Is Free Becoming A Thing Of The Past?

There's something about the word "free". I mean, it's very attractive
and for some reason many of us think that "free" also means "quality"
and "desirable" and, of course, "get it now". That's one reason why
you see free stuff all over the web.

Of course, giving away free services and goods has been a way to get
people into a store (or to a web site) for countless ages. I'm sure
that way back in the Roman times they gave away free bread or
trinkets to get people hook people in, just like web sites do now.
But on the web "free" seems to have been taken to ludicrous extremes.
it seems that everyone wants it for "free". A web site has to offer
something, anything, for free to get people to visit. There are
entire companies who are entirely devoted to giving away free things.
Even such giants as "Yahoo" are almost entirely based upon the
concept of free giveaways.

Now that Yahoo has announced that it will start charging for
auctions, the question begs: "is free a thing of the past?" Will
other sites start charging for things that, outside of the internet,
they would normally charge for?

Personally, I don't think this is going to happen. One thing that
makes the internet different from anything we have experienced in the
past is it's vastness. Someone who is surfing the internet literally
has billions (and in a half dozen years more like trillions) of

On the internet there is no such thing as unique - at least not for
long. How can there be? With so many people (over 300 million last
time I looked), there is such an explosion of creativeness that there
is going to be overlap and similarities everywhere.

What does this have to do with free? Well, when someone visits a
site, especially for the first time, you've got seconds to convince
then to stay and look around. You have to give all of your visitors a
lot of options and things to read and learn about. You must impress
them, and you must do so quickly.

One way to get them to stay for a short while is to give them some
free things. Of course, you can write articles (that's what I do on
my site) which give valuable information. You can give them graphics,
games, plug-ins for their site, free programs, coupons, or anything
else that you can think of (it's probably a good idea to make sure
all of this fits in with the theme of your site - other than that,
the sky is the limit).

Another reason to give out free things is to get people to come back.
That's one of the primary ways that Yahoo and sites like it sell
advertising ... they give away free things (email, calendars,
classifieds and so on) so you will continue to come back to their
sites. They can predict how often people will view those ads (based
upon statistical analysis), and they've got a good idea of what kind
of things you are interested in based upon your actions at their
site. Thus, they can sell advertisers a commodity ... you. Or
rather, your eyes.

That's why free stuff will continue on the internet ... it gets you
there and it makes you come back again and again.

About the Author

Richard Lowe Jr. is the webmaster of Internet Tips And Secrets. This
website includes over 1,000 free articles to improve your internet
profits, enjoyment and knowledge.
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