Web 2.0 takes publishing out of the hands of a few and puts it in the hands of the many. Google is a free search engine; Wikipedia is a free encyclopedia; YouTube lets you be a movie producer; Blogger gives you your own newspaper column; iTunes gives you your own radio station; and Flickr lets you be a photographer. And all of these services are free. Is everything that's any good now free, and is everything that's free any good? More importantly, from a business perspective, will free destroy your business - or can you use it to boost your business?
- Free content gets them into your community
- "Free" is a magic word in marketing
- You must prove you're an expert before they visit your Web site
- Make money through your content, not from your content
- So much free stuff is available now anyway - if you can't beat them, join them
- People will come to your Web site now not because of your advertising, but your reputation
- New business models superseding the old (e.g. newspapers dying)
- The YouTube video of Susan Boyle on Britain's Got Talent went super-viral - almost certain to get her a recording contract;
- Gihan's new book Web Sites for Speakers, Trainers, Coaches and Consultants is free in e-book form;
- Gihan's new Q&A teleseminar sessions are open to everybody;
- BYU professor David Wiley predicts that universities will be irrelevant by 2020 as courseware will be free to anyone, anywhere, anytime. Universities will instead earn revenue by offering diplomas to enrolled students who've paid tuition fees.
If you're a consumer:
- Free is the future of business - by Chris Anderson
- Make Money Around Free Content - Fred Wilson
- In favour of micropayments over free - Nick Cernis
- Beyond Free - Kevin Kelly
If you're a consumer:
- Look for stuff that's free - it's probably available
- Consider upgrading to the paid version - it might be worth it for what you get
- No "free lunch" - sometimes there are hidden costs, from the innocuous (provide personal details, leading to spam) to the costly (sign up now, pay later)
- Make more stuff free to build your reputation and get more traffic to your site
- Find out who's offering the free version of what you're charging for - it might shock you!
- Information is becoming a commodity, so figure out how to add services and experiences to commodities