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January 13, 2010


Erik Neu

I more agree with Dave Winer's perspective. There is just a cap to how far this can go--how many people at the top of the pyramid can be courted with "free" in order to generate publicity and attract paying customers from the bottom of the pyramid.

The only reason to give stuff away for free to opinion leaders is because you think it will have an overall return on investment for you. That applies to a small, select group of people, I just don't see how it can be carried very far.

In the movie theater example...Dave Winer writes a fair number of amateur movie reviews, and he does have an A-list blogger's readership. Still, it is a relatively small readership. Even if he writes a glowing review, I question whether the value of giving away tickets (which he would have bought for full price--he was in the theater lobby) is offset by the publicity value of the good review.

Then there is the question of agency. Even if the proposition offers a positive ROI, the beneficiary of the good review is the film's distributor, not the cineplex giving away the tickets. That is a disintermediation problem that could be overcome, but doing so adds another layer of complexity.


I think Erik above has a point on the limits this can be taken.

However, this looks like a very interesting concept to mate with the idea of new "tribes" where "membership has its privileges" and this type of thing is used as a way to recruit select individuals who see the benefits available to those who are "in."

TM Lutas

In this dystopia, how elevated is the value of the opinion of a leader who simply doesn't play the game, doesn't take the freebies? Don't say such people don't exist just because you might not have met one. I have.

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