Of course digital is more than just free stuff. Amazon is the best media store ever. The Internet is the best library ever, and Google is the best index of same. On-demand music services are the best radio ever, and the iPod is the best portable media device ever. Mobile telephony is better than land-locked telephony. Tivo is better than VCRs. YouTube is lots more fun than America’s Funniest Home Videos. Expedia is far superior to your local travel agent. Etc. etc. etc.
More importantly, eBay is the best person-to-person auction and selling machine ever. And it couldn’t be done off-line. It’s not replacing anything, it’s inventing something new.
First AOL, and now Facebook or MySpace, depending on your tastes, are the best community communications platforms ever. And they’re removed from geographic and time constraints, and more or less free of Big Media Control (debatable). And they enable multiple personae, if you should so choose. On the internet, no one knows you’re a dog…
IM is the first real-time text communication vehicle. But even better, it offers presence management and sophisticated contact management, not thay anybody’s done anything interesting with that yet.
The point is, digital works best when it doesn’t merely replace an existing consumer or business service on the cheap, but rather when it creates something new. All I saw in the “cruddy” post were examples of cheap replacements.
Whaddaya, trying to kiss up to the boss?