Chris Anderson Discusses The Radical Price Of Free At Google

Posted by

Chris Anderson is the editor of Wired Magazine and the author of the best-selling business book, The Long Tail. He recently released his second book, Free – The Future of a Radical Price, which is already a New York Times Best-Seller. Yes, you can even get the book (in certain instances) for free (just click on the book link above). Anderson was invited to give a Google Talk, which he delivered on July 9th, 2009. For those of us not lucky enough to work at Google, here it is in its entirety: Authors@Google – Chris Anderson


  1. I’ve been using gmail for some time and have never seen an ad asides from the
    ‘better with Google Chrome..’ ad.
    In fact I set up a gmail account to get away from hotmail’s targeted adverts.
    I am hence somewhat purturbed after reading an article in the Montreal Gazette
    about how ‘Google’s computers are scanning your GMail account and sending you targeted messages(also known as…)…’
    Any way of having that statement retracted? Clarified? Or is MItch Joel in the business of disseminating false information?
    Don’t get me wrong, I am not an avid fan of Google as I am not fond of the act
    of people raking in billions of dollars by any means (a concern many share) yet I am no more
    fond of disseminating informatuion that is false as clarit in all matters of life
    is better for the whole.
    Steve Paesani

  2. Hey Steve,
    I’m a little confused by your comment. I just went over to Gmail and I have 6 ads (called “Sponsored Links”) on the right hand side of my email. I then clicked on another message and had another 6 sponsored links. I’ve always had them there.
    You should also see what Google says about their ads in Gmail:
    I’m not in the business of disseminating false information.

  3. Hey Mitch,
    Perhaps I could have used better words.
    I’m from Montreal and as there are no ads or sponsored links in my GMail
    it might be possible that Google’s Canadian services differ from those in the U.S.
    or other countries. As the article in the Montreal Gazette tends to fall under many eyes I thought it might need clarifying and that you, being pretty knowledgeable and connected in the field, might be the best person to contact to have the issue clarified.
    Again, sorry for the words I used. what I am really looking for is perhaps an answer
    to the question: Does Google advertise to some email accounts in some countries
    and not others and if so, can the initial article be corrected?

  4. Thanks for following up Steve. Based on the link above, here is what Google says (and yes, this includes Google Canada):
    “Gmail users can’t opt out of receiving ads because these sponsored links help Google support the cost of providing Gmail for free to our users. Instead of serving pop-ups and untargeted banner ads, Gmail displays text ads using our contextual advertising technology. These ads should be relevant to the content of your messages and we hope you’ll find them useful.”
    So, what might be possible is that the content of your email is simply not generating any words that ads are associated with? That being said, there are still ads and my Gmail is constantly filled with ads.

Comments are closed.