The FREE Debate
My Point of View:
I believe that Free (the concept) is here to stay. In fact, what I’m doing on this blog, to some extent, is converting some amount of ‘Paid’ to ‘Free’. I am involved in work that is ‘Paid’ and read books, which are essentially ‘Paid’ but convert it to ‘Free’ when I blog it here (yes, yes, the blog is in it’s infancy yet, there’s some content on the way). You don’t pay to read and use it. When I read Seth’s blog, it’s ‘Free’. When he collects his posts into a book and I buy it (I have, in the past), ‘Free’ is getting converted to ‘Paid’.
This interaction, between the ‘Paid’ and the ‘Free’ worlds is not new. Very often, a friend would read a book, and then tell me about it. I might not read the book, but I got some part of the message for ‘Free’. Another version of ‘Free’ is what marketers called ‘word-of-mouth’ or ‘viral’. Marketers pay good money to put their advertising up where you can see it and be convince to buy it. But when a colleague recommends a movie to me, the marketer is reaching me for ‘Free’. Again, it’s not new, but the Internet just makes it easier for the conversion to reach a larger group of people.
However, ‘Paid’ is not going to go away. It’ll have to exist, but in a different way that I’m not sure of, right now.
No, I still haven’t read the book.