The funny thing about all these frothy millions and billions piling up [to Facebook, Tumblr, Quora, Huffington Post, etc.]? Most of the value was created by people working free. ...
I ended up thinking about all this when I was encouraged to sign up for Quora, the burgeoning question-and-answer social site, by some of my more tech-minded friends. As I was going through the registration, I had a “hey, wait a minute” moment: right now, my in-box is full of all manners of questions and requests I can’t get to, some of them from my own family. What in the world am I doing wandering out into a community of strangers to answer and post questions?
It will be interesting to see how the legions of unpaid bloggers at The Huffington Post react to the merger with AOL. Typing away for an upstart blog — founded by the lefty pundit Arianna Huffington and the technology executive Kenneth Lerer — would seem to be a little different from cranking copy for AOL, a large American media company with a market capitalization of $2.2 billion.
--David Carr, NYT, on enriching the rich for free