84. x marks defeats all sync services

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  85. Hello.

    I using xmarks every day. But I will not never pay any amount to somebody! For me the better idea to take this $10 and buy the hot dog.

    ReplyDelete
  86. Hi Guys !

    I think 9 mln$ it's to much for this project ! If you would give me 100,000 $ dollars I will build low-cost servers in a cases from plywood ( or other cheap material ), then will hire2 guys for 300$ per month.

    I have perfect barn, there we can store our servers. This barn is burned a few years ago, but I rebuild it and it looks like new !

    All expenses will be
    1) Power ( 15$ per month )
    2) Cleaning woman for barn cleaning ( 100$ per month )

    ReplyDelete
  87. Thanks for being honest. I am sad that Xmarks are ending, I actually signed up for Xmarks because I was a Firefox user who switched to Chrome, and Xmarks was the only cross-browser solution.

    I think there would be data mining opportunities in the database that should be worth much more than the price of paying for the running of the service, and I hope that someone with that kind of aspirations will step up to the challenge.

    Good luck.

    Thomas

    ReplyDelete
  88. Agree with everything said. Xmarks is the best "little" program. I end up going from iphone safari to firefox and explorer and it's great to have one program keep all my bookmarks alive. Hell yes to $20/yr.

    ReplyDelete
  89. As for this statement:

    UPDATE: Many comments point out that Xmarks is the only game in town for cross-browser sync; that’s something that Firefox or Chrome can’t hold a candle to. Absolutely true! Point #3 is still relevant to our business prospects, as over 75% of our current users are Firefox-only.

    I am a Firefox only user!

    But... I can access my bookmarks from anywhere at anytime whenever I'm not at my own computer so therefore it's worth it to me and as I commented on the original blog "End of the Road for Xmarks" and I have made my pledge and...

    I would be happy to pay the $10.00 to $20.00 a year to keep this service!

    Firefox or Chrome Sync WILL NOT provide me this service!

    FYI... I've been using Xmarks since it was Foxmarks and honestly never knew about the "Donation Link" and to show my support I've went to the Firefox Addon's site to make a donation and CANNOT find a link in order to do so!

    I'd would like Xmarks to put up a "Donation Link" back up so users like myself can donate to Xmarks for the years of services already rendered even if Xmarks still dies!

    Thanks, James
    USA

    ReplyDelete
  90. The only cross-browser synchronizer?
    What was incredibly useful about Xmarks was that it was accessible online, not just syncing bookmarks, but storing them too.
    Will these new competitors offers us to modify/add/delete our bookmarks from anywhere, at anytime, without any installation whatsoever? I don't think so.

    Long live Xmarks!

    ReplyDelete
  91. I like Xmarks - hope you will make it somehow!

    ReplyDelete
  92. I don't know if anyone will read this, but I would rather just pay $10 and be done with it (at least until next year). I am concerned the notice that "now is the time to pay" would get lost in my email flood.

    Add a "donate now" option and see what happens. :)

    It has been worth enough that I can throw $10 at a chance, even if it still goes away. :)

    Brad

    ReplyDelete
  93. I already signed the pledge. I would absolutely pay $15 a year for Xmarks.

    In other note, if I were Dropbox's CEO, I would buy Xmarks Inc. in the blink of an eye...
    ...you know, if I were Google's CEO I would buy Dropbox AND Xmarks.

    These two services have changed my life. Really. Maybe you are too cool to be a Google service. Good luck with the premium services, I am already sold to it.

    ReplyDelete
  94. Izmail Abdurahman HottabSeptember 30, 2010 at 8:08 AM

    It's very sad !!!!!
    I can make donation in 1$ for you every year.

    ReplyDelete
  95. I love Xmarks and have been using it since it was Foxmarks. In fact, if I had to pick only one Add-on to install, it would be yours. I hope you're able to keep the company going. I'm willing to pay $10 to $15 a year.

    ReplyDelete
  96. I think you need to send out another email about the pledge. I only stumbled across it because I wanted to beg you not to close. I've pledged to pay the $10-$20.

    ReplyDelete
  97. Of course everyone's gonna play. Xmark is
    The
    Best
    Add-on
    Ever!!!

    P/S: I signed the plegde already :D

    ReplyDelete
  98. I've pledged on Pledgebank but I hope that you will be sending out an email with the information. A lot of commenters noted that they stumbled across it so there will be a lot of users that don't and won't know about it.

    The whole out-of-sight-out of mind thing which is so great about the program, isn't so great with Xmarks email communication.

