Yard sales on the CGM halfpipe

Great post from Mark Cuban this weekend about the long tail and its vert ramp.  Content needs to be filtered into commercial vs. personal buckets – in the case of the former, denizens of the long tail face a steep incline.  The first step?  Get paid at least once for your work – that gets you "out of the long tail of the long tail."

Cuban’s analysis is dead on with my feelings about the impending backlash in CGM.  Users will get smart about the social computing sell-out process and their critical role therein:

Web 2.0 company launches…

  1. Attracts users with clean interface and authentic community
  2. Builds momentum as users create content and invite others
  3. User base is commercialized and property is sold.  Users get nothing – not even a "thank you" let alone a rev share.
  4. Experience becomes cluttered as marketers enter sites, trying to reach "hot" demographics
  5. Migrate to next site…repeat from step 1.

Look at how MySpace has become the domain of over 35ers, not coveted 18-24 year old tastemakers.

When will a business model emerge that rewards users – and not only for their individual contributions, but also for the efforts of the entire community?  And when will users demand compensation for their efforts?