The Web Is More About Free Communication Than Transactions
from the pay-attention dept
Pistol points us to the news that a study out of the UK shows that the popularity of free online content and communication continues to grow, while transactional sites are losing marketshare. Now… the story is pitched a bit as “free beats paid,” but I’ll be the first to say that’s a bit unfair. First, we’re talking about marketshare here, not absolute numbers. Also, it’s a bit of an apples and oranges comparison to lump content and communication into one bucket and put it up against e-commerce related sites. So I don’t necessarily think this particular study is all that instructive in the whole “free” vs. “paid” debate.
However, what it does highlight is the fact that people still do view the web as a communication and conversational platform. This is a point that is important. The internet was always intended and used as a communication platform. Then, suddenly, there was a burst of latecomers in the 90’s who thought it was actually a marketplace platform. And in the last few years, there are many who believe it’s a broadcast platform. The neat thing is that, as a communications platform it can handle and allow those other things to take place (flexibility is great), but the core purpose of the internet has always been as a communications platform. Other stuff will happen and live on it, but pretending that it’s not a communication platform, and working to limit the ability to communicate online will always backfire.