Your obligation to ‘FREE’ (There is one)

Free.

Cautionary tales abound about no mid-day meal of that nature exits both at mid-day or at other time in it, in relation to both the gastronomical experience or outside of it.

But lately I have been thinking there must be some obligation from customers of FREE even if the seller does not explicitly make it clear.

Let’s look at an easy example : Gmail

This service from Google is used by countless individuals. I have been on gmail for years. And I am quite the happy customer. I suspect the majority are. And Google provides it free of charge. And always will.

Now what has Google gained for itself from Gmail ? Ads. Or more precisely, a huge audience that it can sell targeted ads to. The right side on the inbox page is the prime real estate that helps pay for the rest of the inbox you are using.

So your ‘payment’ to google is adding to the user count that Google can pitch to ad buyers.

But this model is not universal.  Enter ad-free services like Wikipedia (or it could be dropbox/instapaper/firefox/some free nifty app or file)

They deliberately decided to keep their offering totally ad-free and maintain content integrity from the start.

Nobel. And I bet if you are reading this you are a Wikipedia user too.

Here I reason you have a DUTY as a customer to Wikipedia. And they can be two core ones :

Donate to it.
Promote it.

or maybe BOTH!

Only one will cost you and both will ensure the service continues to be both free and available.

‘Tragedy of the Commons’ is an economics concept we are not thought enough of in college and it is a corrosive acid that eats into any enterprise where freeloaders don’t think long enough and aren’t grateful enough and deplete common resources.

When possible help that free service you enjoy. If only so you can continue doing so.

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