Tuesday, July 25, 2006

It ain't worth nuthin', but it's free!


Freedom's just another word for nothin' left to lose,
And nothin' ain't worth nothin' but it's free.
--Kris Kristopherson
Got to love that line. It describes blogging perfectly. Unless you are a corporate blogger pimping your words for pennies (speaking of worth nuthin') everything you post is gratis.

Now one might argue that you get what you pay for. And this is a pretty good response to trolls and contrarians who use comments to pull the teeth out of the gift horse they've ridden for free. But it is also why people don't value free blogging. If you aren't paying for it, it can't be worth anything. Right?

Unfortunately, this is how most people view it. Writing, art and photography can't be any good if no one is paying you to do it. Fortunately most of the great artists throughout time weren't aware of this or Van Gogh's sunflowers would be gracing someone's bathroom wall instead of an art museum.

Maybe it is because we come from a capitalist society that we can't value anything we don't pay for. Studies have shown that if we removed fares from public transportation, ridership would likely drop. But charge for it and people will ride and look for ways to try to get out of paying the fare.

I can't tell you how many times I've seen consultants paid to give the same advice I'd already given. The difference was that they charge more.

I'm glad, however, no one is paying me to blog. Because if I was paid to blog, I'd also be paid to blog what whoever paid me to blog wanted me to blog. And then I wouldn't be free...Literally.
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