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 ...