Segments in this Video

The Cost of Free: Introduction (02:19)


This segment orients viewers to the topic of Internet use with excerpts from the program.

Online Safety (02:06)

Attending classes about internet safety and digital information is now standard protocol at West Point Academy. Internet users are naive about the amount of information they share online.

Illusion of Free (03:19)

Users give away information in exchange for services when they utilize seemingly harmless online services. The Internet created a shift in our social structure.

Information Highway (02:32)

Before 1994, online commerce was not allowed. The Internet was a place to exchange information.

Web Commercialization (02:51)

Amazon was created as a bookstore that was not constrained by the size of their shelves. Web usage exploded throughout the 1990s.

Dot-Com Boom (02:55)

Online stocks skyrocketed throughout the 1990s, only to crash in the early 2000s. Business owners discovered that simply creating traffic to a website did not make a successful business.

Google Business Model (04:35)

Google turned human curiosity into billions of dollars. They offer free services to customers and pass on customer information for free. Google also has the beginnings of a monopoly on Internet advertising.

Google Origins (03:03)

Larry Page and Sergey Brin started Google as a way to sort out good websites. They developed a ranking system for web pages.

Google Revenue (03:56)

As Google grew, so did the cost of running the search engine. Rather than general advertise or charge customers, Page and Sergey offered advertising tailored directly to the consumer.

Non-Capitalist Roots (03:12)

Learn how Google determines the results of a search and advertising it provides. Companies pay to be advertised, but they must offer quality sites to be recommended at the top.

Behavioral Targeting (03:25)

Gmail scans emails and adjusts advertising according to keywords that are used in private emails. Web sites visited are also tracked and utilized for targeted advertising.

Recommendation Engines (03:05)

Using the information gathered from internet history, companies are offering recommended purchases that are personalized for each customer.

Demographic Typing (03:58)

Learn how Netflix uses an algorithm called CineMatch to suggest films to customers. Explore whether these product recommendations are broadening horizons or homogenizing customers.

Loss of Privacy (03:53)

Explore how the searches that consumers make anonymously could actually be used to figure out their identity.

Data Ownership (04:01)

The Attention Trust company was designed to give consumers the ownership of the data they create online. At the time, consumers were not interested in this power and the company failed.

Power of Data (03:19)

Companies compile databases of information about consumers. Explore whether young people understand the implications of how the data could be used in the future.

Digital Fingerprint (02:08)

Young people in particular may not understand the full implications of putting personal information and photos online in social media sites. Once on the web, it is impossible to erase.

Illusion of Privacy (03:04)

Explore the boundaries of public and personal space in personal computing. Understanding how the cyber world works is crucial in the new technology age.

Credits: The Cost of Free (00:46)

Credits: The Cost of Free

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The Cost of Free

Part of the Series : The Virtual Revolution
DVD (Chaptered) Price: $169.95
DVD + 3-Year Streaming Price: $254.93
3-Year Streaming Price: $169.95



Businesses have invaded the web and found ingenious ways to make money from a free space - at a cost to our culture and privacy. What lessons did retailers such as Amazon learn from the gold rush years of the dotcom bubble? How did Google forge the business model that has come to dominate today's web?

Length: 59 minutes

Item#: BVL75360

ISBN: 978-1-60057-826-7

Copyright date: ©2010

Closed Captioned

Performance Rights

Prices include public performance rights.

Not available to Home Video customers.

Only available in USA and Canada.