Tuesday, October 28, 2008

The Death Of Unpaid Blogging?

Andrew Keen over at Internet Evolution has some ideas about how the current economic hard times will affect the relatively recent abundance of not-for-profit online opinion sharing:

So how will today's brutal economic climate change the Web 2.0 "free" economy? It will result in the rise of online media businesses that reward their contributors with cash; it will mean the success of Knol over Wikipedia, Mahalo over Google (Nasdaq: GOOG), TheAtlantic.com over the HuffingtonPost.com, iTunes over MySpace, Hulu over YouTube Inc. , Playboy.com over Voyeurweb.com, TechCrunch over the blogosphere, CNN’s professional journalism over CNN’s iReporter citizen-journalism... The hungry and cold unemployed masses aren’t going to continue giving away their intellectual labor on the Internet in the speculative hope that they might get some "back end" revenue. "Free" doesn’t fill anyone’s belly; it doesn’t warm anyone up.

When, in 50 years time, the definitive histories of the Web 2.0 epoch are written, historians will look back at the open-source mania between 2000 and 2008 with a mixture of incredulity and amusement. How could tens of thousands of people have donated their knowledge to Wikipedia or the blogosphere for free? What was it about the Internet that made so many of us irrational about our economic value? It was a "mania," these mid-21st-century historians will explain, like the Dutch Tulip mania of the 1630s or South Sea Bubble of 1720 -- a mania that ended with the great crash of October 2008.

Maybe this is just my inner Socialist talking (settle down, Americaneocon) but I have the distinct feeling that many of the people out there giving their opinions away for free right now (like myself) are doing so not because they're looking for a lucrative "back end" deal or anything of that sort but because they (again, like myself) are just happy to have access to a medium that allows them to express themselves openly and totally with the option of leaving those expressions open to as much or as little random and anonymous commentary as they see fit. If you like my stuff: great; if not: fuck off. I am truly king of my own domain name.

The Internet is one of the most egalitarian mediums the human race as a whole has ever had access to outside of cave walls, and the networking capabilities are definitely superior; the real entertainment is going to be watching the money hungry media corporations falling all over themselves trying to carve up the virtual money pie as everyday users run codified circles around them. Power to the people!


Anonymous said...

Well, I thought that I was toiling away for free as well, untill I got an unlooked-for royalty, of $1,400, for republication in Auatralia!

Intrepid Californio said...

money is what fucked up the media in the first place. If you become dependent on getting paid for your blog, you might be more inclined to make shit up in order to get that check. Or maybe you capitulate to the opinions of the guy who's paying you.

Anonymous said...

Emma Russell gave Cold Fusion to the world out of the goodness of her heart.

JBW said...

Dude, I'm told I look like Val Kilmer at least once a week so I might have a little more of an affinity for his work than I should but that movie licked my balls (if you're referencing the original I'll kindly shut up).

Anonymous said...

Isn't Val Kilmer all fat now?

Jeremy said...

I have nothing to say other than, nice picture to lead the story JBW. excellent timing buddy, I think that skeleton resembled Val Kilmer ,only a little fatter yet smarter in more linear way.

ohh, PK i want to throw some pebbles, or swing, what up with you? Manana noon?

JBW said...

I dated a girl who loved that people thought I looked like him until we saw a PSA he did and he'd blown up like a balloon; she stopped saying it after that.