Thursday, August 13, 2009

Social Network Paranoia

The production of content on modern social networking sites is produced almost entirely by it's users. Additionally, this content accounts for a large portion of the content on the web. Jeff Atkins talks about the sharecroppers of the web. It is both interesting and terrifying to think about. People are working for free to benefit the corporations that enable this content to be published. Although the scary implications of leaving your data in the hands of others is nothing new, the reasons for doing so is interesting. People generally use social networking sites because they enjoy doing it, not because they want to occupy some tiny portion of the content available on the web.

But why does it matter that these big corporations are gaining from other peoples free labor? what else do you have to lose if all your data one day disappears? The time investment that could have been spent on yourself. Although, it is highly unlikely that any of these mainstream social networks are going anywhere soon. So, the odds of losing everything you have invested are currently not all that large.