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Reply #14: Long Time DU'er, "Sapphocrat," had an Excellent post on the New DU-3 Fees, here: [View All]

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KoKo Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Feb-18-12 07:35 PM
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14. Long Time DU'er, "Sapphocrat," had an Excellent post on the New DU-3 Fees, here:
Edited on Sat Feb-18-12 07:42 PM by KoKo
http://www.democraticunderground.com/discuss/duboard.ph...


72. I think it depends entirely on one's "perceived value."

That is, what is it you're paying for? And what's your ROI?

The thing is... Any website is its content. You can run the flashiest software in the world on the backend, but without content, you've got nothing.

Message boards and discussion mailing lists -- and even (dating myself here) Usenet, and pre-Internet bulletin board systems -- were among the first forms of crowdsourcing, long before anybody coined the word.

For those unfamiliar with crowdsourcing, it's basically getting a lot of people to contribute a lot of small things to make one big thing. Think Flickr, or, better yet, Mechanical Turk, where companies outsource jobs that aren't worth their time to do in-house, by offering a few cents per task (say, somebody needs 5,000 URLs validated, and will pay any schmoe who comes along a penny for every URL s/he validates).

Any website that depends on its visitors for content is engaged in crowdsourcing -- getting hundreds or thousands (or, if we're talking Facebook, millions) of other people to contribute little bits of information to create the website as a whole.

The difference is, when I work for Mechanical Turk (and I do, sometimes), they pay me for each bit of work I do for them.

With DU3, I can't see paying (especially what I consider a "lot") to contribute the same effort with nothing in return except... well, what I'd get for free anyway, save for a few bells and whistles that mean nothing to me (e.g., I'd need more than a 15-member "jury blacklist"! LOL). And I really resent the crystal-clear message that a subscription really does make one "more equal" than others; e.g., your chance of being on a jury goes up something like 20 points automatically if you're one of the elite star members. That's not fair. And it's certainly not democratic -- it's more like paying for the "right" to vote more often than somebody else.

Not that I'm affected by the new jury system anyway -- it's one of the main reasons I don't use DU3. I detest the concept, in both theory and practice. First, it works like "pure" direct democracy -- the very thing that allows "the majority" (in real life) to keep voting away my rights every election (i.e., mob rule is a dangerous thing). Second, just look at the results over there -- things aren't pretty, and the whole system has turned DU from a place to discuss issues into one endless discussion about discussion. The Help/Meta forum (group, whatever it is) is the hoppin'est place on DU3.

Well, except for a certain group that's in complete meltdown right now -- but with the kind of free-for-all "community standards" (which are worse than I ever imagined they'd devolve into)... Well, how else could it have turned out?

Inmates... asylum... anarchy. I am no anarchist.

(BTW & FTR, I didn't mind paying a few bucks a year, because I know too well, as a longtime Webmaster myself, just how much it takes to keep a site running. But, honestly, the only thing I ever really got out of having a star was the faux status attached to it -- for no good reason whatsoever, people pay more attention to what you say when you're a Sneech, whether that star on your belly cost you five bucks or five thousand.)

P.S. If DU had even some of the original, non-crowdsourced content it used to -- -- Top Ten Conservative Idiots, Auntie Pinko, original articles by people like Bernard Wiener, even the Hate Mailbag -- then I might be able to bend a little on the idea of a subscription model. But it has no content other than what its members are posting -- which is mostly discussion about their own discussions! :crazy:

But even so, I stopped reading Salon and the New York Times online during their failed attempts at subscription models -- neither had anything I couldn't live without, or find elsewhere.
Conservative Babylon
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