Jason Calacanis made an offer to the top contributors of flickr, Digg, Reddit and Newsvine:
We will pay you $1,000 a month for your “social bookmarking” rights. Put in at least 150 stories a month and we’ll give you $12,000 a year. (note: most of these folks put in 250-400 stories a month, so that 150 baseline is just that–a baseline).
This offer illustrates the dilemma many attention and gesture based applications will face. The most valuable (the famous 20%) contributors are worth cash. Forget what Mike Arrington says about netscape and desperation, he’s really missing the
important point. He thinks that Digg is vulnerable because most stories come from a small number of contributors. Nope not it. Digg is vulnerable because it lacks a fair exchange of value for the high caliber contributors.
Google gives away great applications for free, they make lots of money based on the attention and gestures of the crowd, and they understand the cost for acquiring that data. Today many companies take for granted the attention and gestures they receive and assume that the acquisition cost of that attention and those gestures is limited to hosting and marketing. The companies forget about talent and the fact that the attention and gestures they depend on are jointly owned.
So Jason is right on in his follow up post:
Some entrepreneurs are very threatened by this concept because for the last couple of years they’ve gotten a free ride on the backs of the masses. Now, it’s true that Flickr provided a free service and value to their users, as does DIGG and REDDIT, but the top 1-2% of the users on these services are providing much more value to the companies then they are getting back. There should be a market for the 1%
Jason’s offer is a wake-up call for companies who are free riding on the attention commons. Nice job Jason.
Oh, and my question for Mike Arrington, Which is soulless? The free ride on the community or the offer of a more equitable relationship for those who contribute.
Jason Calacanis’s RSS feed
Paying the top DIGG/REDDIT/Flickr/Newsvine users
Why the Web 2.0 and media elite are so upset about paying amateurs
Mike Arrington’s RSS feed via TechCrunch
Huge Red Flag at Netscape
In information centric economies, value is a function of trust. The role of the honest broker is to provide a well understood and transparent point of reputation for attention and gesture information. The information economy we see growing around links and clicks is driven by the reputation of a few silos in the economy. Google, eBay, Yahoo and Microsoft are major reputation providers in the link/click economy. I would never call any of these parties honest brokers, though some are closer to honest broker than others. These reputation providers are by no means neutral and each defends their reputation silo fiercely from competition. That defense can make the reputation less accurate as it is never clear where the interests of the provider end.
In the Attention Gesture information economy an honest Broker is required to facilitate the exchange of and valuation of information. Similar to financial scores, the honest broker provides the unadulterated reputation of an attention/gesture provider allowing the attention/gesture consumer to value the information and then provide the attention provider with some sort of value. The honest broker never has a hand in determining the value of the transaction, but by ensuring that reputation of the provider and consumer are well known to both parties it ensures that each party can trust the valuation. The honest broker provides reputation for both attention/gesture providers and consumers, allowing both parties to identify the value of the attention data.
This honest broker service might be free as part of a network collaboration or it may be a fee for service model similar to credit card industry. Regardless, an honest broker is required to defend the attention/gesture pools from fraud and hijack. The honest broker will become a mechanism for maintaining experience continuity across a long running set of interconnected actions and exchanges, in a life connected.
As we move from an attention economy to a situational awareness economy honest brokers will be woven into the fabric of our online cognitive models.