Why do you do it?

Over at his Wisdump, Paul Scrivens of 9rules fame has a rather interesting take on the reward systems that social sites are pursuing. The post, entitled The Overjustification Effect and User Generated Content, tackles the fame versus fortune rewards of social sites.

My take? It’s no different than any other organization. Social networks–despite the bulk on content purporting the uniqueness of the construct–are exactly the same kind of working-together organizations and corporations we humans have been building for centuries.

In fact, I got a little verbose in his comment section prattling on and on. I should reserve that kind of blather for you. But here’s the gist:

Now, 9rules has the power of both exclusivity and continued expectation. Neither the social news networks nor Squidoo have this going for them. (I’m not worried about getting kicked out of Digg if I slack off for a couple of months.) So, they have to create an artifice of exclusivity (money) in hopes of retaining interest and participation.

Some organizations attract people because they’re doing something fun and exciting. They’re exclusive. And they promise the rewards of the future. Other organizations don’t have anything exciting to offer. In fact, they don’t have much to offer beyond cash.

Why should social networks perform any differently? Businesses, after all, are just an unwired social network. Old school.

About Rick Turoczy

More than mildly obsessed with the Portland startup community. Founder and editor at Silicon Florist. Cofounder and general manager at PIE. Follow me on Twitter: @turoczy
This entry was posted in Accountability, Fun, Motivation, Results. Bookmark the permalink.

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