These projects are all very different, but the dynamic is the same. Someone builds a cool, free product, it gets popular, and that popularity attracts a buyer. The new owner shuts the product down and the founders issue a glowing press release about how excited they are about synergies going forward. They are never heard from again.
One of the reasons I chose to get involved with pinboardin the first place was this strange notion that paying for something meant recognising in some way, it’s value to me as a user. Delicious was one of those tools that seemed perfect until — boom — one day it was moving home and I really felt left in the lurch. Maciej’s promise was that by paying for the service, I could own one small even insignificantspace of the web. My own little internet archive. Even delicious couldn’t promise that, and the web evolves, changes and adapts so rapidly as to make some links obsolete even upon creation (otherwise known as link rot). Pinboard offered an alternative view on things – I could pay for a service that offered me some kind of non-monetary value!
Obviously it’s completely up to you to come to an assessment on value, I can’t help you there. What I can say is that I completely agree with Maciej, some things just are worth payingfor – so what are you waiting for? Developers should ask for reasonable reward for all the effort they put into something. The Pinboard approach was to grow a service slowly, using available resources and learningfrom failure.