It’s Not Your Data Now

Since the beginning of the internet era it has been pretty widely accepted that when you join an online service, whatever data you put into it belongs to you.That means you can sign up for one kind of e-mail, import your contacts into that system, add a bunch more, and if you later decide to switch to some other e-mail service, you can export all your contacts from the first service into the new one. You can use Microsoft’s Hotmail, then move to Yahoo Mail, then to Google’s Gmail. Or you can have accounts on three services and keep all your contacts in each one.This is not great for the e-mail services, but it’s fantastic for members because it means that to hang on to you, a service needs to continue improving and keep up with the others. If it falls behind, members will pack their stuff and move elsewhere.

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