‘Double, Double, Toil And Trouble’

Illustration: Greg Mably
Social enterprise preceded social media by years or centuries even. Open source enterprises like Linux and Javascript got their start in the 90s with thousands of people trading their labor for a share of the code. MySQL is an open source database that along with Linux and Javascript are the most used software on the Web and created by collaborators all over the planet. Sharecropping can trace its beginnings to Shakespearean England. Whether English barley or Perl scripts, the issue is who owns how much fruit of your labor?

Like the witches in Macbeth, social Web site owners cast entrails into cauldrons to get you to ‘double the toil, double the trouble’ and create ever more information which can be sold to interested parties. In the article linked below Spectrum looks at the problem from all angles and reveals a dark future for netizens. When you update your Facebook page or pin something on Pinster you create new information and incremental value for the owners of those companies. Facebook and Pinster reap 100% of the profit from your labor.

With a potential for 7 billion bipeds interacting and creating information with social media—will you be a digital sharecropper or a serf?

Read>>>From Surf to Serf

Illustration above adapted from the one by Greg Mably

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