Life on the Advertising Driven Internet
(Commentary from SpinnerBaker Software)

Who could have known how much the internet would change from the time SpinnerBaker Software first took up residence online in 1995? It started when so many friends liked Icon Clock that I made a simple shareware page, and offered it for download. Then, ZDNet gave Dropit a five star rating, and the site was off and running. Now, if you get any rating from ZDNet, it's because you paid for it. And they (and all of the used-to-be-huge shareware sites) don't deliver much for their fee, either. When SpinnerBaker Software last affiliated itself with a major shareware site (CNET), statistics showed fifty times more traffic from search engines and my own program links than from CNET. That's why there are no shareware links to be found anywhere on the SpinnerBaker Software site now.

The first SpinnerBaker Software logo

A bit of history for internet newcomers: In 1995, internet commerce was in its infancy. The internet was largely a free information exchange, which dated back to its earliest days. There was plenty of shareware software to be found; it was a popular software distribution technique, even in the days when bulletin boards had more home computers connected to them than the internet. Only television and radio had become overcommercialized to the point of being hard to stomach. That would change rapidly. With Windows95 and faster processors, home computers finally had what they needed for the masses to get online. The large shareware sites, who, like most bulletin board operators, started out mostly to help their users, soon discovered there was profit to be had in advertising. The rest, as they say, is history. Now, we're flooded with popup windows, with software which changes our search engine findings (directing you to whoever pays the most), tracks where we browse, resets our browser homepage, leaves lasting booby traps on our computers, and with tons of email spam (most of it like pyramid schemes, offering nothing).

It reminds me of the alien tavern scene from one of the early Star Wars movies; here we are trying to muddle along, with total chaos going on around us. Now, the internet has become so flooded with advertising, it doesn't pay much, and those sites which depended solely on it for revenue, are quickly dying. A search for anything yields so many results, it takes hours or days to wade through them. Phony sites, set up just for searches (to redirect you to the real ones, and collect a bounty for doing it), outnumber the real sites by fifty to one. Through all this madness, shareware has survived. The "try before you buy" concept was always a good one, it's just harder to get past the advertising and find the value these days. Many download sites will now subject you to multiple advertising pages, popup windows, and tracking cookies, just to complete the download. Beware of sites which offer nothing but marketing. Small sites with something real to offer rarely got rich quickly like the advertising sites, but didn't die in the advertising flood, either. Persevere, and you will find places like SpinnerBaker Software. There are no popup windows here, no booby traps, no smoke and mirrors. The trial versions of some software here expire after thirty days; some just present a registration reminder once a day and keep on running. It all uninstalls from the standard Windows Control Panel applet, leaving nothing else on your computer. For registered users, we don't share your name or email address with anyone, or send you anything. On the other hand, SpinnerBaker Software has been giving real replies to email for long enough, when you need support, odds are you'll get a quick answer. Try out whatever software interests you; uninstall whatever you aren't impressed with. We'll keep rejecting all those intrusive advertising and tracking offers we get, and all you need to do is look out for those aliens on your right.

Bud Baker
SpinnerBaker Software

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