The effect of free products

I’ve always thought that accepting a product for no payment would involve a gimmick of some kind. Whether it’s a buy-one-get-one-free offer in a supermarket or free carrier bags I always believed there would be a catch somewhere. I didn’t want the special offer so never fell for that ploy, and I am aware of the possibility of a rather large plastic island floating in the Pacific Ocean. I also firmly believed that the product’s inherent value would be at risk of decreasing or of being abused.

So I come to my new-ish blog (I’m not sure I like that word – I’m experimenting with ‘diary’) which is not quite a year old and which had a slow start and an undeserved holiday during the summer. I currently have no money coming in and I thought that perhaps I would try to monetise my new-ish blog. Then I found out the sums paid by WordAds and I felt horribly despondent and futile.
The problem with free things is that we (and now I) have come to expect them and even complain when they don’t provide us with everything we want, and more besides.
I tried to rationalise my feelings and after what seemed to be several hours in a deep dark pit I realised that if I paid for a custom site I might appreciate the effort that goes into creating sites, and I might devote more time to taking more care and control over how it’s managed. I also reflected on my own attitude towards what is a free and valuable tool, as is Twitter and online advice, and I can’t say I feel particularly proud of myself. I just wish these things didn’t happen at night just before going to sleep.


About S.A. Aslam

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