Friday, November 6, 2009

A Purpose Driven Life? Only If It’s Free….

Hoping to capitalize on the success of pastor Rick Warren’s A Purpose Driven Life, in January Reader’s Digest Association (RDA) launched a quarterly print publication to complement Warren’s Purpose Driven Connection. For an annual fee of just $29.95, the project offered a shebang of goodies - DVDs, study group guides and access to its website – all necessary in the quest of finding purpose!

10 months in, and RDA turned off the life support. In spite of A Purpose Driven Life’s rapid online audience growth, it seems that not enough purpose-seekeers were willing to pay for a subscription.

Is it because, like the Wiccans, Christians believe that spiritual knowledge is universal and already belongs to everyone? Or maybe they thought they should get a rebate on their 10% tithe? Perhaps they felt bad about the environment and wanted to save some trees? Or just plain skint?

I believe it’s because Christians - along with the rest of us - have grown so accustomed getting whatever information we want for FREE that consciously or not, we resent having to pay for it.

Is that fair? Absolutely not. In any other transaction or business process, NOBODY GIVES ME ANYTHING FOR FREE. NOBODY. Somebody, somewhere has to pay for the content that we voraciously consume by the megabytes, the research and journalism to accumulate the information, the cost of creating and updating and editing, SEO, advertising, brand building..... and the list goes on!

Quality content is created and presented by professionals – real people whose livelihood depends on real income from their work.

If the public, regardless of their faith or purpose does not support the development of intelligent and informed content, then where is it going to come from?

And more importantly, will it even be worth reading?


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