Introduction to Popular Culture Studies

It’s Free with a Price

Posted by faythleighann on February 8, 2017

While reading “Where Web 2.0 Went Wrong,” what really caught my attention was the section focusing on the idea that “nothing is ever free.” Whether it be from brand promoting to a mutual understanding of loyalty, there is always a hidden price to a free product or service. The idea that everything, even information, can have value means that it also has a price when shared- especially through media. More often than not, services online can be accessed for “free” as in not having to purchase them, but the book explains it as a “social payment.” Meaning that when you add an account or give personal information that site or company can sell it to advertisers or anyone else that needs the data. Also, when you share ideas or your account publicly, other viewers see that and popularize the site even more. Even when you talk about your experiences with your account with a friend that doesn’t have one, it spreads the message that it’s “free” and common to use as a promotion. All of these are examples of social payments that the companies benefit from just by manipulating the idea of “free.”


2 Responses to “It’s Free with a Price”

  1. toripatterson504 said

    I absolutely love the title that you chose for this post. the social payment thing came off to me as total bs! I never realized how much companies actually manipulate its viewers.

  2. jasendavis said

    That is a great point. Nothing in this interconnected world occurs without some kind of discharge. It may not always be an exchange of money, but it is often the exchange of what Dr. Pulsinelli in our business department refers to as “secondary money”. “Secondary money” is anything that directly leads to loss or gain of money, for example, advertisement.

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