Go ahead, I can wait.
That may sound draconian, but it makes sense. Web interactivity can’t be negotiated on a case-by-case basis. As long as a website’s terms are reasonable and expected, users should have little cause to complain.
One difficult thing about TOUs, however, is the necessity of updates. Things change a lot online, and TOUs need to be updated accordingly. Such updates are typically minor tweaks, but sometimes they involve major changes. And how do you let ongoing users know? After all, it’s one thing to have a non-negotiated contract, but shouldn’t users have some means of finding out if things have changed?
Interestingly, the most commonly used provision for changes to website TOUs is that changes can be made without notice, and continued use of the website indicates agreement to those changes. While that’s not terribly problematic for a lot of users, or when dealing with minor tweaks, it seems a bit heavy-handed when larger changes or being made. Several years ago, we tried to address this by changing our TOUs to say that we would provide updates here—on the Avvoblog—when we made changes to the Avvo TOUs. We may also provide notice of major changes via email or the like, but I wanted to provide a simple means for those who cared about our TOUs to get notified about changes.
So–subscribe to the blog, and you not only get great Web product thinking but also notification whenever Avvo updates its TOU. Sweet deal, right?
Without further ado, then, here is notification of our latest change. We’ve updated the TOUs, effective 3/1/2013. It’s a minor change in sections 8 and 22 to reflect Avvo’s new Legal Marketplace product and clarify the conditions under which Avvo can terminate permission to use the Avvo site and services. At some point we may also add a revision view (or use Docracy to do so) so users can more easily see the specific changes. Stay tuned…