The Web2.0 Mafia

I rarely find myself in agreement with AOL’s Jason Calacanis.It’s not that he’s a bad bloke, he just gets on my nerves. He does occasionally have some interesting things to say though, and this post about the “Web2.0 Mafia”, and how the “Web2.0 elite” want to control what we, the masses do, and how we, the masses, get paid, is brilliant. Absolutely spot on.

Despite the fact that Netscape stinks, (and Jason’s offer to pay bookmarkers wont make it any less stinky) his points about the web2.0 elite ring a strong bell with me. I’ve always viewed Mike Arrington’s Techcrunch as a kind of Lord of the Flies meets 1984, where some are most definately more web2.0 than others, and sucking up seems to be the order of the day if you want to BE web2.0

That sucks. Clearly.

I don’t think Jason entirely get’s the reason for many people being against his offer to pay top bookmarkers though. It’s not really about the prospect of being paid (which i strongly suspect he knows damn well), it’s about the slimey way he’s trying to lure away assets (albeit unpaid ones, which is a good point) from something we all love: Digg

There’s a tremendous amount of goodwill aimed at Digg right now, and when someone does something to intentionally hurt it, people will react strongly.

So, in conclusion:

  • Yay for Jason! (just this once hehe..)
  • Boo for Web2.0
  • Yay for the prospect of a less cliquey tech community

Somebody really needs to step up to the plate and produce another great Web2.0 hub — CNet for example…

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6 thoughts on “The Web2.0 Mafia

  1. I’ve actually decided to skip right over Web 2.0 and jump directly into Web 3.0… soon I will release the Tag Maelstrom.

  2. I agree too with that second paragraph!

    The general problem with the signal to noise ratio in the “volunteer based free content publishing” which I prefer to call user generated content (UGC) is that it is a must to implement a qualified human filter to fight noise spam and to only lift the real top articles to the front page. Similar like it is done her at Everybody can submit UGC to but the profile which is present on the front page is generated by a very quick team of human filters (only Nick and Chris as far as I know).

    The following question is of course that if the site is creating revenue how will the site share revenue with UGC deliverers?

    I would love to work hard for a site which generates income based on well defined quantity and quality factors.

  3. I don’t really have an issue with what Jasson is trying to pull off. Call it hostile talent takeover. Call it what you will. If those top Diggers find cash money pocket attractive enough to jump ship, then that’s their call. Jason comes from for-profit blog network business. That’s what he knows (very well I might add) and what he’s good at.

    What I have big problem with (from his original post) is that he’s making a blind statement that so called volunteer based free content publishing will be a “short-lived joke”. That the top publishers will rule and the “noise” doesn’t matter. How can he make a statement like that and go on to write about the myopic nature of web 2.0 is beyond me. He doesn’t seem to understand that it’s the noise that allows top content to be bubbled up in a system like Digg (or even in a bad clone of it). Once everything is a top story picked by top bookmarkers, it will change the dynamics of the game and the perception of the value inherent in socialbookmarking model will diminish.

  4. It’s amazing to me that people are actually surprised when “social media” starts resembling society at large…

  5. We will need a way to publish user generated content through a commercial channel. If that UGC mafia is generating revenue from UGC they should offer a business plan to share revenue.

    The main point developing everywhere at the moment is:

    … the slimey way he’s trying to lure away assets (albeit unpaid ones, which is a good point) …

    Thanks for that sentence Nick!

    At the moment I am following a German discussion in the Flickr group “Germany” where a German lifestyle magazine (MAX) is feverishly fighting for respect from the not so stupid photographers that they (the magazine) are printing several pages with Flickr photos in every issue but refuse to pay some money for that.

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