I believe the current internet is a great deal for people but pretty lousy for advertisers. We get SO MUCH great stuff online and we don’t have to pay much for it at all. Yet. “Long Tail” author Chris Anderson has published a book on this subject: “Free: The Future of a Radical Price.” Personally, I don’t believe in free. So I was glad to see Malcolm Gladwell’s review of the book in The New Yorker. I think it’s safe to say he’s not all aboard the free train, either. You can read his review here: http://www.newyorker.com/arts/critics/books/2009/07/06/090706crbo_books_gladwell?currentPage=all.
The fascinating, and ironic, thing to me is that you can actually click on this link and read a thoughtful, articulate, well-researched and wonderfully-written piece without having to buy the magazine or even a subscription to The New Yorker online. I bet you Malcolm didn’t write the piece “for free.” So, why do we get to read this without paying for it? Where’s the justice in that? The invisible hand of economics? This sounds like a free lunch, and my Stanford Econ 101 professor assured me there is no such thing as a free lunch.
I believe him. I think we are in the midst of a reckoning here. This is a subject I will use this blog to explore. I welcome your input.