This is the epitome of good interaction design. There are shining nuggets of work on the internet that create this rare win-win combination, but there are just far too few. reCAPTCHA is one that surfaces – I would love to hear from anyone about other projects/products along these lines. I honestly do think this is where products are headed – all products/services will have some sort of give-back. However, they probably will not be as fun as a merry-go-round.
We all know what video UGC has done to change the face of modern media. Video is beginning to show signs of a strong bottom-up structure forming. In turn, mainstream media has had to adapt by both slowly integrating UGC into their model and putting their content onto UGC networks. While video UGC has taken off, music has not followed suit due, almost assuredly, to the music industry’s absolute resistance to evolve. Until now, the stonewalling of progress by the RIAA and other music industry leaders has been relatively successful in terms of the big picture. There are no YouTube scale sites offering independent, community created music. In my opinion, there is plenty of talent out there, but these sorts of movements usually need a jumpstart in order to pull in the combination of a large community and ample traffic to become self-sustaining. For YouTube, the early inclusion of unwarranted copyrighted video (whether intentional or unintentional) was that jumpstart – now TV content is a much smaller piece of the puzzle as a large content creating community has been fostered. The recent launch of NIN Remix may just be the jumpstart for UGC music. UGC music will become mainstream. The only question is if NIN Remix will be what gets the snowball rolling.
I read a very interesting article, Why the Semantic Web Will Fail, about one person’s thoughts on why the web will never reach its full potential due to the greed and short-sidedness of big business. The author makes some very good points in the article and it is quite compelling to read.
Here’s an excerpt:
The Semantic Web will never work because it depends on businesses working together, on them cooperating.
We are talking about the most conservative bunch of people in the world, people who believe in greed and cut-throat business ethics. People who would steal one another’s property if it weren’t nailed down. People like, well, Conrad Black and Rupert Murdoch.
And they’re all going to play nice and create one seamless Semantic Web that will work between companies – competing entities choreographing their responses so they can work together to grant you a seamless experience?
I think the author is right about one thing – big business is not a big fan of an open, sharing web and will fight it tooth and nail in the name of profit. My feeling however is that business really does not have a choice in the matter. The web is built on a very open, uncontrollable model – opening up infinite possibilities for individuals, competitors and or startups to ruin them in a heartbeat. The web is moving towards a more open model, like it or not. We do not rely on big business, big business relies on us. If corporations do not want to work in that model, all it takes is $15 for a domain name, $100 a month for hosting and word of mouth for some David to take down Goliath.