What do we mean by free? Should we see the web as free in terms of liberating data or free as receiving no money?
If you look at how social marketing has developed including the Freemium model much discussed by Chris Anderson, the world seems to have changed the meaning of 'free' from liberation to attaching no monetary value...
The important part of free is the liberating factor....and for me the give away element is allowing your knowledge to be shared, allowing your ideas to be seen by the world. This is not about no value, it is about having intrinsic value, a value which can be shared to give a window into your world.
Maybe what we need is a libfreemium model!
- See which data needs to be connected with others in the world...and liberate it.
- See the value of what you do and build a range of products and services. This is about application of the data, the development of the knowledge of the liberated data.
- Realise that as the world progresses what once was paid for, will eventually just need to be liberated....released for the whole world to see and therefore you need to keep a pipline of ideas, concepts and applications which retain an intrinsic value
The problem is that often business gets mixed up with the two definitions of free.....remember the core aim is to liberate not giveaway...the business model is about defining what needs to be liberated and how value can be added to create a revenue stream.