TO BE PAID OR NOT TO BE PAID
Anil Dash of blogging mini-conglomerate Six Apart/Typepad has a post up titled "The Interesting Economy", about Web 2.0 companies that pay their users for peer production, and one's that don't.
This is a theme I explored a few days ago in a post titled "On paying for peer production", and it's interesting that Anil uses as a mini-case study, the one Web 2.0 service that is the easiest for mainstream users to understand and derive value from: Flickr of Yahoo!, tagged photos and all.
Anil here comments on a new Flickr feature, whimsically named "Interestingness", which he aptly explains, is:
"is a measure of some combination of how many times a picture has been viewed, how many comments it has, how many times it's been tagged or marked as a favorite, and some other special sauce."
But the main point is that Yahoo!/Flickr doesn't pay users and contributors for making their photos available on the service, the key benefit being the "convenient functionality" for all I cited in my post.
Interestingly enough (weak pun intended), Anil's firm is one Web 2.0 firm that believes in sharing the economic spoils with its users. Whether it's in the form of offering easy to deploy contextual ads where the paid search ad revenues are split between Typepad and the user, or incorporating a Tip Jar feature that allows the user to earn some extra coins, Six Apart/Typepad is a firm that believes in figuring how out users can be compensated for peer production, even at this early stage of all this stuff.
And that gives them a head start on a rest of their peers.