    As a user, I want at least monthly emails to let me know when you have developed something new or improved something.

    There just isn’t enough time to keep up with all the programs, software and apps that I use by going to their website and reading the blog.

    If there would have been emails, I probably would remember more to use the search bookmarks more. I find it really futile to search on Google cause there is just tooooo much dang results. It’s like finding a needle in a haystack. I did a search on "webdesign" and 3 of the first 10 results are sites that I regularly use. This makes everything more relevant for me.

    ReplyDelete
  99. I'm definitely willing to pay for it, but I currently have two Xmarks accounts in order to sync two different profiles. If I could selectively sync folders and/or profiles I wouldn't need to pay for two accounts :)

    ReplyDelete
  100. This made my day! I've signed the pledge and shared on my facebook page.

    ReplyDelete
  101. I've pledged.

    I was looking forward to an Android app.

    Worth it for the granularity of sync.

    Let us know how we can help.

    ReplyDelete
  102. I would be willing to pay the $10 to $20 to keep this service. I use it across browsers (firefox, ie and Chrome). I use it to synchronize my work pc to my home pc. I've had my work pc crash so when I got my new one, I was able to resync and make available all of the bookmarks and passwords lost with the hard drive.

    Totally worth the money.

    ReplyDelete
  103. This situation reminds me of the conundrum faced by Arcen Games, but anyways, I've taken from xmarks everyday since they were available so I'm more then willing to give back!

    ReplyDelete
  104. I wonder if it might not be better to charge 4.99 for a basic service limited to 3 machines. 2 million X 5 isn't a bad income for a small business and is obviously better than 250K users at 14.99. You could then offer a premium service for 9.99. Guess what.... many 5 users will upgrade... Look at the Apple Apps people making selling very low priced apps. You have already shown you can build volume...

    ReplyDelete
  105. Maybe its time you turbo charge Xmarks and provide something new.... inject some new ideas. You have a lot of users willing to pay.

    ReplyDelete
  106. I signed the pledge right after I looked at the comments for the Firefox Sync app (wow- pretty brutal over there). I would would like to suggest a $1/month (less than a lot of iTunes downloads and maybe a good way to market it).

    I hope you can keep things up and running!

    ReplyDelete
  107. @Stu: I think you need to send out another email about the pledge. I only stumbled across it because I wanted to beg you not to close. I’ve pledged to pay the $10-$20.

    I think you people need to send out one email about this pledge. I heard about it through Lifehacker.com.

    Send out an email about the pledge and keep sending it out.

    And I pledged.

    ReplyDelete
  108. Try also a 10 user license , or 50 user license , this would help small companies. Of course I don't want a product from Firefox or Google. You where close to build great statistics , this information has made Google number 1. Don't quit !

    ReplyDelete
  109. I don't understand that you say that you've invested $9 million in Xmarks and that it takes $2 million to operate. Please help me understand why understand how the $9 million got donated.

    By the way, I do support you and have my pledge. I'd love to see it continue. I think you need to cut costs though...

    ReplyDelete
  110. Cross browser is nice - but also the only game for Safari right now is $99/year, or Xmarks ...

    ReplyDelete
  111. All the other sync tools only work with one browser. I use 4 browsers on multiple machines and I need them all synched. Xmark does it seamlessly.

    I pledged and would easily pay the $20/year to keep the service going.

    ReplyDelete
  112. Damn Americans!!! Does not surprise me...greedy bastards...Ohh wait I am an one...What is my excuse..hmm...none really. As many times I have purchased a cup of joe or bought that juicy burger I could have tossed it to one of the things I use the most and got more sue out of it.

    Sorry guys! You can sure bet I will be the one to pay the $20/yr

    Thanks for a great app!
    Richard

    ReplyDelete
  113. Same for me. I really have no interest in all of the new features that have been offered, but cross-browser syncing is a must. I would be happy to pay $20 per year too.

    ReplyDelete
  114. Why didn't I get an email?

    ReplyDelete
  115. I want to wish you incredible good fortune. What you offered was amazing. I never needed the service that I signed up for at a time when I had a PC and my Mac and thought I would be doing great things BUT I'd be glad to offer a pledge if it will help you guys keep going.

    Thought your letter, although sad, was wonderfully written. Keep my email if you need a pledge of $20 just to keep you going. I won't be a user (don't think) but want to see you moving on and up.

    ReplyDelete
  116. James and staff. I've used your solution since you were Foxmarks. I had MobileMe and ditched it. $99 a year for what? I didn't use the email or storage, I just used bookmark and keychain sync.

