Malcolm Gladwell’s recent review of Chris Anderson’s latest book, ‘Free: The Future of a Radical Price‘ caused a round of reactions from big thinkers. Here’s a round up:
Gladwell started things off by disputing the thesis of the book:
The only iron law here is the one too obvious to write a book about, which is that the digital age has so transformed the ways in which things are made and sold that there are no iron laws
The videos on Youtube, magazine articles, newspapers reports, anything that used to be analog that now is digital have a perceived value that is based on their legacy delivery.
The music is often free, but it is NEVER freely distributed.
Anil Dash takes a step back, says the dust-up is likely conceived to sell books and magazines, argues that Gladwell’s main point is that Anderson didn’t provide evidence only anecdotes and then goes on to mention all the people who say Gladwell is heavy on the story and light on the science.
Henry Blodget agrees with Gladwell.
Mike Masnick at TechDirt is firmly in the Anderson camp.
The Opinionator Blog (at NYTimes.com) gleefully discusses some of the bloodsport.
Fred Wilson says some things will be free and some won’t.
Finally, Chris Anderson somewhat bitchily responds (sniffingly referring to Gladwell as a ‘journalist’ (the horror!) using GeekDad to prove the idea of paying people to get people to wirte instead of paying writers.