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Trusting Helper Apps – Another View

in “Do you trust these guys? OpenDNS.org” I commented on how OpenDNS requires trust; that the service is a risk because it asks that it be trusted, when it doesn’t have a clear monetization model that earns such trust. Since then we know OpenDNS redirects typos to Yahoo! search for a share in advertising revenue, and this week we read more about OpenDNS in the New York Times.

But it is Frank Schilling’s comments on the excellent Seven Mile blog I absolutely love:

Opt-in huh? So was Gator.. Depends if your users know exactly what they’re opting-in to and how far you go in shaping their experience using the permission you were granted. Not trying to rain on David’s parade and I’m not as worried about a decent guy like him shaping technology like this toward the dark-side. I am worried about what would happen if a company like Gator offered him a big pile of money and the culture shifted in a darker more unseemly way. As a rule, I am firmly against helper applications and downloads like this because of that opaqueness.

and the best part of all:

“I will take the 30 year old authoritative DNS standard over some third-party’s promise not to do bad things; ten times out of ten.”

Ain’t that the truth.

If you’re an SEO reader and you’re not reading Frank’s blog, you really should. To get you started:

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One Response to “Trusting Helper Apps – Another View”

  1. darren Says:

    “promise not to do bad things” …hmmm I know I’ve heard that from someone else too…let me think…

    his words of wisdom could & should also apply to mail, search data, docs and spreadsheets, toolbars, personalized homepages, analytics, etc. But it’s so hard to combat the power of “free”