    1 You are the ONLY game in town for cross-browser sync. You need to scream this from the top of your lungs. I always have Safari, Firefox and Chrome open on my desktop moving between each.

    2 It never really occurred to me that your search was a great way to find other popular sites based on what other people bookmark. It was as if it was hidden to me because I didn't think about it. Yeah, the indicators in a Google Search are cute and informative, but I never clicked on them - they didn't "speak" to me. Like many other users, I'm not proactive enough to go to xmarks.com and search.

    Here's a possible solution...

    It seems like it would be advantageous if you made this fact about other popular sites more obvious. Maybe you could make suggestions after a person does a sync. For example, I just added a bookmark today about Groovy. If a javascript floater in the bottom right corner had popped up with "Did you want to see the 10 most popular Groovy sites according to millions of Xmarks users?", I likely would click this instead of search result badges.

    Yeah, some people will want to turn it off, but it seems like a great way to drive traffic through a page that you can monetize!

    Hope that helps and that you guys stay alive. Trim your costs and make it work, it's too good of a technology to shut it down.

    Sincerely,

    Matt Petrowsky

    ReplyDelete
  117. James, thanks for the open and honest talk about your situation. I appreciate the difficult place you are in and I hope that there will be a solution that keeps Xmarks going. I'm signing the pledge.

    ReplyDelete
  118. James and staff. I've used your solution since you were Foxmarks. I had MobileMe and ditched it. $99 a year for what? I didn't use the email or storage, I just used bookmark and keychain sync.

    #1 You are the ONLY game in town for cross-browser sync. You need to scream this from the top of your lungs. I always have Safari, Firefox and Chrome open on my desktop moving between each.

    #2 It never really occurred to me that your search was a great way to find other popular sites based on what other people bookmark. It was as if it was hidden to me because I didn't think about it. Yeah, the indicators in a Google Search are cute and informative, but I never clicked on them - they didn't "speak" to me. Like many other users, I'm not proactive enough to go to xmarks.com and search.

    Here's a possible solution...

    It seems like it would be advantageous if you made this fact about other popular sites more obvious. Maybe you could make suggestions after a person does a sync. For example, I just added a bookmark today about Groovy. If a javascript floater in the bottom right corner had popped up with "Did you want to see the 10 most popular Groovy sites according to millions of Xmarks users?", I likely would click this instead of search result badges.

    Yeah, some people will want to turn it off, but it seems like a great way to drive traffic through a page that you can monetize!

    Hope that helps and that you guys stay alive. Trim your costs and make it work, it's too good of a technology to shut it down.

    Sincerely,

    Matt Petrowsky

    ReplyDelete
  119. I would like to thank your investors for letting Xmarks happen, they deserve their capital to be serviced as well as we users have been serviced for years.

    The search service based on one billion bookmarks is a brillant idea if you look for a mean to mirror the overall people tastes, but keeping in mind that the public want to mirror the elite, not itself, nobody want to be like everybody, the interest is marginal even if it could help as a starter point or as an auxylliary ranking to Google. As search is a complicate task, no surprise it sells harder.

    Anyway the WestCost air is refreshing!

    ReplyDelete
  120. I honestly would not pay for it. No slight to you, but I havent the money nor the means to do so. Plus, if you leave, im sure i will find another, perhaps subpar, replacement. It would cost me less than $10 to get myself a domain, and host my own info. So if you were to start requiring a charge for this, i would most certainly not join. However, i would not be opposed to you requiring pay for extra features. not allowing cross browser compatibility, or not offering something like extension syncing if it turns up, or limiting the amount of history an account will hold (though i doubt bookmarks take up that much space, so that might not even be an issue) for people that dont pay. As long as the same basic functionality that is there now is there in the free version that will be good.

    I honestly think though, that if you require people to pay for this, or require them to pay to use like...history sync or certain already existing features, it wont work. You'll get the comparatively small number of people willing to pay and that will be that. Staying free at heart like with something like dropbox, or evernote will lend itself to your cause and will probably lure more people into paying for your service than if you ruin your image by requiring pay.

    Just my thoughts.

    ReplyDelete
  121. I work in tech support and i can't tell you how many times i've suggested your product to my customers over and over and over. You guys have the best, most proven sync in the business and i'm very disappointed in the news, but i do hope that someone picks you guys up. Google, Yahoo, are you listening?

    ReplyDelete
  122. Considering that there are 52 weeks in a year, I'd gladly give $52/year to use FF. At $1/week, its MUCH cheaper than what I spend on coffee through the drive through PER DAY. I pretty much only use FF, but, I use Profiles between home and work and gaming. FoxSync or whatever the hell its called has no such feature.

