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Re: Chronicle on effectiveness of free content

That was an interesting link. Its also another example of techies 
being so obsessed with 'new' it clouds their judgement. Giving 
away something in order to be paid for something else is not new, 
nor specific to the web: 'loss-leaders' have been around for 
ages. And the other point, that if you give something away free 
lots of people will have it (read it, in this context), whereas 
not many will buy is, again, trite, not new, and not web 

Plenty of publishers will have had the experience of meeting keen 
prospective authors whose book, popularising some arcane corner 
of science, will, they insist, be a great hit with the educated 
layman. And most publishers will tell them, that there's a world 
of difference between someone being so interested in a specific 
subject, and actually having heard of the particular book, that 
he will go out and buy it, as against being interested enough to 
read a four page article in a magazine he's already getting free 
with his newspaper. The digital world is a not a 'new' way of 
doing things, its just a slightly more efficient way of doing 
what we already do.

Bill Hughes

----- Original Message -----
From: "Joseph Esposito" <espositoj@gmail.com>
To: <liblicense-l@lists.yale.edu>
Sent: Saturday, July 11, 2009 4:32 AM
Subject: Chronicle on effectiveness of free content

> An interesting and unexpected article in the Chronicle about a 
> physics professor who was touted by Chris Anderson in 
> Anderson's new book "Free" as an example of how free content 
> helps to sell books.  The professor, Richard Muller of 
> Berkeley, says it ain't so.  Not clear to me after reading this 
> that either Muller or Anderson have this exactly right. Here is 
> the link:
> http://chronicle.com/wiredcampus/article/3873/professor-says-free-lectures-did-not-boost-book-sales-contrary-to-wired-editors-new-book
> Joe Esposito