July 26th, 2006
Jason Calacanis of Netscape and Kevin Rose of Digg are out again debating who will win the batter over power users who drive the majority of the value on “community”-driven news sites like Digg and Netscape. Ken says user will are motivated by “free, democratic social” ideals. Jason says users deserve to get a piece of the economic action. A lot of other people have weighed in with their opinions one way or the other.
But you know what? Their opinions DON’T MATTER! None of them gets to decide who social media users will give their time, attention, and content to.
Even Mark Glaser, with his sober and considered analysis of the issue, doesn’t get to decide.
So who does?
Everyone runs around talking about how the users are in control — and then we think we can dictate what the users will do.
The users will decide whether they will do it for love or money.
I think ultimately they will do it for both. They will go where they get the best apps and the best fit with a community. But when they wake up to the fact that people like Kevin Rose are making millions off of their effort, they will demand a piece of the action or go elsewhere.
Users may be passionate, but they are not stupid.
It’s not just attention and content creation that will be democratized by Web 2.0/social media — economic gain will also be shared.
Those who don’t see that are still living in an old-school, 1.0, hierarchical world — either that, or they are being blinded by ideology.
So that’s my view — which really doesn’t matter either.