Last week Earthlink released a free online RSS reader, and a social bookmarking site. Recently, word has leaked (Earthlink actually quietly announced this on their blog in June) that a much more ambitious project, called WebLife, is now live as well.
WebLife is a combination of two services: photo management and sharing, and online storage/backup. The basic service allows 1 GB of storge and is free to Earthlink ISP customers. Others can access it for $3/month. Additional storage is available for $1 per month per GB.
The service requires a 10 MB download. Earthlink customer service confirmed that Weblife has a Mac version of the software, but only a Windows version is available on the site. As an aside, this is absolutely terrible customer service. I had to pay for the service (and agree to a recurring monthly fee) before I could access the download area and see that there is no Mac version. Earthlink customer service is just as horrible as it was in the days that I fought them to terminate my ISP account. God knows how I’ll be able to kill this monthly fee without terminating my credit card.
The service is similar to Google’s new Picasa software, with desktop software for managing and editing photos plus the ability to publish select photos to the web. Now-standard services such as photo printing are also included.
WebLife Backup and Weblife Disk
WebLife Backup and WebLife Disk are fairly advanced tools for storing data online.
The Backup service allows automatic backups of the entire hard drive, select folders or certain file types (MP3, etc.). Files can also optionally be encrypted.
The Disk product is a simple online storage tool, similar to many we’ve profiled in the past.
My impression is that these are a useful set of services that may appeal to the millions of existing Earthlink customers. The pricing is high relative to some of the online storage competitors and the new standard that was set by Amazon S3, but the tie in to the desktop client for easy photo management and data storage administration is excellent. They need to clean up their customer service train wreck, though, and release a Mac version of the software.