Freemium as a bird

I like this comment by Chris Anderson, Editor of Wired magazine and author of books The Long Tail and the two-day-old, controversial Free, in response to some of the recent attacks on him and his latest project:

"I may have a somewhat rosy-tinted view of journalists as being largely drawn by intellectual curiosity, but they are also people, and they are people in the midst of a once- in-a-lifetime industry collapse. How the media industry has to reform is not yet clear. I don’t have answers for them."

Chris was interviewed by PW for an article about the stormy reception the book has received – mainly by people who haven't read it or who can't be bothered to work out his argument before reacting against it. (The unfortunate accidental lack of attribution of some Wikipedia passages didn't exactly add to the book's popularity.) Me, I'm well-disposed towards anything Chris writes anyway as he's always intelligent and original (he's an ex-colleague of mine from long ago when he was a News reporter at Nature, and has also done a distinguished stint at The Economist), but the fact that Malcolm Gladwell slated the book in a prominent review makes me think it probably is rather good.

PW interview with Chris Anderson on the meaning of Free.

The Long Tail blog, which has lots of posts about the book and how it is "free" (and why).

@chr1sa on Twitter.

4 thoughts on “Freemium as a bird

  1. Yes, that’s right Dave – there is a link to that site in the PW story linked in my post – but some of the journalists were complaining that the book was “only” free within the “scrid” frame, not “properly free” – see PW article. But Chris’s position is more to do with “Freemium” than “Free” – ie the “give something free but sell something additional and better” line.

  2. Sorry, the “B” on my keyboard keeps sticking. That should have read “Scribd” in my comment above.

  3. He was interviewed recently on a podcast I listen to…can’t remember which one but probably the Simon Mayo one from the BBC (or maybe one of the tech ones)(my brain is mush these days). What he said made a lot of sense to me…but I guess I can understand journos taking a shot at him…most of them are very, very scared I imagine as their industry faces big problems and shooting the messenger is always such a successful strategy 🙂

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