One thing I'm particularly interested in is the popularity of some sites that require a paid subscription in order to access the full set of features. It seems to me that this doesn't make a whole lot of sense; basically frustrating members while possibly even losing revenue by not offering features for free which could bring in a massive amount of ad revenue. The whole article is posted below. I'd love to hear what you think!

http://ideaexchange.wordpress.com/2007/06/25/free-vs-paid-web-20-si...

Tags: 2.0, Facebook, LinkedIn, Web

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Hi

You know this whole issue of free stuff is very interesting and I appreciated the article you wrote, Bryan.

Whenever I come across some cool tool that is free, my first thought is always: how in the heck are they making money? Sometimes I know -- via Open Source Movement -- it isn't the money at all but a push towards the greater good of us all (three cheers for those folks). Other times, though, it is clear they are lining themselves up to be bought out by someone else (Hello, Google? I got something for you). And then, as you note, they sometimes give us a teaser and say, well, here is even more for $500 a year.

I don't know the answer to your query, since I would like everything to be free, but I understand that can't always be the case. What I do hate is having to deal with advertising on sites that I see could clearly benefit my students. I refuse to direct them to places where ads are going to in their peripheral vision. That, of course, narrows my Web 2.0 toolbox considerably.

Thanks for the discussion piece.

Kevin

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