    ReplyDelete
  123. As many others have pointed out, XMarks can't be beat for cross-browser sync. Also, the fact that your service is plugin-based is invaluable too (on those platforms that support plugins). My company allows Firefox to be installed, and they can't/don't monitor plugins, but they would balk if I had to install the additional software required by other existing services.

    I recently left a startup that was shutting down, so I understand your business position. I hope this doesn't fall on deaf ears, but I'd like to offer some advice to any startup. First, don't be married to a particular business model. In this economy companies have to change and adapt quickly. It sounds like one of the problems you have had is tunnel vision. You decided from the outset that you were going to monetize the bookmarks but haven't been successful. Look elsewhere.

    Second, $2M in operating expenses is insane for a startup, period. You can pay 5 people $100,000/yr (three engineers, 1 overpaid accountant and 1 sales/marketing), have $50k in hosting costs (insanely expensive hosting) with 10% overhead and barely break 30% of that number. Something is seriously out of whack here. Look closely and be honest. It will hurt, but if you are serious about keeping the business going, you will see the answers.

    ReplyDelete
  124. The other thing I thought of is that you could maybe just have the PROFILES setup so that its behind the paywall?

    ReplyDelete
  125. One thing to note. A lot of people will say that they will pay but they will not. Being a veteran SDE in the startup scene, I've learned to take pledges of paid support with a grain of salt.

    I've seen surveys where Facebook will see high rate of attrition if they started to charge as little as $5/month.

    ReplyDelete
  126. "You decided from the outset that you were going to monetize the bookmarks but haven’t been successful. Look elsewhere."

    "$2M in operating expenses is insane for a startup, period."

    Agreed with both -- great pieces of advice.

    To the Xmarks guys, I think you'd be able to get a lot of your users to bail you out ONCE with $10 out of guilt. I'm being serious -- none of us knew you were going under. I've never even seen the donation link and I've installed Xmarks at least a dozen times. But by this time next year someone is going to jump all over this and make it free, even the cross-browser stuff.

    Cut your operating costs somehow, get a bailout off the goodwill of the users, then make it free and move on to something else. You've got a direct line to 2 million users -- that's extremely valuable. Find some other way to convince them to give you money.

    ReplyDelete
  127. There is a good discussion on a successful freemium service in Mailchimp. Just came out the other day; don't know if it is relevant in this case, but thought I'd bring it up:

    http://www.mailchimp.com/blog/going-freemium-one-year-later/

    ReplyDelete
  128. I'm not registering for pledgebank just to tell you I'm in for $20/year.

    Take this post as my pledge.

    ReplyDelete
  129. If there were to be 1 company you guys should vet yourselves out to is Dropbox. Personally I would pay 20 a month for expanded storage and a secure place to hold my bookmarks, passwords and browsing history for syncing on the go.

    I've set my pledge on pledgebank as well. Best of luck because I would hate to lose this service. It's made my working process seamless and would find it a very deep loss if you were to go under.

    ReplyDelete
  130. I agree, many of the free services offer sync have higher uptake because A. Free, B. Built into browser, so the illiterate just use it, C. Not as many know about XMarks.

    But I think XMarks holds much more value over the free services. Things like being able to sync multiple computers with separate or combined profiles, tagging (not available in all browsers... yet?), search engine to see what others are bookmarking, web editing of bookmarks... to name a few. Don't put yourselves out just because you can't be the free service you were. You offer more and I always liked your features over the extremely simplistic, single-computer, single-profile, browser-only-based built-in sync appearing in browsers today. I always disable them.

    ReplyDelete
  131. $20 MILLION DOLLARS! Who you think you have CHELSEA CLINTON?

    ReplyDelete
  132. I'd pay $20 / year in a heartbeat, no question.

    You guys are nuts to shut down a major resource just because you are not even willing to ASK.

    ReplyDelete
  133. Simply put, Xmarks is a better tool than Firefox Sync. If Xmarks goes away then I migrate from Firefox to Chrome. Sorry, Firefox. As much as Chrome gets on my nerves, at least its sync feature works in a sane way.

