My How The Web Works And What It Means For High Paywalls anecdote

On my computer, right now, I’m looking to purchase this book: Ignore Everybody by Hugh MacLeod.

This is how I arrived at wanting to hand over my money to Hugh:

This morning I was looking at Metafilter on my phone.

From Metafilter, I clicked on this link: Austin Kleon’s How To Steal Like An Artist

In his post Austin mentions Impostor syndrome.

Which reminded me of Hugh MacLeod’s creativity blog posts – I’ve dipped in and out of them for many years… they’re advice for the older/duller/more mature/every creative person (delete where applicable). He’s managed to cram a lot of ideas into some neat sentences. Today, this comment by one of his readers reminded me of trying to explain the web to some very sharp newspaper men, many years ago. “1. If they listen to you, they have to conceed that their worldview *might* be wrong.”

I enjoyed reading Hugh’s words this morning – and as not all of the text is available on his site any more, I feel it’s fair to purchase a full copy.

So… I want to purchase Hugh’s book because I’m familiar with it. I know it’s of interest to me.

If Hugh had not given away his ideas at first, for free, then I would not have engaged with them – and would not have turned into one of his customers.

And this reminds me of a quote inside a Sunday Times magazine article I read about a year ago, about the Grateful Dead’s business model.
But of course I cannot link to the article on their site because it’s behind a paywall. Noted on Twitter, by someone with a similar name to mine.

So I’ll link to the Atlantic instead, and hope you visit their site. Management Secrets of the Grateful Dead.

“What people today are beginning to realize is what became obvious to us back then—the important correlation is the one between familiarity and value, not scarcity and value. Adam Smith taught that the scarcer you make something, the more valuable it becomes. In the physical world, that works beautifully. But we couldn’t regulate [taping at] our shows, and you can’t online. The Internet doesn’t behave that way. But here’s the thing: if I give my song away to 20 people, and they give it to 20 people, pretty soon everybody knows me, and my value as a creator is dramatically enhanced. That was the value proposition with the Dead.”

We’re awash with with information on the web. Familiarity can mean value. Making your information scarce, by locking it away, may just mean that your customers go elsewhere.

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More links.
The Grateful Dead reminded me of The Dead.
And I’d never seen this video before today.

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