I recently discovered Springpad and was really impressed by the flexibility and features. I was looking for an Evernote alternative + some extras, and Sprinpad seemed to fit the bill. I think your article clearly laid out some of the advantages.

Nice article, except for one aspect — privacy.

I was looking for a good tool for collaboration on work projects, but that could also be used for getting info out to the public. Springpad fit the bill. But then I realized in my test that the DEFAULT for setting up a new notebook on the web is public, not private, with no way for the user to change the default. That was disconcerting, but what I found in the support forums was even more troubling.

In addition to not seeing any promise by the company to make this simple change, it also was apparent that when they made the switch they chose a default that had dire consequences for some users.

According to forum users, the previous version allowed for private sub notes to exist within public notebooks. I can see how this might be confusing and cause issues, and why Springpad might move to the new model of a single setting for an entire notebook. But what is really inexcusable is that they made a switch that made private data public, rather than choosing a transition that would play it safe and make public data private. This created an ugly situation for some users. The ONLY reason for a company to make a decision in this direction is to maximize the amount of public data. The safe route would have caused a sudden drop in the amount of public notebooks, something their current model relies on for success.

In my mind, I can never use their tool, no matter how great, because I can no longer rely on the company doing the right thing for their users in respecting their desires for privacy.

It once had promise to be an incredible collaboration tool, but this one blunder will relegate it to the likes of social apps that have little regard for user privacy. What a shame.