    ReplyDelete
  134. It's clear enough why the freemium service is not a viable business model. It's much less clear whether you can / why you can't leverage the bookmark database into a profitable enterprise. It contains implied social networks. It contains demographic descriptions. I would think that the FBI alone would be a significant subscriber, and marketing clients would pile on heavy, even while fully respecting your no-spam pledge. Who knew that Furbie buyers were 80% of the latex garment audience? Xmarks did. Google seems to do well enough with that kind of information. Perhaps your exit strategy was to construct an enterprise which attracted a buyout bid from Google, and that didn't pan out? Keep trying. The GOOG ain't the only deep pockets on this blue marble. But meanwhile, get your co-occurrence data mining war on, and kick some butt.

    ReplyDelete
  135. Consider sending the above blog post as an email as well. Some people may have given up hope immediately.

    Not me. I pledged, up to $20. Passwords is key here. I like this service rolled into your product, it really helps. Thanks for asking for $.

    Bring out your dead! He's not quite dead yet!

    Cheers

    ReplyDelete
  136. I think $10/year is fine. I've paid for services like ReQall and LastPass which are more than that and I hardly use ReQall (though I had intended to). Considering how I use computers, it really is a sweet service.

    As for companies who might be interested in purchasing XMarks...

    I don't know if they're looking at a purchase, but I know that LastPass has been talking about coming out with a bookmark sync function for their data vault service. It already stores bookmarks, but it's only set up as an encrypted password and form filler. It's probably the only service I (actively) use more than XMarks. I think it would be a perfect combination!

    If they're one of the companies you're looking at, consider it very carefully. If not, might want to give them a shout and see what they think. The company is still relatively small compared to some and I think it's worth a shot. Just a thought!

    Whatever happens, I wish everyone well...but I think XMarks will live on, whatever form it has to take in the coming year.

    ReplyDelete
  137. Mais uma grande perda , tenho esperança que o serviço sobreviva.

    Another big loss, I hope that the service will survive.

    saudações.
    by sansimon - brazil/joão pessoa.

    ReplyDelete
  138. I'll pledge and also encourage you to find another way to stay in business. We users are (relatively) accustomed to pay for licenses for software - I see this in the same light. And you could upscale it as well with secure management of passwords etc. entered once on one computer, copied to all (but not necessarily stored on your servers). THAT would add value!

    ReplyDelete
  139. $20 a year, via Paypal. I'm in. Just make your xmarks ipod/ipda/android app better and I'd pay $5 for that too!

    OR! Get Evernote to buy you out and I'm in for LIFE!!!

    ReplyDelete
  140. i will not pledge an oath to xmarks

    ReplyDelete
  141. I'd pay for the service, but only if the xmarks *client* became open. Firefox sync has an open client; Google's Chrome sync has an open client; make the xmarks client open. I wonder if Firefox Sync would even have needed to start up as a separate project if an open xmarks had existed from the start and had worked with the people who now develop Firefox Sync to figure out what they needed from a client.

    ReplyDelete
  142. Guys, I'll be blunt: I didn't even know you were looking for donations or registrations or whatever you were calling them. You seriously needed to communicate this better, even if it meant having premium features that not everyone could have. I would have been willing to throw $10/year at this service, but with your move to shut down, I lack confidence now and I'm not willing to spend money on something I must ultimately discard for something that is on the upswing as continuity is important to me. I know that putting together a service like this is difficult and represents a lot of folks' dreams, but I hope you have the grace to take the lessons learned and move on and turn the service over to an company that can move forward with it with it as an asset rather than merely shut it down or just keep it limping along.

    Thanks for the great service, but please make the right move here rather than continue with the current pattern.

    ReplyDelete
  143. Xmarks - send an email to your users! Your pledge adoption rates will go through the roof!

    ReplyDelete
  144. The search "enhancements" aren't features, they're bugs. These and other intrusive "we want to meddle with what you do on the web" antifeatures, that are all turned ON by default offcourse, even if you're migrating from an earlier version without them, are a complete waste.

    If I use google to search -- it's because I want their answers -- not your opinion on them. And I *sure* as hell don't consider it a "feature" to submit my search-history to yet ANOTHER company.

    Yes, one can turns these things off, and I have. I'm just saying, the money spent on developing these features, are money spent on adding annoyances, to me.

    ReplyDelete
  145. "Many comments point out that Xmarks is the only game in town for cross-browser sync; that’s something that Firefox or Chrome can’t hold a candle to. Absolutely true! Point #3 is still relevant to our business prospects, as over 75% of our current users are Firefox-only."

    Well, in a way, losing a bunch of users would also greatly diminish your exploitation cost which is, in a way, a good thing.

    ReplyDelete
  146. Please, don't.

    Confirm that your services will be alive and you'll get my $10/yr.

    ReplyDelete
  147. I'm willing to play $10 per year for Xmarks current service if that's what it takes. Hope all goes well.

