Platforms and moderators?

October 25, 2007 at 8:08 pm | Posted in Factors | 1 Comment

In The Wealth of Networks, Benkler points out that there are a growing number of tools, or “platforms”, that make it easier and less costly for anyone to produce content on the same terms. These tools not only enable people to produce content independent from the traditional centers of production, but also enable people to act as network nodes by aggregating, organizing, collaborating and sharing content.

I propose that we are seeing the rise of the Moderator: an entity that presents content, and therefore, it has tremendous power over it. Moderators can be automated by set of rules and/or manually controlled by a human. For example, search engines like Google and Yahoo, are automated moderators vs. bloggers that edit their site content.

Thoughts?

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  1. I believe that the proliferation in UGC ‘tools’ has most certainly led to the rise in moderators.

    Arguably, since the Internet became mainstream in the mid-late 90’s people were using these tools to create and moderate information/content. One needs to look no further than early newsgroups and internet forums to see the large number of people, who for the most part, have been spending their own time to moderate internet content for free! Imagine, people actually doing a form of work for free? I guess it helps that you don’t need to get off your butt to do it.

    Wikipedia has a large group of people who moderate the site’s content in the interest of preserving its accuracy. People moderate discussion forums to keep them a relatively civil environment.

    Many people rely on blogs, discussion boards and Wikipedia for their daily news now, and moderators certainly wield an intriguing form of power. People can always go to a new website to look for information but I would suggest that a well moderated environment lends to the credibility of the site and is an essential part of generating a community around it.


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