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Trusting Helper Apps – Another View

in “Do you trust these guys?” 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:

One Comment

  1. darren wrote:

    “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”

    Tuesday, July 10, 2007 at 10:56 am | Permalink