Asking the Same Question as Greg Mankiw

We started The Wages of Wins Journal in mid-April and have been pleased with the attention we have received.  Still, Greg Mankiw asks a question today at his blog that I have thought about as well.

Greg wonders if he is “eating a free lunch?” 

Specifically he states:“For the past several months, I have been using the Blogger service to create this blog. Blogger is a subsidiary of Google, which offers the service for free to the public. Google makes money from its search engine by selling ads, but my blog does not have ads unless I authorize them. I keep waiting for Blogger to offer to sell me some add-on services, but that hasn't happened yet. What's in it for Google and its shareholders to give me all this free service? I am puzzled. I hope one of the commentators can enlighten me.”

We are using WordPress for our blog, but the question is the same.  Why is this service provided for free?  The comments posted by Mankiw’s readers provide many plausible explanations.  Regardless of the answer, I do appreciate the “free lunch” WordPress is providing.

– DJ