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It was very bad but i loved it

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Your book is so good it makes me want to cry.

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Well, I wish I could write something about this book, but I can't even read it what with the link for the print version not working on Android and the ebook costing twice what I think it should. Nice going, Google!

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The best things in life are free, or so the old saying goes. These days, however, it seems that more and more companies and retailers are trying to get us something for free, and it is becoming increasingly doubtful that all of those freebies are the best that life can offer. Nonetheless, all this free stuff has certainly contributed to making many aspects of our daily lives simpler and more convenient, especially when it comes to those parts of our lives that we spend in digital world.
The raise of free predates computers, and it has a venerable history in the annals of marketing. Chris Anderson, the editor in chief of the "Wired Magazine" and the author of insightful "Long tail," narrates the greatest highlights of the history giving products for free. He also explains the rationale behind how the prices get set in a free market, and the reason why in the absence of almost any production costs we can expect products to eventually end up free. The reason that there is a proliferation of free nowadays has everything to do with the fact that the cost of creating and moving bits of information around is essentially zero.
Anderson spends an entire chapter defending the free model against its many critics. He takes every common objection to free that has been heard in recent years and provides a cogent and well-informed refutation. How convincing his arguments are, however, may depend on your own attitude and point of view.
At the end of the book there is a list of fifty different business models where products or services are given out for free. This is a useful list for anyone considering a cutting-edge modern business, and for the rest of us it gives us an opportunity to take a look at what kinds of things can be obtained for free these days.
Overall, this is an interesting book that takes a look at modern economy form a very unique angle. Only the time will tell if the paradigms used in this analysis will survive the test of time or are they just the latest fad.
 

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Chris Anderson’s Free: the Future of Radical Prices discusses current and past trends of the $0.00 price phenomenon. He delves into the business strategies that charge nothing, yet remain profitable enterprises. This trend of “Free” business is all possible because of technologies and their rapid declines in the price of operations. In essence, companies can deliver a tremendous amount of content for a very cheap (an still shrinking) price of operation. The marginal costs of doing business on the internet are so low that they are soon approaching zero!
So how do companies survive by having overhead costs yet charge supposable nothing for their services? A concept called “cross subsidies”. For example, a company can provide content on their website, the website attracts users and participants, and the website tries to monetize the users of their site by selling advertising space on the site. The advertiser pays the web content provider for the rights to place ads on the site, and users will view the ads and “click through” if they are interested. In essence, the advertiser is subsidizing the cost of the site and in essence making the site free for the user. Google is a huge player in the market space which virtually owns the online marketing arena.
So how viable is such a business model? Free content is only as good as the advertising is on your site. Free is a business model many internet companies have embraced almost by the prospect of extinction. If your site is the only one charging a subscription, and one can get virtually the same information on a “free” site, your site will be out of business. Unless companies can differentiate with proprietary technologies or information, they are all competing in a commodity type business destined for uncertainty and lackluster profits. However, the book contends that people are happier doing things when they are free.
With the onset of free multimedia, publications, and various other outlets, the internet becomes a virtual stage for almost anyone with a computer and willing to contribute keystrokes to voice their opinion or thoughts. The vast amount of free information makes it difficult for people to charge fees for subscriptions so companies are force to reevaluate their business models. I think the book was an interesting read that provided insider insights and perspective due to his career. However, not many new points have been raised. Also, “The Future” as the book claims in its title seemed more of a synopsis of history and current trends. I am not convinced that future will remain the same.
 

