Can "free" work as a business model.

There has been a bit of buzz about the concept of free and how much business is gained or lost from the idea.  Here is a post on SocialMediaToday called “How Does ‘Free’ Impact Your Business?

The “free” model doesn’t fit well with traditional business models and mindsets. People have a hard time figuring out how to convert “free” to earnings. Most everyone considers the social web as a primary point of distribution for advertising and view advertising as the only means for converting free to earnings.

Chris Anderson – author of The Long Tail has a neat podcast over at IT Conversations called “FREE: The Economics of Abundance and the Price of Zero

We think of free as scary and radical but this economy has always existed. Previously not dignified as an economy, its currency is not money: It is reputation, attention, respect, fame, fun or money from a superior service after giving away something inferior for free.

I think we all need to take a good look at how we are doing “free” today and check to see how much something costs and what the impact of giving something away will have on our business.