July 7, 2009

I Want FREE for Free

Filed under: Digital Distribution, Marketing Philosophy, Marketing Tactics, Media Origination — Robert John Ed @ 12:34 am

I read the Long Tail a few years ago (which, to my surprise, I never reviewed here–must have been previous to me starting a blog).  It was a really good book and helped me to understand the dynamics of a system where choice is unlimited and shelf space is no longer an issue.  Ladies and gents, meet teh interwebbery tubes.  The importance of the web on traditional consumption of products and services is yet to be completely determined (and may well never actually reach that indictment) but it’s obvious that a lot has changed over the last ten years.

Newspapers are failing.  Music is now sold more online (via iTunes and Amazon) through digital downloads than at traditional retail stores.  Traditional retail is now carried on through the tubes pretty regularly.  I bought my 42″ HD LCD online for a significant amount less than I would have had to pay at Best Buy at the time.  Banking online is really easy and normal.  So is paying bills.  Everyone has mobile email (in business at least) and texting now.  The mobile web is prerequisite to smart phones today.  It’s just gotten a lot more tech affluent in the last five years, with a collective shrug and nonchalant raising of expectations from the masses.  The stuff that blew our minds five years ago is now table stakes.

The Long Tail (and a few other books) really started to shape my fragile little mind around the complexities of online business models some time ago.  I found (and still find) it incredibly intriguing as a business person.  Everything is changing and will continue to do so.

Along comes Chris Anderson’s next book, FREE.  It’s all about how businesses operate by giving away their products or services.  Google is a prime example, but there are MANY companies attempting similar strategies online (and many companies in the past did so as well, free magazines based on ad revenues come to mind).  There are many ways to get this book free, apparently, and I’m planning on using one of them.  Evidently there will be a ad sponsored rendition.  I’d be all too happy to give some attention to whomever (Adobe?) the primary sponsor is, in order to get the book for free.  Gimmie, gimmie gum drops.  I’ll be reviewing it here as soon as I’ve gotten a handle on the content.


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