Rethinking Free

Written by Elena Fawkner

"I have had to change my email address to [deleted], as is no longer offering their services for free, another indicator that repparttar internet business environment is not what it used to be."

This is an extract from a "change of address" email I received a couple of weeks ago from a subscriber. No, indeed,repparttar 119088 internet business environment is most certainly NOT what it used to be. More and more we are expected to pay for access to services we used to be able to get (and expect to get) for free.

Why do we expect so much for so little online? Because that's howrepparttar 119089 internet evolved. Originally a network of computers designed to facilitate an exchange of information and resources between academics,repparttar 119090 fact that purely academic pursuits wererepparttar 119091 goal naturally meant that it was perfectly appropriate forrepparttar 119092 educational institutions involved to put that infrastructure in place without expectingrepparttar 119093 end users to directly pay forrepparttar 119094 content.

As recent history has evolved, of course,repparttar 119095 internet has expanded WAY beyond its humble academic beginnings to its current status as a primary medium of exchange of information, products and services for virtually every sector ofrepparttar 119096 economy. How often do you see an advertisement, whether print, radio or television that doesn't giverepparttar 119097 advertiser's web address as a matter of course?

Although business has becomerepparttar 119098 hugely predominant exploiter of repparttar 119099 medium,repparttar 119100 fascination withrepparttar 119101 technology has, until now, somehow keptrepparttar 119102 focus off business basics ... you know, all those minor issues such as actually making a profit and pesky details such as hang-on-a-minute-how-are-we-going-to-pay-for-all-of-this?

So enamored were we, as consumers, withrepparttar 119103 sheer power and brilliance of being able to access, with just a few keystrokes, information on literally any subject underrepparttar 119104 sun that took our fancy, coupled withrepparttar 119105 not-for-profit academic beginnings ofrepparttar 119106 internet revolution,repparttar 119107 idea that someone, somewhere, presumably had to footrepparttar 119108 bill for all of this was nothing more than some sort of abstract issue we needn't concern ourselves with. It was someone else's problem. Someone else was profiting from all of this and whoever that was should pay. It really didn't dawn on us that we wererepparttar 119109 ones who were truly profiting.

This "free" mentality was a major contributor torepparttar 119110 downfall ofrepparttar 119111 first e-commerce wave. Venture capitalists, probably more caught up in repparttar 119112 promise of this bright new technology than anyone, were prepared to throw money at this thing withrepparttar 119113 curious blind faith that somewhere, somehow, this new playing field was a source of riches never before dreamed of. So quarter after quarter, year after year, undeterred byrepparttar 119114 red ink dripping like blood off corporate balance sheets,repparttar 119115 VCs kept sinking more and more money intorepparttar 119116 black hole, holding steadfast to their irrational faith that somewhere in this brave new world was a rich reserve of untold wealth that they would reap if only they drilled deep enough and long enough to reach black gold.

The recipients of this free-flowing cash, of course, had to find a way to make money so they could eventually pay it back. Business models were created that revolved around providing free content (becauserepparttar 119117 internet, after all, was a "free" medium) and charging third party advertisers exorbitant prices forrepparttar 119118 privilege of displaying their advertising torepparttar 119119 vast numbers of site visitors clicking in and out of their websites every few seconds. Perfect! Site visitors receive their *entitlement* of free information and we'll make our money from advertising revenue, these site owners decided.


Written by Jim Beach

Those who operate internet businesses likely have their hands full.

That makes it hard to keep track of new developments. To see who is doing what and how successfully. To generate ideas for your own business. So what you need is a strategy to help you keep abreast of what is happening onrepparttar internet and specifically, in your area of interest - in as little time as possible.

Here are some tips and resources to help you to keep track in only minutes a day.

First you'll need a couple of sites you can count on to give you accurate and timely information onrepparttar 119087 internet. Here's a good one: Nua Internet Surveys.

This site houses a wealth of information onrepparttar 119088 internet, its size, scope and influence. Here's an example of a recent article:

Report Examines Profitability of Business-to-Business Web Sites

"42 percent of three-year-old business-to-business Web sites inrepparttar 119089 US are now profitable, with another 14 percent expecting to turn a profit withinrepparttar 119090 next year, according torepparttar 119091 latest report from ActivMedia...."

Each story contains a link to related articles, so you can go a little further if you choose. It also has a search engine to help you hone in on exactly what you're looking for.

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