Over a year ago, Chris Anderson, Editor of Wired magazine wrote a feature on why “free” is the future of business. He stated that “The rise of “freeconomics” is being driven by the underlying technologies that power the Web. Just as Moore’s law dictates that a unit of processing power halves in price every 18 months, the price of bandwidth and storage is dropping even faster. Which is to say, the trend lines that determine the cost of doing business online all point the same way: to zero”
As a natural follow up, he’s now published a book on the subject, which is sitting pretty as a New York Times best seller. Essential summer reading? Well, my copy is in the post – even if it’s available digitally… for free.
As part of the book’s promotional media offensive, it could be that Chris has found inspiration for his a book from the unlikely source of German news magazine Spiegel. The intruiging tête-a-tête has the poor interviewer on the back foot from the first question as Anderson’s answers dissect the current media landscape saying that he no longer uses the words “journalism”, “news”, and even “media” itself.
His point, while abstruse, is that although he still reads articles and consumes media from mainstream outlets, he is directed to that news through other media – Twitter, RSS, etc. I’d have to agree here, I rarely visit a media outlet’s homepage, instead I’ll arrive there through a link that’s been shared or brought to my attention through various networks.
Anderson then goes on to make the following challenge to the mainstream – “If you have attention and reputation, you can figure out how to monetize it. However, money is not the No. 1 factor anymore. [...] Attention and reputation are two non-monetary economies. The vast majority of people online write for free.”
I’m always keen on looking at the technologies that are enabling members of the public to create their own content more easily, from simple blogging and website creation platforms like Wetpaint, to mobile video streaming technologies like Qik. There seems to be an unceasing rise of these services, which lend support to Chris Anderson’s suggestion that “maybe the media is going to be a part time job. Maybe media won’t be a job at all, but will instead be a hobby.” After all, if the mystery behind creating a story is truly simplified, then we can look forward to a continually growing number of sources of how we’re entertained and kept up to date.
Originally posted at Shiny Red