YouTube gets rich, users get nothing, Messina notes

Over on PodTech our India tech channel is getting some real good stuff. It was weird hearing Chris Messina on that channel, being concerned by “crowdsourcing,” (where we provide the labor, but do it all for free or near free) but it all makes sense when he started talking about BarCamp India. Ironic that Chris is an advocate for open source (he worked on the Flock browser team). Interesting conversation.

Comments

  1. Robert, if you have time, watch this (homemade) video:
    http://www.corank.com/video.html
    It has a lot to do with what you’re talking about – notice the slide with the picture of the YouTube founders.

    Now, if you really want to know what that is all about, er.. well, that’s the game :-)

  2. Robert, if you have time, watch this (homemade) video:
    http://www.corank.com/video.html
    It has a lot to do with what you’re talking about – notice the slide with the picture of the YouTube founders.

    Now, if you really want to know what that is all about, er.. well, that’s the game :-)

  3. Crowdsourcing is a term that cannot just be applied to anything where there is a user community. Especially YouTube.

    It’s definitely an interesting conversation with Chris though.

  4. Crowdsourcing is a term that cannot just be applied to anything where there is a user community. Especially YouTube.

    It’s definitely an interesting conversation with Chris though.

  5. What must be factored in to the equation is the following:
    THERE ARE PROVIDING EXTREMELY VALUABLE SERVICES TO THE WORLD

    Some members are doing their share, to each contribute – as they are consuming – FREE.

    They are not paying for the extremely expensive hosting and labor – and are under NO OBLIGATION to be GIVERS as oppose to RECEIVERS!

    If they WANT to click on the Ads, they Can.

    Also, many contributing members are using their uploads to promote their business or Web sites.

    And are making new freinds and networking globally – to people with shared interests :-D

  6. What must be factored in to the equation is the following:
    THERE ARE PROVIDING EXTREMELY VALUABLE SERVICES TO THE WORLD

    Some members are doing their share, to each contribute – as they are consuming – FREE.

    They are not paying for the extremely expensive hosting and labor – and are under NO OBLIGATION to be GIVERS as oppose to RECEIVERS!

    If they WANT to click on the Ads, they Can.

    Also, many contributing members are using their uploads to promote their business or Web sites.

    And are making new freinds and networking globally – to people with shared interests :-D

  7. What we* are talking about when we* talk about our disdain for the term ‘crowdsourcing’ is the following:

    1. Open source is not crowdsourcing. Open source projects attract people that want to contribute to them. Firstly, this is done organically – there is no ‘marketing’ involved. Secondly, this is not done for the benefit of an entrepreneur wanting to make a million ++. Think Drupal, Firefox (yes, Mozilla makes money from Firefox and they are supported by G…so they are now in a grey zone), Open Wengo, etc.

    Now. Someone can take that code, build on it (not giving it back to the main project necessarily) and make money on it. Think Red Hat to Linux. Open Source doesn’t block their contributors from making a living off of the source project. These projects create a whole new economy for the developers. Very few of these companies raking in the bucks (or looking to rake in the bucks) are thinking, “Hey, how can my opening up my source code/creating masses of content make others money?”

    2. The very word, “Crowdsourcing” makes me shudder. It is taking the word “Outsourcing” and combining it with “The Wisdom of the Crowds”…except without pay in most cases. So, the idea is to outsource your work to others? That is not what the ‘intent’ behind OS has ever been. It’s a collaborative, coming together project.

    3. The word is being thrown around like it is going out of style. Companies are being built on it. Marketers are smacking their lips to implement it (“Free labor + free publicity = good economics?” o_O yech). It’s like ‘viral’ – it entirely misses the point.

    We aren’t against sites that leverage community participation for the good of their community or open source projects that require large numbers of volunteers to fly…it is the naming of crowdsourcing and the ultimate co-optation by stupid companies (that we are already seeing happen) that we disdain.

    Two things:

    1. If it doesn’t benefit your customers, don’t do it. That should be your priority. DIGG – well, it’s very nature requires people to contribute, but what happens is that others receive a benefit from it. To date, Kevin has been very focused on community benefits – keeping out gaming as much as possible and allowing for individuals to benefit from their contributions. If Kevin makes that $60M, though and gets bought, it will be interesting to see how that effects their ecosystem.

    2. If you aren’t commited to building relationships with your contributors, finding out how you can benefit them and your ultimate goal is to get free labor, don’t do it. It won’t work. Being in ‘the biz’, we’ve seen oodles of orphaned APIs sitting around twiddling their thumbs. Give a damn about your customers and *maybe* they will return the favor.

    So there you go. YouTube can go ahead and get rich, but don’t offer it up to the masses as ‘crowdsourcing’. Once named, you’ve already killed it…and that is the saddest point of all.

    *the ‘we’ is that Chris and I are partners and have talked about this a great deal together before we started discussing it publicly.

  8. What we* are talking about when we* talk about our disdain for the term ‘crowdsourcing’ is the following:

    1. Open source is not crowdsourcing. Open source projects attract people that want to contribute to them. Firstly, this is done organically – there is no ‘marketing’ involved. Secondly, this is not done for the benefit of an entrepreneur wanting to make a million ++. Think Drupal, Firefox (yes, Mozilla makes money from Firefox and they are supported by G…so they are now in a grey zone), Open Wengo, etc.

    Now. Someone can take that code, build on it (not giving it back to the main project necessarily) and make money on it. Think Red Hat to Linux. Open Source doesn’t block their contributors from making a living off of the source project. These projects create a whole new economy for the developers. Very few of these companies raking in the bucks (or looking to rake in the bucks) are thinking, “Hey, how can my opening up my source code/creating masses of content make others money?”

    2. The very word, “Crowdsourcing” makes me shudder. It is taking the word “Outsourcing” and combining it with “The Wisdom of the Crowds”…except without pay in most cases. So, the idea is to outsource your work to others? That is not what the ‘intent’ behind OS has ever been. It’s a collaborative, coming together project.

    3. The word is being thrown around like it is going out of style. Companies are being built on it. Marketers are smacking their lips to implement it (“Free labor + free publicity = good economics?” o_O yech). It’s like ‘viral’ – it entirely misses the point.

    We aren’t against sites that leverage community participation for the good of their community or open source projects that require large numbers of volunteers to fly…it is the naming of crowdsourcing and the ultimate co-optation by stupid companies (that we are already seeing happen) that we disdain.

    Two things:

    1. If it doesn’t benefit your customers, don’t do it. That should be your priority. DIGG – well, it’s very nature requires people to contribute, but what happens is that others receive a benefit from it. To date, Kevin has been very focused on community benefits – keeping out gaming as much as possible and allowing for individuals to benefit from their contributions. If Kevin makes that $60M, though and gets bought, it will be interesting to see how that effects their ecosystem.

    2. If you aren’t commited to building relationships with your contributors, finding out how you can benefit them and your ultimate goal is to get free labor, don’t do it. It won’t work. Being in ‘the biz’, we’ve seen oodles of orphaned APIs sitting around twiddling their thumbs. Give a damn about your customers and *maybe* they will return the favor.

    So there you go. YouTube can go ahead and get rich, but don’t offer it up to the masses as ‘crowdsourcing’. Once named, you’ve already killed it…and that is the saddest point of all.

    *the ‘we’ is that Chris and I are partners and have talked about this a great deal together before we started discussing it publicly.