Scoble wrote a very nice piece on the issue of “is it free?” mentality. It’s a mentality I tend to disagree especially these days that all the models have matured and we have seen the models (sell privacy or force ads allover the place). And yes Web is full with ads (and thank god I don’t know what web looks like since I use AdBlock since 2004). But for the rest of you who don’t use it, you must know you’ve never read a good article on a commerical page (aka: not wikipedia). So yeah I’m the bastard I can get it for free without ads, and you watch the ads for me. But that’s not true even in the web these days.
Take a look at zynga products over at Facebook. You cannot enjoy and play the game without inviting your “friends”. And when your “friends” start to run out, you’ll have to make new friends (invent new friends). Facebook now tries to detect “too much friends invention” and blocks you from doing it all in one minute.
Sarah Lacy also wrote a similar to the free mentality 6 hours ago
PS. the same mentality has been allover with Free Software (open source software). While a few times it is of high quality, most of the times it’s crap. Ubuntu is extremely nice for example but always is 2 years behind Microsoft, mainly because Microsoft has more money. And Ubuntu is the most funded Linux Desktop distro! I have personal experience with all these, and it has been proved to me by what I’ve seen, that if you’re doing it as a hobby it’s okay, but if you’re doing it of higher quality/professionally then you have to earn some money (basic incentive). Else you either abandon the free thing you’re doing or it always stays a hobby