Of course, the Web 2.0 elite want to make the decision for social bookmarkers--and for me and my company Netscape. How dare we offer people money for their work?!?!!? How dare these people get paid for their time!??!?!
He is "framing the conversation". No one has criticized paying people for their time. What I and others have said is, "This may have an impact on the quality of the information you receive."
Jason, many of the people reacting to your offer are very smart people who have been down this path before. Wondering about monetization and reward is pretty much a full time sport in Silicon Valley and Seattle. But we also wonder about those elements in context. We wonder about those elements and how they interact with the goals of the site.
I often get together with developers in person, in phone calls, on chat, etc. to discuss new business ideas, web 2.0 or otherwise. And I know Mike Arrington and those guys do it a whole lot more than I do. I'm sure you do it, too.
Nancy's reply to my first blog post about Netscape's pay-for-play plan was this:
Here's my reply to Nancy:
These are the things the "silicon valley elite" (or the puget sound elite) are thinking about when we respond to your offer.
So, Jason, the blogging community is giving you free advice - many people have walked down this path and lost a lot of money by doing it wrong. Since your previous company was Weblogs, Inc, you should appreciate the role the community is playing in helping you shape this new service.
The alternative, my friend, is that the blogging community ignore you altogether.
Paying users or rewarding users is important. Getting paid for your time is always a bonus and something few would turn down. And there are ways to do it and not to do it.
In a nutshell, here is my take on what your plan is going to do:
If you have a dinner party at your
house, I expect I will show up with a bottle of wine, or a new CD for
or maybe to return to you the 8,000 AOL mailings I've received from your firm. But I'd bring something along to show my appreciation for your hospitality and hard work.
At heart, I think this is what you are trying to do. Show appreciation.
On the other hand, if you put me in a room with all your friends and say "Welcome to my dinner party, I will feed the top three of you who entertain me the most." That's a different party, I think. I will not bring you a bottle of wine, I will come aggressive and anti-social. I will come to win my dinner.
This is what I think you may be inadvertantly doing.
((Update: A few days back, Sam Rose had a very relevant post about some of these changes in how we consume, participate and produce.))
Photo: Mary Vogt