Well well well. I’m a fan – perhaps a bit of an ex-fan of WordWeb. It’s a great little dictionary, thesaurus which enables you to highlight any word in any app and by clicking a few keys get a definition of a word and synonyms, antonyms and so on. It’s a ‘freemium’ model of monetisation, though recently it’s acquired a twist. It’s free for the general cut down edition and I used it for a good while – over a year, and then one day, on a bit of a whim, I bought a copy of the full program on the grounds that I didn’t mind tossing $50 odd bucks their way for providing such a fine service to the world, and I was sure I’d get $50 out of any extra services a ‘pro’ version of the program would offer. And so it has been.
But on the computer I originally installed the program on I reformatted the hard disc. I didn’t bother installing the full version, and just installed the free version over the net, as it was more convenient. I figured when I needed it I’d install the full version, but since I kind of bought the full version out of the goodness of my heart, I didn’t really have much use for it and made do with the cut down free version.
Anyway, WordWeb have made some changes. The free version told me that because it was free it was doing a quick survey on my habits and started by asking how many commercial flights I took a year. I thought ‘fair enough’ they’re earning some money by doing this, so I answered the first question “more than two” and then the lights went out. I got the dialogue box on the right together with links to this and this page. Well, they’ve of course got a perfect right to offer the program on whatever terms they like. And their idea of who they want to offer the free product too is kind of cute. But not very sophisticated. What if I was buying carbon offsets? It’s naive too. It’s not exactly the most difficult trick to get around.
I’m off upstairs to grab my WordWeb Pro CD. And I recommend both versions of the program.