Kevin Kelly’s post, “Better Than Free,” has given me much to think about, and I suspect it will do the same for you.
The money quote:

When copies are free, you need to sell things which can not be copied.
Well, what can’t be copied?

Kevin starts with “trust,” a (or perhaps the) key element of any professional services practice.
He then lists 8 “generatives” that are better than free:

1. Immediacy. (E.g., instant, targeted alerts)
2. Personalization.
3. Interpretation (or “how to” or support)
4. Authenticity.
5. Accessibility.
6. Embodiment (putting into the format you want).
7. Patronage.
8. Findability.

The second money quote:

These eight qualities require a new skill set. Success in the free-copy world is not derived from the skills of distribution since the Great Copy Machine in the Sky takes care of that. Nor are legal skills surrounding Intellectual Property and Copyright very useful anymore. Nor are the skills of hoarding and scarcity. Rather, these new eight generatives demand an understanding of how abundance breeds a sharing mindset, how generosity is a business model, how vital it has become to cultivate and nurture qualities that can’t be replicated with a click of the mouse.
In short, the money in this networked economy does not follow the path of the copies. Rather it follows the path of attention, and attention has its own circuits.

Wow! To me, these are important, clarifying, and challenging (in the best sense) words. It also echoes the business models that have grown up around the Open Source licenses.
And, as Kevin notes, none of it involves selling ads.
I encourage you to read (and re-read) this post.
What do you think? I’d enjoy discussing this topic.
[Originally posted on DennisKennedy.Blog (]
Coming in March from ABA Publishing – The Lawyer’s Guide to Collaboration Tools and Technologies: Smart Ways to Work Together
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