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Category: Andy Marken's blog Published on Saturday, 06 June 2009

Someone Pays Even for the Free Lunch

 

 

 

Coming Your Way -- We believe that Wolverine was more than “a little” irritated when someone decided to steal a yet-unfinished copy of X-Men Origins ahead of the movie’s opening.  He probably wouldn’t have been happy if people would have stolen the movie when it was truly complete but this was Hugh Jackman’s creative work and he was bummed!  Source – 20th Century Fox

 

“I'm coming for blood, no code of conduct, no law.”Logan/Wolverine (Hugh Jackman), X-Men Origins: Wolverine (20th Century Fox - 2009)

 

Hugh Jackman, producer and star of X-Men, was “disappointed” when the rough cut of the movie was stolen and prematurely set free on the Internet.

Wolverine on the other hand was totally P***ed !!!!

 

Oh yeah…so was News Corp’s Rupert Murdock.

 

We didn’t view it.  

 

Didn’t even scrounge the web looking for it. 

 

We’ll wait till it is available on TV surrounded by ads…when we have the time to rent the movie…when we’re on a flight somewhere.

 

The incident made us think that the Internet has desensitized us in many ways. 

 

Some people think you’re some type of hero if you hack into a corporate system and “liberate” people’s private information.

 

Some think it is cool to set a movie, a song, a book, a game, an article free on the web.

 

Some feel they should be paid for their creative efforts, their content, their intellectual property.

 

We’ve never been really certain if Chris Anderson, editor in chief of Wired magazine, was serious or deeply, intellectually being funny when he crystallized the concept that free is a superb Internet business model. 

 

 

Favorite Word – Free is the most attractive word (and most widely used) in advertising or marketing.  Maybe the only thing that even comes close is “You buy, we pay the taxes.”  But getting something for nothing is more powerful than doing something to your government. 

 

 

But as Logan’s half brother said, “Back away. There are things you don't understand.”

 

Maybe not but we do understand that at the end of each business day there has to be money in the cash register if the organization is going to open its doors tomorrow.

 

Part of the problem is that the largest web players – Google – has perfected the messaging of “free.”  

 

You have free gmail, video entertainment with YouTube, document storage, maps, news, photo storage and more.

 

Of course people get irritated when Google has a problem and you can’t access your gmail, when your photos are lost, when your video gets taken down, when your online document/data files disappear.

 

How dare they !!!!

 

Folks, none of that is free…

 

Google loses $470 million a year giving you upload/download access to YouTube.  Other sites lose about as much as their volumes/traffic increase

Content Flows – Every video enabling site around the globe receives hundreds and thousands of short and long, poor and great videos made available by folks who hope people will enjoy their creative efforts.  Source -- Vobile

 

 

Losing a little on each transaction and making it up in volume just doesn’t work.

 

Of course when Chris advanced the idea of free, he didn’t really mean “free.”

 

But all of the stuff (good and bad) the Internet and all of the locations, sites, information, ideas, news, research, data is pretty hard to resist.

 

And obviously we don’t.

Growing Volumes – New web sites, new business models are cropping up across the Internet offering people free, paid and subscription content – audio, video, photo, text.  The volume of content that is available is growing six fold and there seems to be no end in sight.  Source -- Cisco

 

 

The challenge is we’ve blurred the lines between good, evil…mine, yours…free, paid.

 

Too many people on the iNet agree with Wade Wilson/Deadpool, “Dreams really do come true.”

 

The truth is more along the line of Wade’s other observation, “Great, stuck in an elevator with 5 guys on a high protein diet.”

 

There’s “free” and there’s free.

 

With the way Google (and tons of other for-profit companies) serve the stuff up it’s hard to see the difference.

 

Especially when we spend more and more time online

Our Lives Online – Shopping, working, relaxing, entertaining it appears that people increasingly rely on the depth and breadth of content stored and available on the Internet.   Source – Media-Screen

 

 

Well we’ll give you a little hint about Anderson’s long tail content

 

Long Tail – Chris Anderson’s early articulation of how the Internet and web would help people find and enjoy widely popular content as well as niche audio/video works.  The economic storage and distribution of minor works and offbeat subjects enables almost everyone to find his/her content.  Source – The Long Tail

 

 

If the stuff (audio or video) is in the high demand category folks probably want you to pay for it…one way or another.

 

If the stuff is in the special interest category, you may or may not have to pay for it. 

 

The really free stuff is up there because someone wants you to share in their love of the content. 

 

Then there are those who use the free locations just to express themselves and they’re glad someone gives them their 15 seconds/15 minutes of fame. 

 

Our son opened up artistserver.com as a free site for indie musicians years ago.

 

We don’t even like to know what it costs for his co-lo (co-location) service, server/storage upgrades, constant tweeking to enhance/refresh the site.

 

Doesn’t cost anyone anything to get posted or download/enjoy the music but you’d never know that by some of the online complaints he receives. 

 

There are hundreds of similar music/video sites around the globe and we’re sure the folks who offer the service experience the same levels of love/hate mail.

 

Look at the complaints YouTube gets when they take down music videos.  Heck even the EFF (Electronic Freedom Foundation) is indignant and feels its censorship. 

 

It’s a grey area but if the video is yours and the music is “borrowed” maybe we’re missing something. 

 

Want some no-strings attached music, go to our kids site…folks there would probably like the free exposure. 

 

Want to drop in a micro payment great…he’s getting ready to add a couple of TB of storage.

 

On the other hand,the “free” content (the stuff that Google and the gazillion of other business sites/services/blogs) put up is only available to you at no cost because someone wants to ride along and get their message in front of your face.

 

Now Stryker announces, “Welcome to the war.”

 

It’s advertising and contrary to your snobbery it isn’t a dirty word!

 

Print media…radio/tv…web sites…blogs…stakeholders want it. 

 

It’s not bad if it delivers stuff you want to enjoy and the cost to you is a little eye/ear time. 

 

You might like it.  You might learn something.  You might buy something.  As Stryker said…“Become the animal. Embrace the other side.” 

 

If you’re not into out-and-out piracy/theft, “free” is the best world for you. 

 

You get to become part of the community for nothing and you get to participate at the level that’s most comfortable for you.

 

Tribal Affairs – In the blink of an eye new communities are formed with people from widely dispersed areas who share a common bond and interest.  Some want to participate and share while others want to enjoy.  Over time communities within communities form, evolve and establish their own written and unwritten guidelines.  Source – CMO Council

 

 

Depending upon the community you can share/enjoy/sell music, games, video, applications, information/opinion.

 

Now that is the true power, robustness, richness, enjoyment of being online all the time.

 

In these areas it’s a me-centric world

 

The Global Me – The Internet makes it possible for people to find what they want, need, desire with a little surfing.  For the most part the me-centric web works well as people give and take freely.  Obviously there is also the dark side of “me” which is all about taking.  Source -- Forrester

 

 

It’s a lot more fun, a lot more enjoyable, a lot healthier than drifting over to the “fun to steal” part of the iNet/web.

 

You have to remember…Jackman just may let Wolverine loose.

 

Ho Boy He’s Ticked – When you mix Logan and Wolverine and then tick them off you can be assured there will be nothing but trouble ahead.  Guess the folks that ripped off the half-finished Wolverine movie weren’t aware of the fact that he was a mean rippin machine…and he has powerful friends.  Source – 20th Century Fox

 

Then…you’re gonna hear Logan say, “You're gonna die for what you did to her!”

 

So much for the free lunch (and movie) !!!!

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