I initially published this post on May 30, 2008.
Given the new move by Point2Agent to charge for their free websites and
Active Rain now charging for outside blogs and some upgraded features,
along with the fact that Internet companies are still trying to
monetize their offerings, I felt this post would be worth a second view.
The Internet, Welfare, and the Age of Entitlement
Driving home tonight these lyrics from a local pop station pumped through my car's speakers:
"I know you and you know me cash rules everything around me. Say dolla dolla bill y'all, dolla dolla bill y'all."
I'm not down with thug songs but these words ring true. Dolla
bills don't rule my world, but they give me the freedom to create my
own corner of the world. The freedom to live in a house I choose, in a
neighborhood I choose, in a city I choose. The ability to have those
frivolities like gas, electricity, a car, health insurance, food,
They give me the freedom to take a break once in a while by vacationing Oceanside.
The Internet has become a land of free lunches.
Blog, get socially connected, use a new tool or widget, watch a video,
or attend a webinar. It's Free. I can't think of many things I pay for
now on the Internet, much of what I use doesn't come with a big price
tag, and if there is one, it's negligible.
Somehow, I don't think that the Internet as it's
grown from its infancy was meant to evolve this way. I have a hard time
wrapping my head around entrepreneurs yearning to remain philanthropic
Internet evangelists. Internet fans have learned to become staunch
advocates of the free wares at the Internet fair.
The eyes of Internet fans have been trained to ignore the advertisements mixed among the transparency.
A blatant decree of valuable goods for sale does
nothing but get the backs up of otherwise loyal fans with a war cry of
"Hell no, we won't pay, we can leave here any day".
And so now even MySpace searches to find a revenue model that will grow.
Is the Internet stuck in a vicious cycle?
Are we creating junkies by getting them hooked on
"Free" without providing them with a viable rehab? The junkies will
pass down their habits to their friends, their loved ones, and their
future offspring. The addiction of free will continue unless a
widespread intervention occurs.
Who can afford to live for free?
At some point it's inevitable that service will be sacrificed in the pursuit
of rampant freedom on the Internet. Businesses will pull out their
cyber aging hair in frustration when they are unable to convert their
evangelists to paying customers. The love lust of Internet lover's
souls will start to twang like the ballad of a broken hearted country
The Internet will become a vehicle of disenchantment.
There's a lesson to be learned by listening to the woes of Internet entrepreneurs. Be
careful of what methods you choose to attract clients. As a marketer, a
salesperson, and a real estate consultant be smart with your
- Seek clients who value your advice and feel it's worth the price tag you command.
- Work daily on attributes that focus on your self-worth.
- Know that money is the beginning, middle and end game for your business.
This is the way you need to roll.
In every generation, you will find clients who value high touch service above all and will pay for the freedom it affords them.
There are prospects you will encounter who will
want the drive-thru fast food prices expecting to get the 5 star meal.
They will threaten to go down the street to your competition if you
don't give them what they want.
Don't go the way of the dodo bird by falling into tainted love with the age of entitlement.
Since I wrote this post I have abandoned some of my Internet junkie habits and paid for some Internet goods. Here are a few things I am paying for willingly,
What do you pay for or are you a full fledged freebie Internet junkie? Please share by commenting below.
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