    ReplyDelete
  148. Hi, tell me please....weather I can use my own xmarks server or not, when yours one will be discontinued?

    ReplyDelete
  149. $2M/year to run? Oh dear, have you ever read any of Paul Graham's essays? Eventually the big reason startups fail is that they run out of money, meaning they have done something wrong (e.g. spent too much money on infrastructure or on people). You should really-really reconsider how much you spend and cut the costs radically. If that means you should re-scale yourselves to a garage company, you shall do so, because on such outcry you have received there will be a garage company who will do the same.

    Btw. I'd be happy if you would run the service for 10$/year.

    ReplyDelete
  150. 10 dollars a year seems fair!

    ReplyDelete
  151. Typical, I've been looking for a multi-browser solution and the day I find it it says its closing down!

    My search for sync began when I started using safari on iMac and Firefox on linux (well, debian Iceweasel) plus now I'm using chrome for my GoogleApps business solution. Let me put this to you - market your service as being browser independent.

    But what price? I think $10/yr is too much for a backroom low bandwidth syncing service. I'm thinking iTunes level pricing - around $1 or $2.

    ReplyDelete
  152. I will happily pay $10/year for this, and let me tell you why: So long as there is a commitment to add XMarks clients for new browsers, it allows me to be completely browser-independent. I started with Firefox, and when that got bloated, switched to Safari. My bookmarks were already there. And if I added something to Safari, but found that it required Firefox, when I launched Firefox, the bookmarks were there too.

    When I first switched to Chrome, with the first dev builds for Mac, XMarks enabled me to immediately have all my familiar environment, and to occasionally hop back to Firefox or Safari when I needed to.

    $10/year is a small price to pay for complete and total browser independence, without having to export/clear/reimport bookmarks from browser to browser to have them all share the same data-set.

    Stephen: $2.00 per YEAR? That's insane. If you're thinking about apple's pricing, they charge $99 for their low bandwidth syncing service (what used to be called dotMac, and I think is dotMe now or something). And people gladly pay for that as well. $10.00 per year is a pittance.

    ReplyDelete
  153. If you had even hinted at a shareware model, I would have thrown some money at it. I do throw money at all shareware that I keep using (useful). I pledged because xMarks has been extremely useful to me.

    ReplyDelete
  154. On the cost part, specifically on staffing senior engineers to build plugins for each browser:

    Have you considered focusing on the server side and open sourcing the plugins to try to let your (obviosuly dedicated) community pick up the slack?

    I know people who contributed their time and effort to the sync features of chromium, and I'd imagine people would contribute to xmarks plugins as well, reducing some burden on your side.

    ReplyDelete
  155. $5 /year gets me 20GB of space from Google. $10 is too much for me. $1-5 I would consider.

    ReplyDelete
  156. In general is it worth $10-$20 annually?
    Yes, No question! It is an awesome service!

    BUT for me personally, and my use patterns it is not - I would pay $5 every year.

    There are a millions of (little) services, which are nice to have. And I love to pay them all, but a million times $10 is just to much for me B-)

    Wish you all the success you need.

    ReplyDelete
  157. I assume the update was needed to show this message, unfortunately I almost missed it having automatically hit close when IE opened. I expect many people do the same thing and if possible you should find an more obvious way to alert people.

    ReplyDelete
  158. I'm really embarrassed how cheap Americans are.

    ReplyDelete
  159. I agree with Stubbs. I'm astounded people are so cheap, this is a great service. I'd definitely pay $10 a year for it. The guy above complaining that $10 a YEAR is too expensive by comparing it with 20gb storage space is just nutz. Its barely even the price of a beer!

    ReplyDelete
  160. $2/M to run? Your cheap! Oh dear! You have actually WORKED AT A START UP! You guys got out a lot of features, and a HELL OF A LOT of development effort. Keep up the good work! Sign me up!

    ReplyDelete
  161. I am really really really sad about this news...
    Xmarks was one of my only plugin that I kept on firefox for years

    ReplyDelete
  162. The link to the pledge page redirects me to http://www.promessotheque.com/XmarksPremium which only displays a bunch of ads??? Big problem here, or is it only me? I can access http://www.pledgebank.com/ though...

    ReplyDelete
  163. Hi have you ever realized that placing some ads to your website and in this case also into the login screen (in web browsers) could make up some money? I vote YES! We do need you!

