Posted August 16, 2010 1:48 pm by with 2 comments

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Get ready to see a lot more if this kind of thing as this economy continues to tank. Once completely free tools (even those with limited paid offerings) will be offering very basic versions for free and then ease users with more desire for functionality into a paid model. Heck, trackur does it. Why? Because it makes sense and free only goes so far. It’s that simple.

The latest to join this model is the popular content sharing tool SlideShare. TechCrunch reports

SlideShare, the “YouTube for presentations,” has been focusing its efforts on becoming the premier platform for professional and business content. Today, SlideShare is going freemium with the announcement of tiered, paid plans for businesses.

SlideShare lets anyone share presentations and video and also serves as a social discovery platform for users to find relevant content and connect with other members who share similar interests. SlideShare has previously offered two premium services for businesses, LeadShare and AdShare, which let users collect money from leads and ads on the platform. SlideShare’s CEO Rashmi Sinha says that these features will be folded into the tiered pro plans.

The screenshot below shows what these plans will cost and what you will get with each one.

SlideShare has done a great job getting itself known through places like LinkedIn so these guys have run the social media gauntlet for recognition. There comes a time in every business where it turns into a ‘pay to play’ scenario. What!? Yes, it’s just this little thing called reality. It simply means that NO business can run for free at top speed for very long. Money needs to change hands to insure the continuity of the product. Not just VC ‘prop up and support’ money either. Real revenue from real people buying a real product. How revolutionary.

I’ll be honest with you. I hate the whole “everything on the Internet should be free” mantra. It’s dumb. It’s an entitlement attitude that is has the same worth of all entitlement attitudes, as in zero.

What SlideShare is doing is the right thing. We will all know things have changed for real regarding business on the Internet when it is no longer news that online services and tools expect to be paid for their service. That’s when we will know that the Internet has grown up and moved past this idea that because it’s online we should all have unlimited and unfettered access.

Sorry for the rant but sometimes it’s just gotta happen. With the amount of ‘news’ available today what better time than the present to let it rip a little, right?

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