Saturday, February 27, 2010

Try out our new giant comment threads

A couple terms only recently noted by me, tho not brandly new by any means.

Freemium. A word whose origins, unusually, are known very precisely (if one trusts Wikipedia, I mean). This refers to a business model in which you give away a basic version of your product and charge for a more-capable version. The term and the business model were both supposedly coined in 2006.

The term has caught on -- about 365K hits on Google -- but I still kind of scratch my head. One is that I am not getting how this exactly differs from the idea of a "demo version" or just a free sample that has been around since the birth of the first salesman.

A second thing about the the term is that it conveys a slightly wrong idea to me. When I think of free + premium I don't think of "there's a free version, and there's a premium version." My initial impression is that it's a "free, premium" version. Obviously, I'm not getting the "correct" definition, since the term refers to a business model and not to a thing per se. Still.

Threadnaught. A long and active thread (e.g. blog-post comment thread). For example, in a comment thread about IQ and political views, one of the earlier comments in the thread (out of 454 at last count) predicted: "It's gonna be a threadnaught." This is a clever hack on dreadnaught, which is a term that I sense is not in everyday use in the U.S. (got no specific stats to back this, tho), and which I for one know primarily in the military context of a large class of battleship. (Read a lot of military history in my younger days.)

Update 5 April 2010: Oh, hello, I realized where else I know the term dreadnought from: guitars. A dreadnought guitar is basically what you think of when you think of an acoustic guitar. I note that the word was in fact derived from the same term used for a battleship: i.e., a big 'un.

All right, back to reading comments ...


Adjusting said...

The way I've seen freemium used is not that there are two different versions, one of which is free, and one of which is premium, but rather that there is one fully functional version which is free, and you can pay a premium to get additional benefit.
For example, the mobile game company ngmoco has several games which are described as freemium. You can download and play these games for free, but you can buy something (energy, mana, mojo, food, etc... depending on the game) which allows you to continue playing for longer stretches or to advance more quickly.

WordzGuy said...

Ah, thanks for the clarification. I'm late to this "freemium" business, obviously, and I just need to get used to how the term is actually used, as opposed to whatever incorrect connotation I just make up. :-)