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02/19/2010

Free: The Future of a Radical Price by Chris Anderson

free future of a radical price Chris Anderson book cover art

Chris Anderson - Free: The Future of a Radical Price

I recently completed Chris Anderson's Free: The Future of a Radical Price in fragmented bits of reading. It's a great book for thinking one's way into the implications of free as a price and such related concepts as freemium pricing strategies.

At the same time, it's a rather frustrating book if evaluated from an academic perspective with few proper citations and open-ended, uncited use of chunks of Wikipedia and other writers' content!

It's a rare book that merits serious consideration after such excesses have been exposed but Free is just that kind of book. Of particular relevance for this blog, studying ways to monetize free content is very much on the minds of open access advocates searching for sustainable business models. Free offers a great brainstorming tool with notes from related efforts including open source software.

"Free use but paid via other means" is also a key pricing strategies for libraries supported by taxes, donations, student fees and the like. We don't pay each time we take out the books but we or other folks like us pay by other means. Open access business models often take similar routes.

The interrelationship of free web content and open access publishing also was explored in the release of free editions of Free for limited time in digital formats.

So, yes, I'm recommending Chris Anderson's Free: The Future of a Radical Price with reservations because, if taken for what it's worth, it's quite a good book!

Chris Anderson blogs or blogged at The Long Tail where you can currently find a downloadable list of "notes and sources for the book" Free.

Wired Magazine:
Free! Why $0.00 Is the Future of Business

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