Who among us does not like getting something for free? Whether times are tough or not most of us appreciate not paying for something we want or like.
The world wide web has taken this to new heights. There are all sorts of sites with all sorts of content which we access for free.
Music, Art, Entertainment, Books, Sports, Games … you name it. In fact, how many of you when faced with a pay-wall for premium content simply decide to go elsewhere? I know – I've done the same thing.
You probably have to really want the content to decide to pay for it, because in most cases you can get what you're after somewhere else for free.
But this "free" content does have a price. The creators of the content certainly incur expenses in order to produce the content. So, how is it that there's so much content available for "free"?
There are several dynamics at play. In most cases the owners of large web site operations are able to monetize the traffic they receive by selling advertising, which allows them to offer content for free.
If you're able to prove that you get millions of visits each day, advertisers find this valuable and are willing to pay for the privilege of being visible on the site. Or they pay for the clicks they receive on the ads displayed on the site.
In order to continue to receive millions of visits each day, these sites require new and interesting content all of the time. After all, if the sites you visit have the same thing each day, you probably will not frequent them very often. So, how do you solve the problem of acquiring new and interesting content continuously?
If you're a News site – you rely on reporters to develop and report on stories as part of the news cycle. This is a very expensive operation, after the reporters have to be paid for their efforts. Some News sites rely on pledges from their visitors to support their operations and conduct periodic fund raising campaigns to keep their operations going. Other sites are owned by larger organizations which consider it valuable to maintain a presence on the internet and can afford the news gathering effort although they still tend to sell advertising.
A number of the large social media sites discovered the best way to acquire new and interesting content continued was to allow their visitors to provide the content themselves.
Every photo, post, update, etc. is content provided for free by the visitors and then monetized by the sites. Now this may seem like a pretty fair arrangement in this context. The visitors (you and me) get a nice site with all sorts of fresh content, we're able to connect and share with friends, and they do not charge us anything. It's FREE! Yay us!
You may not think of yourself as a content creator – but broadly defined, when you upload photos, or post videos …