When I was young, my mother's friends would pass recipes to each other as if they were gold. It was the greatest of all compliments if someone asked for a recipe after they tasted the dish you brought to the potluck.
At one time, owning recipes for Waldorf Salad or Red Velvet Cake were the key to being highly esteemed. Rumors abounded, but the REAL recipes were hard to find. Not only was it before google led you straight to your heart's desire, but they were top secret recipes. The chefs who created them didn't want to share their knowledge. They tightly clinched their famous recipes to their fearful hearts. Or so legend has it. It might be the case of the urban legend inside the urban legend?
Currently, Starbucks has a Christmas offering and favorite of the masses ~ The Cranberry Bliss Bar. They won't give the recipe out. They have a corner on the market. Hoarding the secret makes it as desirable as a hotel on Park Place. (If you're playing Monopoly)
Except, umm, these days, I can google a brilliant chef, or several, who have by trial and error created a clone. Is it pirating? Stealing? Naughty? I don't happen to have a conscience about it ~ my desperation causes me to cauterize it.
In our world, the people who blog and share great content are a brand of hero. (Pun intended) They are chefs, artists, art enthusiasts, writers, CEO's, publishers, agents, musicians, techno wienies, and info junkies. Each one has a special passion that they share ~ for free! What they have in common and why they have such loyal followers is this; when you open your google reader to peruse their latest post, it is like opening the lid, then sticking your hands into an overflowing treasure chest. An interesting feast that anyone is invited to.
And everyone wins because they want us to pass it on. Sharing is caring here in our bandwidth world.
If you're jaded, you could argue that books get birthed by the authors of great blogs or that the ads make it lucrative. Amazon alone could do that. It doesn't matter. It's still free brain food.
Receiving and giving, two ways streets that turn into rivers as wide as the Amazon or Nile.