You don’t know it, but you’re working for Facebook. For free

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DEWEY C., You don’t know it, but you’re working for Facebook. For free, The Washington Post, 22.07.2015

Type Article
Topics Business Model, Personality


"[T]hat’s basically the elevator pitch of every major Internet institution, from Twitter, Facebook and YouTube to Wikipedia. Even when these sites don’t openly rely on “consumers” to create the content that keeps venture capital, ad revenue or donations pouring in, they’re mining them for other sorts of resources that can be monetized: personal data, structured and aggregate data, clicks."

"There’s an old Internet truism that warns, “If you’re not paying, you’re the product,” which is almost accurate; it should really warn that, if you’re not paying, you are the product or you’re making it."

"Justin Anthony Knapp [...] is more active on the site [Wikipedia] than literally anyone else [...]. And yet, though Knapp makes no salary, he claims he’s getting something a lot more valuable: entertainment. Knowledge. The chance to back his values and meet new people. “I understand that some people want to be paid to do what they love,” he said on the phone from Indianapolis, driving home from his (paid) job. “But when you put a number on the thing you love, it can’t be priceless. If you don’t put a number on it, you assign the value and the meaning to it, yourself — you don’t negotiate that with the market.” Sociologists call this kind of value “affective currency,” and it’s what keeps many of the social Web’s most prolific unpaid workers in the posting, moderating or editing game. Even when the time commitment becomes incredible — some would say insane — they argue they’re “compensated” accordingly, whether in pleasure or new knowledge or what Scholz calls their “15 megabytes of fame.”"