Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Internet Is Not Free, Users Get No Free Lunch

Pundits and blog techies are jumping all over Google's latest apologies for snooping. With scare tactic headlines designed to capture our attention, they will increase their own revenue. One blogger labels it an arms race: Internet Privacy

Yep, Google is out to make a buck. Surprise! As is Twitter. Facebook, Apple and everyone else in the game. Their entrepreneurial founders may have been young, but they were far from stupid. These companies will generate revenue through marketing their products and their services--information provided by users.

You and I give providers all the information they need

Free Flowers?
We're tied to our internet which we consider "free." Sorry, there is no free lunch. I snapped this photo at my neighborhood hardware big box store. It was free. Well, not exactly. Every time I shop there, I feed them bits of data on my housing, decor publications, and income profile. Before I shop there, I surf the web (free) for the one item I intend to purchase--more data shared!

Imagine the Information Visual Artists Share in Searches and Shopping

Next-to-Free Frame
Recently, I met with my banker to question a medical charge on my bank card.  He cast a sideways glance my way as he searched, questioning assorted thrift shop charges. "Why, yes, those are valid, I'm an artist," I said, as though that explained everything. The "medical" charge was actually a hospice thrift store, one of a half dozen I frequent for "arts and antiques" fixes. All of my picture frames are recycled thrift purchases along with most subject vases and props. A lovely hardwood black frame for this small study cost me forty cents. That's in my profile!

We Thought Internet was Free Because They Said it was Free

Remember when AOL sent out all those free disks to every mailing address in the county? It was free. Other than wonderful academic sites, there was little on the internet then. That was pre "monitizing" marketing moguls.

Remember when you signed on for a free artist site or to research materials for your works? Wasn't long before you were paying to get the full monty.

Similarly, when I bought my auto some years ago with pricey extended warranty they said all my service, car washes, tire rotations, etc. etc. were "free." I just discovered that service 1 is about $300 and service 2 roughly $500 now that the warranty is out and Nothing is Free--that's for an oil change and if nothing is broken. My luxury auto is in my profiles along with my thrift store picture frames. How funny is that--"I'm an artist."

Build the Profile You Want and Bury the Old Stuff You Don't Want

For decades I did everything possible to stay invisible because I'm a private person. Change was necessitated by my online art studio presence. Old bits and pieces of my personal life crept into the web over the years and is now way old in internet profiles. As I built sites and posted, I made sure it was business-focused data with a little commentary that surfaced in searches. And I kept the data flowing-mountains of data. Many artists post daily just for this reason.       Keeping your imagery and data flowing will gradually build your chosen profile. When you search the web, use privacy settings and remember you are never alone on the web. Every click, every stroke of your data is being targeted for sales to marketers. Have fun with it, build a really interesting profile!

User Fees for Services and Information Are the New Norm

Nothing is Free. Not the internet, banking, news, my car washes, your airline baggage, Nothing. We have the freedom to search the web because we have already paid the price of admittance. Artists who want to put their works online must also pay the price to reach all those eyes out there. Protect your privacy and protect yourself from unscrupulous thieves who will download your images--web search a how-to site for free!

GailKentStudio.com Update: This new site is not yet live as I need to see what Google is doing with Plus to see SEO implications, and I'll have a larger space this summer to paint much larger works. Meanwhile, I have many works on my Fine Art America site at FAA Website

Comments are always encouraged. 
If you're following interesting blogs, feel free to comment or post those links here, too. 

All the best,

Gail Kent
Gail Kent Studio

Find me or my work at the following addresses:
 Twitter -  Twitter.com/@Gail_Kent,  and Facebook -  www.facebook.com/GailKentStudio

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