July 26th, 2006

The Users Will Decided Who Gets Their Content

by

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?

THE USERS!!!

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.

Comments (9 Responses so far)

  1. the best part. We make it easy for you link into eBay, Amazon and Google (with more partners in the works), so that you can display ads and products on your Hub if you so desire.Not quite what Jason is trying (1, 2, 3) Kevin Rose is countering, and the blogosphere is buzzing about, but it is pretty easy to see the trend: Publishers, including 2.0 aggregators, are playing with various economic models and are experimenting with paying those who bookmark, comment, upload, share and blog.

  2. and it’s full of gems. In light of my current interest in the motivations behind online participation I really enjoyed this : “The goal on MySpace is to look cool and receive peer validation.” Meanwhile Scott Karp lays it down about the involvement of the one percenters : “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.

  3. exploitation of its “pipe.” Why did Google buy YouTube? Because they have to own it to control it, and they need to control it in order to monetize it. But on YouTube and other user-driven content platforms, the users control the network. If they don’t like the ads or other commercialization, they will just jump to another node in the network — or jump to another network. Think of it like this: Pipe = one way in and one way out

  4. This whole Digg-based journalism thing’s had me peeved for awhile…for two reasons.

    The First is that Digg is a service for a very small niche group of people who are really into the internet and into tech (see the Pew results for just how small this group is.) What made Netscape think the rest of the world is that much into the ‘net as most Digg’ers are? Seriously….

    Second, what demographic constitutes this “few”? Probably mostly young males–who, for some reason, seem to have more time for this sort of thing than young females (socializing/communicating patterns are different–may be just as many women as men blogging and social networking, but are they doing it about news or about their lives? Probably more of the latter than the former. Not to mention the paucity of women in tech anyway.)

    So, what may end up happening is a group of young smarty-pants guys deciding what today’s headlines.

    Is that going to be any better than a bunch of old curmudgeonly guys deciding today’s headlines?

    The money may be an allure for a short while, but over the long haul the decision to keep the experiment going will reside with the Board more than the Users.

    Guess it depends on who you ask.

  5. [...] (via publishing2.com) – 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. (0 hours and 25 minutes ago) [...]

  6. [...] Related stories: Should Community-Edited News Sites Pay Top Editors?, The Users Will Decided Who Gets Their Content [...]

  7. This will be fascinating to watch play out.

    If Netscape is able to poach some top users, and Digg suffers because of it, and Netscape gets some traction – the impact will be felt around the industry.

    Then there really will be a reason for all of these user generated content sites to take VC money.

  8. Isn’t the ultimate expression of the ideas behind “Web 2.0″ that no one will be a millionaire, instead everyone will take their own very small slice of the pie? Once there is a system in place for users to benefit from the content they create, the middlemen will be cut out.

    This is already happening in some areas. Ebay, istockphoto, blogs. Find a way for all the individuals to make the money, and they’ll massively disrupt the system. The only ones making the big bucks are the ones building the systems that let everyone make money, and eventually that too might be distributed.

  9. [...] As I’ve said before, I think the big opportunity is in giving users a piece of the action. [...]

  10. [...] On est toujours trahi par les siens. Le gars Calacanis ayant fourgué sa quincaillerie à AOL pour près de 25 M$ de dollars il peut enfin expliquer le dessous des cartes et déballer les petits secrets du Web 2.0 tout en continuant de copier les recettes des autres sur le poussif Netscape.com. Bref le Calcanis nouveau joue la balance et il le fait avec talent, simplement en donnant les chiffres qu’on ne voulait pas entendre. En juillet dernier il créait l’événement en dessoudant à la chevrotine le mythe de la démocratie 2.0 en marche en révélant que l’essentiel de la participation et des contenus de Digg.com ne provenait que de 1% de ses utilisateurs (sujet d’ailleurs déjà abordé ici). Du coup il a entrepris de les débaucher sur Netscape en leur promettant une rétribution créant un mini séisme chez les gourous du tout-communautaire. [...]

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