Update: I think Nick (and I) may owe Newsvine an apology, because Newsvine does not really practice sharecropping. The members own their own content and this means a lot more control than otherwise. Obviously the landscape is complex with any social media but I don’t think I can object to Newsvine’s model. My concern is where the site takes ownership of the member content.
Nick Carr has a good post today noting how the Newsvine aquisition, and other deals like this, can lead to some information “sharecropper” dissent. As I pointed out yesterday social media is a great thing, but it seems to be dramatically failing to fund the very forces that make it a great thing – the hardest working content providers that often form the backbone of these entities. Kevin Rose is worth tens of millions because tens of millions of diggers work for him – for free. Sure, he’s smarter than most of his minions and he pulled it all together which means he should get a big digg payday some day, but should he, the founders, and the VC funders get *all* of the money when even they’d all agree that digg is valuable primarily because of all the people that do the digging.
Newsvine was a superb project that was beautifully implemented, but like Nick I wonder how long those who helped make Newsvine such a great site will keep working for nothing. Is Web 2.0 simply a new twist on feudal economics?