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“Free: The Future of a Radical Price” is another thought provoking book by Chris Anderson. In this book, he discusses the concept of “free” products and services. As we all know, nothing in this world is truly free, and Anderson elaborates this point over 200 pages of enjoyable and fast-paced text. Anyone who’s taken an economics class knows that, in most cases, competition is good for the consumer because price decreases and quality increases. What Chris Anderson is saying is that in order to attract more customers, this competition will inevitably lead to prices of zero.
Anderson states that the word “Free” comes from the social notion of freedom from slavery and cost; Anderson’s book focuses, of course, on the cost portion of this definition. He starts off by explaining an example almost everyone can relate to when he explains how Gillette would sell their razors super cheap in order to increase demand for the more expensive and higher profit margin disposable blades. This is an example of what Anderson calls a direct cross-subsidiary which is the first of his four “Free Models”. A direct cross-subsidiary means that in order to get consumers to buy one product, a company will sell that product’s compliment at a low price. The other three free-markets are the three-party market, freemiums, and non-monetary markets.
The three-party system is the most common of the Free markets. In this system, two parties interact for free, while a third party pays to participate in this exchange. For example, it is free to listen to the radio (aside from the fixed cost of buying a radio) because advertisers pay the broadcasters. Next, a freemium is something that is seen most commonly on the internet. An example Anderson gives in the book is the website Flickr. It does not cost anything to use Flickr, however, if you want to “go pro” for $2.00 a month to become a premium member, you get unlimited uploads, account stats, ad-free browsing, and other perks. Finally, the last of the Free markets is the non-monetary markets. These are instances where people choose to give things away with no expectation of payment. A great example of this is peer-to-peer file sharing. One person will upload an album and thousands of people will download this file from the original uploader or the thousands of other people who downloaded it. None of the downloader’s or uploaders benefit directly from this transaction, however, in the long run they benefit because a community is built where no one has to pay for music if they don’t want to.
As of the writing of this book, there is no way to properly calculate the value of the Free market, however, Anderson estimates that its value is somewhere around the $300 billion mark. Anderson ends the book with some nice tidbits. His “Ten Free Rules” sum up the book quite well, next, his freemium tactics give you a ways to think about offering freemiums to your own customers, his fifty business models built on Free bring even more real world context, and finally his gives a website where you can download this book in audio form, making this text literally free!
I really enjoyed the flow of this book, even more so than his previous work, “The Long Tail”. I feel that he grew as a writer between the time he wrote The Long Tail and Free. I stated before that I liked the conversationalist style of his writing, and with his new book he hasn’t changed his approach. This time around he chose to add in about a dozen “side-bars”. These all posed the question, “How can _____ be free?” In these side-bars, he explains how companies can afford to offer services such as Free DVR or to give away a free CD in a famous magazine. I don’t think that this book’s readership should be limited to the business and tech world; I think that everyone would enjoy this book. Although nothing in here is ground-breaking, the text was very entertaining. I was constantly thinking of how these ideas, strategies and principles showed up in my own life.
I give this
 

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Great Book about the "free" economy. Highly Recommended

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Interesting and succinct in its explanation of various business models which offer in some way a service or product for free. The other 250 pages are historical context-based filler.

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3 stars? Yes, 3 stars. Let me follow this with a disclaimer that this in no way diminished my celebrity obsession with Chris Anderson.
It seems to me Anderson thought FREE was his Golden Budda
sitting atop the pedestal of his previous book The Long Tail. Free was suppose to be the next step, full of enlightenment and insight. But FREE is nothing more than a verbose chapter in The Long Tail, Anderson's true Golden Budda.
I'm just not excited about the theories and reasons behind why things are FREE, which is the real problem with the book (sorry Chris). Research shows people get really excited when things are free, but this doesn't mean they also get excited to learn about why it's free. I didn't find myself working theories and concepts from the book into conversations with friends. Possibly because I'm an internet native the idea of things being truly free isn't as mind-boggling to me as someone who's an immigrant.That's not saying there wasn't great information and research in the book. I just think it was 50-100 pages worth and not 250 pages worth.
I didn't not mark off because of Chris Anderson's notoriously officious writing style or the fact that he used Wikipedia as a source. If anything I was glad to see him use Wikipedia and make the line between amateur and professional a little more blurry than it already is.
***I'd also like to give special thanks to Chris Anderson for sending me, a poor college student a signed copy after I mentioned that I hoped to read the book. To those of you think I may have discounted the ideas in the book because I didn't have pay for it, I borrow The Long Tail from a friend and didn't pay for that one either.***
Tim Ernst timothyernst@gmail.com
 

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許多人都聽過 "天下沒有白吃的午餐" 這句金玉良言,既然天底下沒有這種 "too good to be true" 的好事,作者幹嘛寫這樣一本書呢? 是太陽打西邊出來? 天下大同了嗎?
大家一定有拿過所謂百貨公司來店禮,信用卡開卡禮
,或至少用免費的電子郵件,這些免費的禮品或使用機會,目的在哪裡? 所謂賠本的生意沒人做,商家不會没經過精打細算,做永久的慈善吧。
回想每當百貨公司發放來店禮的時候,當天清晨是否一堆人在外面大排長龍,一擁而進? 當電子郵件要求使用者付費的時候,我們是不是立刻轉換東家? 這些商人是真的免費嗎? 當然不是,他們要的是參與的人潮,有人潮就有商機,只要客人肯進門,就看得見,聽得到他們想促銷的產品,當然也一定有人多少會購買。
而一旦參與的顧客人數達到千百萬,他們的影響力就不容小覤,想運用他們人脈做生意的人,當然也甘心捧上大把鈔票,希望能在彼處露臉。
不過,是否每一個免費的公司或企業,都能用免費二字做釣餌,達到商機蓬勃的結果? 恐怕也不見得,體貼誠心的客戶服務,才是永恆的關鍵。只想用一時的 "免費" 抓客戶進門,卻自恃免費,慢待客戶,服務效率不彰的公司,反會 "惡事傳千里",失敗得更快。
Linux 和 Google 就是一個成功的例子,雖然是免費使用,但分享大眾的善意,充分發揮團結力量,並讓這份善意,回到自己身上,Google 與 Linux 因此越滾越大,人潮川流不息,商機自然無限。
原文發表處 ;
http://www.ireading.cc/review/review.aspx?rid=49542
 

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