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Re: Market Value of Web Pages

On Thu, 9 Nov 1995, Timothy C. May wrote:

> At 6:51 PM 11/9/95, Bill Frantz wrote:
> >BTW - I don't think we should be talking about a penny/page cost because it
> >is way too high for the current market.  For example, my copy of Applied
> >Cryptography V2 cost about $.067/page AND came with the media to keep it
> >"forever".  My (used) copy of Snow Crash cost closer to a penny/page and
> >also came with the media.  I would think that somewhere between 1/100 to
> >1/10 of a penny/page is closer to the current market value of the page
> >content.
> With all due respect to Bill--his mention of agorics tells me he knows
> something about computational ecologies and markets--, there is no
> reasonable way to say what price is "closer to the current market value of
> the page content," except by what the market will bear!
> Yes, a paperback novel is a penny a page or so. But a 5-page consultant's
> report that sells for $2000 has a "market value" to someone of $400 a page.
> You can all think of all kinds of other examples.

Actually, Tim, there are many examples we each could think of.

As an example, I'm presently preparing an unsolicited Security Review
report for a Fortune 500 company.  It's *priced* if you will in the mid
five figure range per page (and that includes the title page, the
appendices, and the pages which say on them, "this page left intentionally

(It's the short report ... the one which references RFC's rather than
including them.  The report that includes RFC's is priced significantly
lower when measured by weight ... i.e. cost/page metering.)

But the report's information value is truly *worth* a factor many, many
hundreds of times what the invoice rate bears or what the cost per page
would indicate.  For me, my current report is in fact a loss leader. 

Since my report IS unsolicited, I really don't even have any real
expectation that the invoice will be approved for payment.  My invoice is
not submitted on that basis.  I realize that I might not even receive
re-imbursement for my out-of-pocket expenses. 

The beneficiary might well think that the information is only worth the
value of a promotional mug or of a promo T-shirt, or maybe even worthless. 
Alternatively, the company might offer a complementary copy of their
product or even just info-freeload as Netscape did with those Berkeley
hombre stud-muffins, some time ago. 

But the information within my unsolicited report is hopefully utilized
none the less, no matter what financial consideration is extended, because
the information is _actually_ priceless, even though the recipient might
consider that information to have only a nominal or "no, or little
compensable value". 

Information is interesting that way.

Because information is/was provided to them "freely" most firms will
not (generally) see any value in the information at all.  They happily
become information free-loaders.  It's paradoxical and ironic in an 
information age.

The huge bill I send out is, literally, the reality check.

No honest person would expect to take a dress home from a shop without
paying, but a lot of normally honest folk don't give a thought to taking
an armload of free information.  Which I guess is an interesting segueway
into a basic briefing on "information value" theory. 

But that part will have to hold for a bit ... once I collect my thoughts
on how information philistines and information connoisseurs have differing
value judgments.  The implications might surprise people.

Alice de 'nonymous ...

                                  ...just another one of those...

P.S.  This post is in the public domain.
                  C.  S.  U.  M.  O.  C.  L.  U.  N.  E.