30th nov, 2007

Its hard to give things away for free

Chris Anderson commented on a colum (not given away for free Im afraid) written by Scott Adams, creator of the Dilbert comic, considering the effects of free content on the Internet. Adams´s experience is that the returns from blogging is about 1% of  his income and that releasing a book on the Internet didn´t boost the sales of the sequel.

Chris Anderson is writing af book called “Free” on how to profit from 0$ content charging. His book will be available for free of cause but as he says he wants to do more than sell books, he wants to:

  • Write better books, thru reader interaction
  • Profit from spin off projects like speeches, customized analysis


So as a follow up on my post on the reformed yet disillutioned pirate, here is someone that believes in the power of free. But there is a point in that Chris Anderson is a pretty known person, will the average consultant be able to benefit in the same way. I think the answer is no. There is a celebrity effect connected to cashing in on free content. You could say that only the best get promoted this way, but what about all those guys and girls just doing an ok job, and not revolutionizing the world all the time (some would call them mediocre) – will they be able to give speeches for $$? I don´t think so.

But then again as Anderson writes: Unlike simply selling what we make, free requires creative thinking about how to make money around what we make. That is, as Adams says, “complicated”. Which is why I think there’s a book in it.

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