I was just thinking – I was at Chris Anderson‘s talk last December Chris Anderson at The Wired Store, NYC. What is new about Free? and I questioned him on the use of “Free”, then (and got a copy of The Long Tail with an additional chapter about “Free” that was included to preview the upcoming book.
Now the publication date of his book is approaching – I bet he’s tickled pink with all the authorities that have weighted in and disagreed with him, partly or fully, about “Free”. I’m almost tempted to think Chris Anderson wants all of this disagreement as it’s driving awareness (maybe it’s “pseudo – discussion” – a manufactured discussion to drive traffic – a cheap way of getting advertising by not having to do much but get other people who are well known to weigh in). In fact, I’ll play with the buzz about “Free” by setting up a profile in Radian6 and discussing influentials – it’ll be interesting if I can find out that Chris just asked Seth Godin and Malcolm Gladwell to weigh in of his “Free” book to generate buzz.
(I don’t know if I’ll be able to prove that – but I strongly suspect it to be true - but I could be wrong).
I spoke with Chris for a minute after his talk last December and I didn’t think he had made a full case where “Free” was the new “it”. There’s a lot to digest from Gladwell and Seth Godin, so I don’t want to write a post that states my full opinion – but I did feel, when I saw Chris Anderson, talked with him personally – that his idea of “Free” has more wind in it, than substance.
For all the talk about “The Long Tail” over the last couple of years, many have begun to debunk it – it’s an oversimplification of a current situation – and I bet the same thing could be said about FREE.
More coming later – I’ll read that last Chapter of the Long Tail now.