    ReplyDelete
  164. Concentrate on the Pros. That´s where the money is. That´s what I´m living from for a long time. And pack the features for them in the product.
    Suggestion: Remote deletion of Passwords. And keeping track of who and where synched.
    I had my office broken in earlier this year and both of my laptops stolen. Both had XMarks on it. I had to change XMarks password and then everything from EBay, PayPal, Amazon to really important stuff. 2 days of work at least. I´d happily pay 10$ a year to avoid this kind of hassle the next time somebody takes a laptop from me.
    Martin Hildebrandt

    ReplyDelete
  165. Favorites are essential for consistant browsing experience and cross browsing will grow with internet use. People needs many entry doors to enter such a big area. Your business is then at the very core of the internet phenomenom, it would be such a waste to let it go.

    ReplyDelete
  166. I am sad to see Xmarks go. I've been with the service for a very long time, it was still Foxmarks back then.

    I don't think I would be willing to pay *at least* 10USD a year for the service, though. A bit less, probably yes.

    I hope you manage to keep this service up and running, but just in case you don't, I send you wishes of all the best.

    ReplyDelete
  167. I've been watching the sign up rate on http://www.pledgebank.com/XmarksPremium/ and here is where it is at now:

    Number of signers 6796 / 100000 (6.8% of target)
    Estimated signers by deadline 20388 (20.4% of target)
    if signup rate continues as in last week

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  168. Please support this project if you use it!! Xmarks is an everyday thing now for me, and has been for many, many years.

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  169. I have used this service since the early days and has always been my no1 add on, it was upsetting to find out that the service will end soon, personally I think $10 a year is a small price to pay for such a powerful tool, James and the developers deserve an award for the hard work they have put in to this project, I just hope a last minuite backer saves the day!

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  170. Thanks for great service. I really hope you keep it going.

    As you write, for the multiple-browser segment you're the only game in town. This segment is the tech crowd. It's not large, but I believe we're probably willing to pay much more than 10$ a year. You just need to reach all of us and I don't think you are. Personally, I'm one of those Europeans and I would've been happy to click on a paypal button and donate a bit, but I never saw a paypal button.

    Good luck!

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  171. @Martin

    XMarks is not a tracking service. I think you got that wrong :-)
    To protect your laptops, try hdd-encryption software e.g. TrueCrypt, it's free.

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  172. Hello,

    I'd gladly pledge my support to XMarks for $10.-/year - heck, I could pledge $24.-/year for the servies it renders me!

    But perhaps you're not aware that, using a French-version of any browser, when trying to reach your pledge page users land into this: http://www.promessotheque.com/XmarksPremium - not the most reassuring nor the most promising way to make a pledge! ;)

    As you state that most support (if scarce) in the past came from Europe, I can only assume that you will have quite a number of users that would like to pledge you their support but can't (and I haven't tested browsers in other languages!).

    Perhaps you'd like to give your users an alternative to said website (twitter? email? comments on a post?), just to be on the safe side.

    With all my sincere and very best wishes! I think your update on point #3 above is spot-on on the niche where you have a unique advantage - heck, you're alone in that niche to the best of my knowledge!

    Best regards

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  173. I love the Xmarks service as with the browser wars continuing I can have them all installed to keep up with progress and see my bookmarks in each one.

    That said, for personal use I see $10/yr as too much, especially with each browser offering to cloudsync/backup your bookmarks for free making the value of the service only really in cross-browser compatibility. I would be willing to pay, but more in the realms of $1-5/yr for the bookmark service (I don't use password sync or anything else).

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  174. I am really saddened to hear that Xmarks is shutting down. I love you guys and every time

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  175. The url :
    http://www.pledgebank.com/XmarksPremium

    is going on

    http://www.promessotheque.com/XmarksPremium

    wich one is dead !

    I want to pay !!! LOL

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  176. I am really saddened to hear that Xmarks is shutting down. I love you guys and every time I reformat my PC I download Firefox and then Xmarks before downloading anything else. You guys have done an amazing job and I am most definitely willing to pay $10. You guys have made a big difference and I am really hoping that Google would buy your business because that would make it even better than ever and plus they buy out everything anyways! I am going to donate you guys some money but I do not think it will make any difference now :( This is one of the most useful Add-ons I have ever used right along the side of Video Download Helper and Tab Mix Plus. I never knew how important donating was. And I wish I knew sooner. Thank you (The staff at Xmarks) I have been with you guys since Foxmarks and will be with you guys til the end. You guys are awesome!!! Much love to you all!

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  177. I will go sell my body in the streets and donate you guys some money!!! BRB!!!

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  178. It's hard to create something that makes your life easier. You guys did it. Thanks.

