Back in May, Chris Anderson, WIRED editor-in-chief and author of 2006's much-buzzed-about "The Long Tail," announced his next book. Due out in 2008, the book will be titled "FREE" with any one of the following subtitles:
1) FREE: The story of a radical price (zero)
2) FREE: How $0.00 changed the world
3) FREE: How companies get rich by charging nothing
4) FREE: The economics of abundance and the marketplace without money
5) FREE: The past and future of a radical price.
Having read Chris's original Long Tail article in WIRED and being subjected to endless recitations from his book over the last year, I'll wager a guess that "FREE" will be equally influential. Chris is writing "FREE" not only about games, but from a pan-industry perspective - which means by this time next year boardrooms the world over will be dreaming about how they might make more money by giving away their product free of charge.
Since October, Chris has started using a "free" tag in his blog posts, which gives us a glimpse into the type of content that might be included in the book. It's worth checking out.
On a related note, I found an interesting post entitled "There's No Money in The Long Tail of the Blogosphere" over on Read/Write Web today. It makes the excellent point that the long tail benefits the aggregators of long tail products much more than it does the makers of said products. Although the "products" discussed in the article are blogs and their associated authors, you can see the parallels for games.