I periodically look at search terms through which people find Hosting Reborn and try to figure out how to get people the answers or information they want.
A new term I found today was "Is hosting reborn any good?", which had me lost for words.
How can you honestly address the question of whether your own service is any good? Can you honestly address the question?
Do I think my own service is any good? Yes, it works just fine for me. I use Hosting Reborn to host my own personal website, this blog, the Hosting Reborn public website and any personal project where I want to easily set up a separate hosting account to try something out.
I created Hosting Reborn to solve my own problems and from the perspective of a user of my own service I think it works quite well. But then that's a tricky thing to take at face value, which is the crux of the problem: I cannot avoid possessing a personal interest in seeing what I made become a success.
There is an unavoidable conflict of interest: can the owner of any service give a fair opinion? I'd like to think I can, but I bet there's some part of me, subconscious or otherwise, putting a positive spin on things. Even if I am giving a fair assessment of whether Hosting Reborn is any good, can anyone accept that as a fair and impartial opinion? It's hardly likely.
The best I can do is to market the service: to sell the benefits, to show you how it makes managing multiple hosting accounts easy and straightforward without lots hassle. I can hope to bring you round to the mindset that a hosting account on a shared hosting platform in not a product but a commodity, that a hosting account has no inherent value.
Of all the things I can do, the one thing I can never do is to tell you that the service is any good. I can try, but that's just not for me to say. It is at this point you come to realise that the service you created for yourself to use (and with the hope that others would want it too) grows up.
People I don't know are asking other people I don't know if Hosting Reborn is any good. That's just not a discussion I can join.
So what can I do? Nothing, really. I can't say that Hosting Reborn is any good because you don't want to hear that from me. And I can't prove it's good - that's just not possible. I can't even prove it's not bad.
I can't dig through customer feedback and see if anything or merit is said because that's not what happens - people get in touch when things go wrong or when they can't figure things out. If all is well, if everything works and everyone's happy the world of feedback is a very quiet place - how often do you choose to take the time to tell any service provider that things are going well? That just doesn't happen.
So, is Hosting Reborn any good? That's not for me to say - I'm always going to say it's good, aren't I? That's not really for others to say. People only get in touch when they need support - we're not generally in the habit of sending love letters to service providers.
Can you foster a community of interest around something that's not really terribly exciting, like shared hosting or bug tracking?
Or are you just at the mercy of a tiny vocal minority to say something good in a way that others can find? And how does that all start?