Sunday, August 30, 2009

Free... Freely you have received, Freely give.

by Dale Shumaker

Free by Chris Anderson is about the future of radical price. Freeconomics is being driven by underlying technologies of the digital age. One of the biggest economic trends is using free as part of a business model. Anderson points out that free is not a marketing gimmick, but an economic force businesses today need to contrive to be in business tomorrow.

What does free mean? Free is any product that entices you to pay for something else.
Providing content, services, software free. The producer has ad space and provides free content. The consumer buys from the ads. The three-party market.
Freemium is a free version that has a premium version. The premium market is the subsidy which pays for the free market.
Giving some things away you don't expect any form of payment back... gifts.

Free is a good idea because we live in abundance. So free is good economically. Here's how free works.
1. Build a community around free information and advice on a particular topic.
2. With the community's help, design some products that people want, and return the favor by making the products free in raw form.
3. Let those with more money than they may have time, skill, or risk-tolerance buy the more polished product.
4. Do it again and build in a 40% profit margin so you can pay the bills.

Ideas are the ultimate abundance commodity, which propagates at zero marginal cost. Information is how money flows. Money is just bits and with technology most information can be free.

Information begs to be free. Value is in scarce information.... that we pay for.

What has contributed to the end of paid content?
1. Supply and demand. The supply of content has grown by factors of millions.
2. Loss of physical form. We pay for atoms, not bits.
3. Ease of access. It's easier to download than buy in a store.
4. Shift to ad-supported content. If it's free on-line, we expect it else where.
5. The computer industry wants content to be free.
6. Generation free.
The technology generation thinks differently and they don't see why content can be copyrighted.

How big is the free economy?
We need to define economy. It is relational and reputational. One example is Facebook friends, a classic unit of reputational currency. The more friends you have, the more influence you have in the Facebook world, the more social capital you spend. The greater your value as you give attention and build your reputation, the more you influence. So currency value is formed from these components.

The new math taken from Facebook, for example, is that you have 100 Facebook friends, who have a bunch of friends. If they can use your product or service, then your value is the price of your product or service times the number in your network... play with the math and this can be very big.

Apply this free in market scenarios of the three-party market, freemium, gift market above, and freeconomics emerges.

The Free Ride is not new. It is how the new economy will get to flourish again. Free
rides which lead to other rides is the road to currency today. What free rides can you create which then take on a ride to create currency.

How to treat attention and reputation as quantitatively as we do money. Anderson explains how to convert attention to reputation to economic return. To consider is that doing things without pay often makes us happier than the work we do for salary. A market of free exchange arrived on the internet. The free economy has its economy wrapped in that.

Anderson points out that waste can sometimes be good. We can put more capacity in our computers. So we then never really waste its space. Thinking in terms of wasted space has created a scarcity mentality. The best way to exploit abundance is to relinquish control. Scarcity thinking is a twentieth century organizational model. We need to get good at abundance thinking.

Abundance views... rules as "Everything is permitted unless forbidden," model as "you know what's best," ...profit plan as "we'll figure it out," ...decision making as "bottom up," and management style as "out of control."

Imagine abundance and if you are having trouble here and now, consider imagining Heaven. It has no limit to anything. Even the span of life is considered without limit, it's eternal.

Beware of heeding to the objections to free. Here's a few:
"There ain't no free lunch."
"Free always has hidden costs; free is a trick."
"Free means more ads and that means less privacy."
"No cost, no value."
"Free undermines innovation."
"Free is building a generation that doesn't value anything."
"I gave my stuff away and didn't make much money."
"Free drives out professionals in favor of amateurs, at a cost of quality."

To conclude, the ten principles of Abundance Thinking.
1. If it's digital, sooner or later it's going to be free.
2. Atoms would like to be free, too, but they're not so pushy about it.
3. You can't stop Free.
4. You can make money from Free.
5. Redefine your market.
6. Round down.
7. Sooner or later you will compete with Free.
8. Embrace waste.
9. Free makes other things more valuable.
10. Manage for abundance, not scarcity.
Some free ways to doing things. Like 30 days free, then pay; basic version free; use it up to this many free....

More Free ideas at Chris' blog:

Jesus said, Freely you have received, so Freely give.
We as believers are to be proactive in our faith.The more we give, do good, actively, the more we defeat evil and evil can't get a grip on us. Evil comes from being self absorbed. Good is thinking of others as more important and occupying our time and mind energies to help and contribute to others. When we focus on and help others, it keeps growing. Good grows and expands and will eventually take over.

