As experienced and above the average web users, we generally don`t like the likes of SitePal. (See the poll in the above link). But, my video clients are asking for it.
Done right, (I.E. Opt-In) I think it could be a plus to some websites. The technology isn`t proprietary to SitePal and I am planning to offer a similar package to my clients in the near future.
It`s a "cool" thing that has a lot of marketing behind it... which may be driving the requests.
It certainly is not proprietary, there are a lot of services that provide it and as you said, can be accomplished outside of sitepal or other vendors.
In general, like other website "bells and whistles"... there should be a reasonable assessment of the benefit of using it. Just to be cool is a reason, but will using it generate business or sales or improve the user experience?
If after an objective assessment it makes sense to have a sitepal-like feature, then implement it.
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