Om Malik reflecting on Nicholas Carr’s Amorality of Web 2.0 writes about the culture of participation which is the center of so called web 2.0 –  

 

if this culture of participation was seemingly help build businesses on our collective backs. So if we tag, bookmark or share, and help del.icio.us or Technorati or Yahoo become better commercial entities, aren’t we seemingly commoditizing our most valuable asset – time. We become the outsourced workforce, the collective, though it is still unclear what is the pay-off. While we may (or may not) gain something from the collective efforts, the odds are whatever “the collective efforts” are, they are going to boost the economic value of those entities. Will they share in their upside? Not likely!

Coming to Om’s point of being the outsourced workforce – there has to be something for this to work. So far del.icio.us, technorati have been hugely successful. Any successful transaction involves give and take. If I create a link pointing to AJAX, there are thousands other links created by the community in the same area for me to see. Naturally I got the benefit of that collective work. So yes 1 Person vs. del.icio.us is definitely in favor of the site but n Persons vs. del.icio.us definitely tilts the scale towards an individual.

 

I have often wondered about this in regards to Akshargram – the online hindi bloggers community website I have the honor to host. It is sort of a virtual meeting place where hindi blogger’s ruminate on various things like geeks talk about technology on Slashdot, Culture of participation thouhts of Om are true about akshargram too. Without the community akshargram would have died a silent death. So if participants spend time in  writing posts to Akshargram, do they lose or gain any thing. In my opinion I think it works both ways.