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  179. Warning : if you connect to www.pledgebank.com from Belgium => all links are redirected to "promessotheque.com" but this site is down ! I don't know if this situation is the same for other country. So I use a proxy for the promess.

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  180. Hi Xmarks team !

    It seems like the link "www.pledgebank.com/XmarksPremium" doesn't work well.

    Is it the right url ?

    Best regards,
    Thomas.

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  181. Guys, you really hid this pledgebank account nicely, so nobody ever will find it... Please put up a link on your main screen, (right now there is no link whatsoever to this post, I only found it because I was searching for the original post discussing the closure) and in the mails you send out! You mention a donate button too... Well I am a user since the early foxmarks day, but never once encountered it... There are a lot of startups who I donated to beacuse they offer a real nice service, and because _they asked for it_ ! Even the closure is only mentioned in the features menu on this site in a little line...

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  182. :(
    xmarks is the best ever plugin!
    thanks guys!

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  183. Well you're not the only innovative online business which has struggled to find a viable revenue model!

    It's understandable that companies holding a weakening financial hand keep their cards hidden until late in the game, but a shame when that leaves little time for reconfiguring the enterprise. As for the low donation rate - I think the public will be unlikely to donate to a revenue model they don't understand, especially if they are not clear about the degree of need.

    My view is this: cross-browser is your USP. With the proliferation of platforms and devices, especially in mobile and tablet form-factors, there's a growing need for cross-platform cross-browser sync. A 'freemium' model for X-marks thus has a much more obvious tier than most: free for single-platform (competing with the other free services, drawing in users, and differentiating itself via the community aggregation and ratings offerings). Cross-browser integration is the initial unique premium service - and cross-browser users with a need to sync, like myself, currently have little alternative. We can go without, or hand you our wallets and ask you to please leave us enough change for a cup of tea. $10 would be merciful indeed.

    Remember that most great entrepreneurs face multiple crises - what makes them great is that each time they come back fighting and sooner or later they do win...

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  184. I just read the message from Thomas before the mine, so I think the problem is the same for French people.

    The expiration for the promesses is 10/15/2010, and if "(Interestingly, most of the contributions came from Europe, not from the US.)" you """must""" (sorry for my bad english) resolve this problem quickly.

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  185. I cannot believe that some people are not willing to pay $10/YEAR for this service. I can understand if it was per month. I signed up for this service the moment a colleague at work introduced it to me and have loved it sense. There is not another service that matches Xmarks. I love being able to sync between multiple browsers and the profiles are great so that I only have certain bookmarks/favorites on my work computers. I was amazed when they introduced the open tab sync feature- this then prevented me from having to remote into another computer all of the time to retrieve a page that I was viewing earlier.
    I will definitely miss this service if we do not get enough that are willing to support this.

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  186. Hi Xmark team and thank you for your job.
    Now , why don't you free Xmark, under GPL license, like that it will be continue to run !!!

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  187. Folks in France & Belgium:
    Do the following urls work?
    http://be.pledgebank.com/XmarksPremium
    http://fr.pledgebank.com/XmarksPremium

    Based on localisation info at:
    http://www.pledgebank.com/where

    I guess this might not help, as the primary domain is the same, but maybe worth a try...

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  188. Not freemium, just PAID. Trial would be fine, of course. Certainly that would cause a lot of users to leave but why is it necessary a bad thing? That would reduce your running costs too.

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  189. If you want many people to sign at pledgebank, release an update for xmarks an ask on first start of the browser vor a sign. Not all people reads news and feeds!

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  190. When I comment here I get a server error in reponse.

    I just posted:
    http://be.pledgebank.com/XmarksPremium
    http://fr.pledgebank.com/XmarksPremium
    (http://www.pledgebank.com/where)
    ...in case they are of any help to Belgian & French users. Long shot, but being in the UK the fact they work for me doesn't prove anything one way or the other!

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  191. Thanks for this very useful service James and good luck for you and xmarks team.
    If ever you come to Spain I hope you knock the anpro21's door.

    Changes are the beginning of something new.

    Carpe diem

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  192. sorry, my english is bad, so I don't understand all the reasons for shutting down. Why? no premium? 30 days for free und than 10 or 20 Dollars? The Add-On ist good or you can make a payment on the site. But in the moment I see the site and I think, oh no. The site ist so unclear and goes.

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  193. You got my pledge. I've been using Foxmarks/Xmarks for a few years now and would hate to see it go :(
    You done good and it always worked without a hitch!
    Hopefully this will not be the end!!!!

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