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Want To Give Pinboard A Try? You'll Have To Pay $2.84

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Here’s an innovative idea – charge users to beta test a product.

Last week I wrote about a snappy new bookmarking tool called Pinboard. The best way to describe it is Delicious before Yahoo mangled that product into an over-featured sluggish shadow of its formerly zippy self.

Founder Maciej Ceglowski, a former Yahoo and Twitter engineer, noted a surge of new account request in a blog post, noting that he was putting new resources in place to take on the new users.

Today, though, he sent out an email to people requesting accounts telling them they’ll need to pay a “small signup fee” to create a new account:

Hello,

You’re receiving this letter because you recently signed up to help beta
test Pinboard.

While we have enough testers for the time being, the site is now also open to
regular users. If you’d like to create an account, please visit the following
URL:

http://pinboard.in/signup/

You’ll need to pay a small signup fee (around three dollars) through Amazon to
create the account. This money goes towards the costs of running the site,
and the fee helps to discourage spammers.

As I make more features available, I’ll announce them on the Google group
(http://groups.google.com/group/pinboard-dev) and the site blog (http://pinboard.in/blog/).

You can also find me on IRC: irc.freenode.net #pinboard

If you find bugs while using the site, please send me an email and I’ll try
to fix them as quickly as I can.

For things that are not bugs (feature requests, critique, suggestions,
questions) please post to the Google group so that everyone can pile on.

Thanks again for joining me on this project, and happy bookmarking!

Maciej Ceglowski

This is a side project for Ceglowski, so charging a fee for new users certainly isn’t a dumb business move. And if enough people pay to use the service, maybe it will signal to him to move this front and center on his priority list. I would have done things a little differently, though – let people in for free and charge them after a week or so or shut down their account. That lets people try it out before they open their wallet.

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