Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Post-modern business in the Free World - Open Access & Librarians

I came across this interesting article from the Vancouver Sun, Post-modern business model: It's free. Videogame company Nexon has been giving away its online games for free, and making its revenue from selling digital items that gamers use for their characters. Garden says his business is as much about psychology as it is about game design. It’s no good to sell a bunch of cool designer threads to a character who is isolated in a game, because no one will see how good he looks.
Free games can have a dozen different revenue models, from Nexon’s microtransactions to advertising, product placement within a game, power and level upgrades, or downloadable songs. However, on the question of videogames (or any other digital product) being offered to consumers for free. Much of the principles of Nexon is based on Chris Anderson's "free" concept.

“No one says you can’t make money from free." What does this mean for libraries? Especially since much of the mandates and goals of libraries are not to make money? The possibilities are there. A great number of libraries are already dipping into open access initiatives, particularly at a time when database vendors and publishers are charging arms, legs, and first-borns. With Web 2.0 technologies forming an important foundation for digital and virtual outreach opportunities, and the SemWeb on the horizon, I encourage librarians and information professionals to put on their thinking caps and think together in a collaborative environment to break down the silos of information gathering, and move towards information sharing.

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