We replace evil and defeat evil by aggressively doing good and giving of good things freely, generously.

Freely giving cures so much of what could hurt us. Obviously, what can hurt us is greed and selfishness, which causes depression, loss of a sense of value and self worth. Addictions can be cured as we actively do good. Addictions grip us when we stop moving forward in doing good. A mind fixed on doing good is not overcome by things that tie us down, that bind us up. Whether it's alcohol, sex, or sports, any addiction is thwarted with an active mind and Spirit about doing good. We defeat evil as we are constantly finding things to do good. This is why the law of giving is so powerful. It has endless supply.

Abundances of good come about from actions of doing good. It's known as the law of reciprocity... what we do is returned many times what was originally given. By doing good we do the same. We enact this law and evil cannot get a foothold on us. In life and in business, proactive behavior in doing good, will reproduce in having more coming back in the same way we gave it out. So evil is over come by doing good, and staying active in doing good. There are plenty of good things we can be doing, and when we do good, more is created for us to do good. There is an abundance of God to go around.

What is the good we are to do? Jesus defined it.
“My nourishment comes from doing the will of God, who sent me, and from finishing his work." (John 4:34)

The Apostle Paul warns us not to be idol. Then evil will overtake us. But by doing Good, doing the work God has gifted us to do, we will defeat evil. "Don’t let evil conquer you, but conquer evil by doing good." (Romans 12:21)

"Freely you have received, so freely give." (Matthew 10:8)
These words of Jesus were a bold promise. ... to give freely gives great returns. He added to this, that whatever you give will be multiplied many times over and given back so you can give even more (Luke 6:8).

And those who have, will even be given more. There is a case for abundance in Spirit. His Spirit continues to create more and more when we walk and live in a demonstration of abundance, faith in Him, and continuously doing His Business. In nature, one seed planned grows into a vine producing many tomatoes, ears of corn, green beans. Each act we give freely, can reproduce to many more.

What Jesus promised His disciples is a continuous flow of resources ...and these were powerful such as the power to heal, cast out evil spirits from people. This is tied to God's power that has no limits.

This is the same power that created all things in the universe. Jesus promised this for His disciples to do good, and help free people from their disease, illnesses, and personal addictions. It starts by giving and doing good... and then more is given freely, and generously by the Spirit.

The wise person said to do good every where, because we don't know from where more will come back to us. Good multiplies back to us. "Send your grain across the seas, and in time, profits will flow back to you." (Eccel. 11:1)

To solve any problem is to be generous in giving in doing good. Something that will make man and the world around us a better place ...and what is most important is building the Kingdom of God on earth as it is in Heaven.

Paul the Apostle goes on to say that he shared the gospel free of charge (2 Corinthians 11:7).
He provided content free. He shared good news and dramatic life-changing news "free." What did he have? He had abundance in his life because he freely shared all good things with all people. Freely giving produces more, multiplied and coming back with more and more to share even more.

Again, those who are given much are even given more. "For those who have will be given more, and they will have an abundance." Jesus declared this. (Matthew 25:29)

And we are made to do good. We have a special gift just from God to do good for His Kingdom, earmarked specifically with our name on it. "For we are God’s masterpiece. He has created us new in Christ Jesus, so we can do the good things He planned for us long ago." (Ephesians 2:10, NLT)

One thing more... beyond giving freely, sharing what we know freely, and doing good that over comes evil reproducing more good things in the world, the rewards increase.

"Come!" Let those who are thirsty come; and let all who wish take the free gift of the water of life."( Revelations 22:17)

This free gift of God comes to us, we are to share it with others, and we all will live in an never ending stream of full life forever. The end has the even bigger reward for us who choose to give freely... to give what we know, to give our gifts, to give good things to all mankind in all places.

Give freely, do good, constantly be thinking of more good things you can do, then give it freely and never cease doing good. Evil will be defeated, our life will be full of love, joy, happiness, and the essence of God's presence... forever.

Tuesday, August 04, 2009

e-Riches 2.0... Laser Fast Spiritual Response

by Dale Shumaker

e-Riches 2.0 by Scott Fox is an update of his best seller, Internet Riches. Fox wants to help you learn how to use the tools now part of Web 2.0.The Internet has produced new techniques, has much greater reach, with a change of expectations of those who use it and do business with each other.

