Semi-interesting snippet in a recent Kottke post. I say semi, in part, because the post is about the bandwidth devoted to Justin Bieber and Lady Gaga, and I’m pretty far from the demographic that gives a rat’s ass about Bieber (stands on virtual porch, shakes fist*), and the few times I’ve heard Lady Gaga’s music, I could not differentiate the songs and the saturation point was quickly reached. So, BFD.
However: We all know printer ink is expensive (more expensive than silver, pound-for-pound). So the calculation showing that transmitting the information by text-message is more than an order of magnitude more expensive than by printed text is an eye-opener. One might even go gaga over such a factoid. (FYI, I don’t text, either. All of my thumb ligament damage is old and Gameboy-related. Tetriiiiiis!)
*just as if I were playing Lawnville on some social-networking site
My text messages are flat rate (unlimited, plus however many minutes I get for £10/m) – so I don’t really think of them as costing anything.
Both goods are expensive in part because of captured market effects — you don’t really have a choice of what ink cartridges to use with your printer, nor can you choose to use a text plan other than one offered by your cell carrier. The margins are huge on both.