Websites that provide services or content for free

I want to clarify the distinction that I made between the soundadviceblog and tvshowsondvd web site. I think both sites provide an invaluable service and for free. Now the distinction I made was the fact that soundadviceblog will direct us to sales or web sites where there is no financial benefit to the creator of the site, while tvshowsondvd only links to sales that will create revenue for them.

So even knowing this, I will still use the service that tvshowsondvd provides, and to support the free work/content/info they provide to me, I will purchase things via links on their web site.

Same goes for soundadviceblog, it was through the newpaper columns that I learned about the great deals you can get through Onkyo’s refurbished site. Unfortunately, that will not provide revenue to the creator. But, if I am looking at buying something a little broader, I will check out the prices at OneCall and Vann’s to see if an item is the same price and can generate revenue for the creator.

Remember, if a web site is providing you with good information or content for free, see how you can help them. It is for this reason that I subscribe to some magazines that I can get the content for free on the web, but they still need to pay their staff. For the progressive minded this includes the Nation, Mother Jones, and In These Times. Other sites, without a print version, that collect other’s writings and/or create their own content like Alternet, Common Dreams, Tom Paine, and Truthout do it through a fundraising process so support them too.


1 Comment

  1. Gord Lacey said,

    March 8, 2008 at 4:20 pm

    Hi Josh, I wanted to stop by and than you for the comments about (gotta love the Google News alerts!).

    There’s another major distinction between and SoundAdvice; the deals page is just a small, small part of what we do. Our main focus is letting people know when the next set of their favorite TV show will be released, or providing information on what’s already out. A few years ago we started to have people notify us when Amazon put a TV-DVD set on sale, so we started posting the information as news on the site. That increased over the past year because Amazon started taking an interest in providing excellent deals on TV-DVDs, so we were posting more and more news to the site.

    Most people enjoyed the sales, but there were some that felt the sale wasn’t “news” and shouldn’t be posted to the site. The sales page allowed us to clear it off the main page that held news and focus it all on one page for those that care about saving money.

    Why Amazon? The company cares a lot for developers, and provides excellent tools which allow us to mine their data. I was able, in a matter of a few weeks, to create a page that pulls in the Amazon prices for the titles in our database and looks for titles that are on sale. I’m unable to do that with any other DVD retailer on the ‘net, so it made it worthwhile for me to invest the time to develop the system, since now the sales page updates itself.

    Unfortunately I don’t have the time to look for sales on every TV-DVD title across the ‘net, and that’s not the purpose of the site anyway, it’s just an off-shoot service that I was able to implement. We’re too busy trying to dig up news every day (every day since Oct 12, 2003!) to post to the site.

    Anyway, I wanted to thank you for the support, and give you a little bit of information about why it’s set up the way it is.


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