In his article Fame vs Fortune: Micropayments and Free Content, Shirkey talks about how the changes in technology have inexorably pushed in the direction of free content. The Internet "makes all user-supported schemes harder, and all subsidized schemes easier. It likewise makes collecting fees harder, and soliciting donations easier. "
He has an interesting discussion of "mental transaction costs", which he credits Nick Szabo with. Even if something's very inexpensive, just thinking about whether it's worth it becomes a kind of cost. This same factor applies to free content, in my experience, though: my attention isn't really free, i have a limited supply of it, and overwhelming demand.
9:57:18 PM # comment 
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