Michael Martine Asks, “Are Ebooks Dead?”

by xearther ~ May 6th, 2009. Filed under: Internet Marketing, Memberships.

I read an excellent post today over at Michael Martine’s Remarkablogger.

One of the individuals who left a comment placed a primary value on information itself, even if it were written on a napkin. I would like to extend jayh’s analogy.

Imagine you had a choice between three information product offers, all providing the instructions of turning lead into gold.

One offer delivers the information to you on a cocktail napkin via snail mail. Cost? $4.95.

Another provides you with a “short report” PDF download. Cost: $9.95.

And finally, the third provides you with “lifetime access” to a forum where not only the instructions are provided, but members’ results are posted from their experiments at turning lead into gold: what worked, what didn’t, and what modifications were made to improve the results and hence add value to the original instructions. Cost: $97

What we are experiencing in 2009 are the evolving technological frameworks where customer feedback loops efficiently amplify the value of the original product. This is a tremendous leveraging of the customer’s experience by the original author. And since such feedback and evolution can take unexpected turns, it can be a very exciting process, taking the originally perceived value to places surprisingly unimagined.

Now KoKo can go on being “cheap” and wait to check out the cocktail napkin at the library. 🙂 More power to ’em. But if I have the opportunity to turn lead into gold, my perceived value of that information is such that I want everything I can get my hands on, and price will be (almost) “no object”.

If I am the original author of the information, there’s no reason why I couldn’t test and take all three approaches of product delivery mentioned above. But can there be any doubt that the third scenario holds the most promise and value for both seller and buyer?

No matter how solitary we may consider our existence (or preference), interaction is our nature and thoughtful interaction is our potential future. PDFs can be guides, signposts as it were. But they must lead to a social village if information is to reach its full refinement and potential.

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