To attract more customers, Fox has nine commands he says to follow to attract the maximum amount of customers.

E-Riches Commandment 1: Don't worry about this technology. These are tools that can empower you more, so focus on the results they can bring, not so much how they work.
E-Riches Commandment 2: Heed the interactive imperative. Use the interactive qualities of the internet for forming relationships and draw customers into a closer relationship with you.
E-Riches Commandment 3. Build customer relationships, don't just chase customers. Your goal is not to close sales quickly but engaging customers in long-term direct relationships.
E-Riches Commandment 4. Listen up! The "participation nation" requires it. They want to give feedback to your products and share with others what they think.
E-Riches Commandment 5. Your profit potential depends on being more personal. Be more natural in how you talk to customers that is genuine, authentic and personal like chatting with the person next door. Rid the image of anonymity and replace with a real person and personality.
E-Riches Commandment 6. Grow beyond your website to a multichannel online "product presence." Use e-mailed newsletters, blogs, social pages like Facebook, LinkedIn to build friends, followers, show videos you made, and use your smart phones to keep in touch. Many are on line with no particular destination in mind.
E-Riches Commandment 7. Graduate from destination marketing to distribution marketing. Customize your messages to meet the needs of those wherever they are likely to be found online. Reach them without them having to visit your website.
E-Riches Commandment 8. Nurture your brand's reputation cloud. Your reputation cloud includes the customer-initiated interactions, reactions, response to your marketing. What are they saying in their blogs, You Tube, Twitter chat, and other internet interactions.
E-Riches Commandment 9. Publish or perish. Your published content will attract your customers into interaction. Congratulations you are now in the publishing business whether you like it or not.

Graduate to distributed engagement with consistent online content, getting involved in social networks, blog worthwhile information, be the press release, give away as much as you can, use online broadcast, utilize search technique, gather data,and differentiate.

Then Fox explains how each works, you can get going on them and making them a business growth vehicle. He details how to make this technology to work within depth focus on using email, and email newsletters, RSS feeds, social networkmarketing using Facebook, MySpace, LinkedIn. Then Fox goes on to teach how to social bookmark and be a news breaker, using blog and microblogging to draw a crowd, along with the power of video and audio online.

Here's a few Fox suggestions in a few of the areas.
Email is still a winner.
Always collect email addresses, decide who to write and what to write them, write it well, and start publishing regularly. One of the greatest email weaknesses is poor copywriting.

Here's ten steps to better email copywriting.
1. Focus on the subject line, which is the hook to get them to read on.
2. Personalize as much as you can.
3. Pull them in by educating, being outrageous, entertaining, inspiring.
4. Don't bury your lead. Make sure they see it and understand it readily.
5. Promote benefits of what you are sharing more than features of what it is.
6. Be specific.
7. Offer incentives.
8. Have a clear call to action.
9. Be short, or very long if detail is needed and they need the detail.
10. Use the p.s. at the end. This can have the greatest impact. It's the second most read part of a letter.

To succeed in Social Networking like Facebook, LinkedIn, etc. here's some steps to begin.
1. Invite a half dozen of your friends to get your network started.
2. Start engaging, publishing, and interacting.
3. Be authentic. Real and personal is the social persona of the Internet.
4. Only try to connect with those you feel you have a common ground with.
5. Ask for help on how to make it more worthwhile.
6. Use the feeds available to keep up with your friends and broadcast your own.
7. If you blog, link your posts into your profile page.
8. Join some groups and learn the lingo.
9. Be a good citizen by respecting others and adding value.
10. Create your own group.

Dangers of social networks are they can suck your time, have unbecoming conduct, can have overdisclosure, too many friends for real relationships, and don't spam your network.

Blogging is good for solving problems, encouraging interaction, being proactive, not wasting someone's time by providing the most pertinent information, sharing the load. Winning blog content strategies are helping someone take action, including information that is immediately useful, having a pertinent interest to the reader, inspiring, entertaining, or titillating. Produce good content.

Blogging is like hosting a party and inviting your friends into some fun, thought provoking, meaningful discussion.

The public relations door is opened up by the internet. The recommendation by Fox is to get in where you fit in. It is easier to get publicity by helping reporters find the right expert sources to validate their preexisting arguments. Set up a press room on your website. Sign up for news services.

