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Permanent link (DOI): https://doi.org/10.7939/R3C94W

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The Allure of Free: Participation Strategies for Internet-Based Businesses Open Access

Descriptions

Other title
Subject/Keyword
business
free
models
Type of item
Thesis
Degree grantor
University of Alberta
Author or creator
Hurley, Zenobia
Supervisor and department
Geoffrey Rockwell, Philosophy
Examining committee member and department
Sean Gouglas, History and Classics
Stan Ruecker, English and Film Studies
Department
Humanities Computing
Specialization

Date accepted
2009-10-06T16:58:31Z
Graduation date
2009-11
Degree
Master of Arts
Degree level
Master's
Abstract
While many Internet services and products are free to use, in most cases, they are not completely free. Someone, either the user or a third party, is paying for them either directly or indirectly. By examining the business models of three successful Internet-based companies, this thesis demonstrates the important role that users play in the revenue-generating practices of these companies. Users in these companies are not only customers, but also producers of content for the company. They add value by reviewing products, uploading content, or simply by participating in company-sponsored communities. While many of these activities may be satisfying to users on a personal level, in effect, users are giving up control of the content they produce over to the corporation. The attributes of collaboration and generosity that define truly user-run communities are being exploited by Web 2.0 companies to achieve commercial ends, and as such can only have a semblance of the true spirit of collaboration without all of its substance.
Language
English
DOI
doi:10.7939/R3C94W
Rights
License granted by Zenobia Hurley (zenobia@zipnetdesign.com) on 2009-10-02T21:54:03Z (GMT): Permission is hereby granted to the University of Alberta Libraries to reproduce single copies of this thesis and to lend or sell such copies for private, scholarly or scientific research purposes only. Where the thesis is converted to, or otherwise made available in digital form, the University of Alberta will advise potential users of the thesis of the above terms. The author reserves all other publication and other rights in association with the copyright in the thesis, and except as herein provided, neither the thesis nor any substantial portion thereof may be printed or otherwise reproduced in any material form whatsoever without the author's prior written permission.
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