You can become a TV and radio broadcasting hub. Add video to your website, and audio podcasts. You Tube is quite useful to use and link to your website or blog. How to do it is again a part of e-Riches 2.0. Fox wraps up with search engine optimizing, affiliate program advertising and differentiating.

Differentiate your strategy. Analyze your competition and create a marketing strategy that could be a combination of email marketing, blog, a Facebook, Twitter, You Tube with news release campaigns originating from your website. It's a mix that fits you and a different look, method than others but is you and is like the ones you are wanting to be your customers.

e-Riches 2.0 is very good, detailed reference manual on marketing on the Internet.
More on Scott Fox at

When thinking of prayer I had this mental image come to me. It was when I prayed, I saw this prayer, like a laser beam, shoot up to this Satellite in the Heavens. And then as this laser hit the satellite, laser beams began shooting out of the Satellite back to earth going all different directions. It was sending out multiple, many, maybe thousands laser type beams to the earth.

What did this represent?
The Laser that shot up from me was my prayer. The satellite was God's Spirit, a Spiritual gathering hub for prayers. The beams that shot down were the commands of His Spirit going into all parts of the earth. These Spirit laser beams were powerful, with commanding authority. Whatever it hit lit up, was urgently moved to what it was commanding. This to me was what prayer really is doing. All this was happening at starlight speed.

In micro-seconds, the prayers were entering the Satellite of Spirit and being sent, many places simultaneously. It was like in an instant, multiple, inter-relating strategic actions were occurring in responding to the prayer.

Prayer is powerful, fast, and effective in what it accomplishes. It, in faith, will accomplish much more than we can do in the natural.

The Spiritual dynamics of prayer moves faster than an internet search engine. If the solution is not naturally available, prayer goes out and creates a solution for us. And I do feel prayer is creative. It does create from nothing, if no answer currently exists in the material world. That's what makes it so phenomenal.

Prayer creates. In faith, prayer creates a positive mental picture of what God can do. And believing like a child would believe that it will happen, we create the image of what we pray for. If we can only go back to pure faith. But if we believe past disappointments and become convinced by what has happened to us, or what we see in our material world that some things just can't happen.... we lack faith. But with faith, belief in our minds eye, it is possible; then it can happen, and will, when we prayer like this.

God is a Spiritual connection. Spirit created and still creates matter. Look at physics. Hydrogen, a gas, plus oxygen, a gas, when mixed properly, H2O, create a physical matter, water. We do the same in prayer. A mind with Belief, a positive vision of the outcome, mixed with strong confidence in God's Power, it will happen. Along with an almost adventurous anticipation, makes what we see materialize.

The Bible also says to Ask and keep Asking. We many times may need to prevail in prayer. When we prevail in prayer we keep the lasers of Spirit coming, shooting Spiritual actions to earth. We create a mass attack on what we pray for.

Charles Finney says that God has set forth conditions for answering prayers. We sometimes must prevail in prayer. In my mind, those many lasers going out may be creating a strategic path for a sequence of events within a timeline before the prayer is completely answered.

Here's Finney's thoughts on prevailing prayer...The conditions of prevailing prayer.
1. Have faith in God to the answer to prayer.
2. Ask God to show you His will.
3. Check your motives to make sure it is an unselfish request.
4. If you have an offense with someone else, clear it up, and stay in tune with the commandments as John said in 1 John.
5. Have a pure heart.
6. Confession of sins to God and one another.
7. Having clean hands and a pure heart as in Psalm 26:6.
8. Settle disputes and animosities between others.
9. A humble spirit and heart.
10. Remove stumbling blocks and have a forgiving, and truthful spirit.
11. Praying in Jesus' Name and being led by the Spirit in Prayer.
12. Being fervent in your prayer, and persevering through to the answer of the prayer.
13. Travail of the soul in your prayer.
14. Use the means around you for the answer to prayer.
15. Be specific and mean what you say.
16. Have faith in God's promises when you pray.
17. Be steady as you watch in Spirit for your answer to prayer.
Read Finney's complete text on this at

And while at Christian Classic Ethereal Library (ccel) online take a look at all these other Saints. I have been fascinated to read the writings on prayer by the saints of the past. To read the classic writings of Torrey, Bounds, Finney, Spurgeon, Watchman Nee, Murray, Chambers, Moody, Guyon and many more on prayer is so rich.

Prayer is powerful. As you shoot up words, your heart in prayer, God's Spirit is shooting answers to the earth in rapid fire, materializing the answer.