To get back to Crowdsourcing for a minute, I love the idea: “Wikipedia for everything else.” And it’s happening whether we want it to or not, in our new world where the locus of community is less about geography or biological relationship than it is about affinity.
Crowdsourcing, he went on to explain is a result of:
the perfect storm of the amateur renaissance, the open source revolution, democratization of production, and the rise of online community.
AND THAT’S ALL LOVELY, really it is, but I have to wonder: what about the people who lose not only their jobs, but their careers?
Sure, eventually you’re the last guy making buggy whips and then the industry folds because no one needs buggy whips anymore.
And my hands aren’t clean – I’m a sports blogger, and being a print sports journalist is already a low paying job. TV sportscasting is in no danger as long as they hold a monopoly on player, coach, game, and owner access.
But it worried me that Jeff Howe had no answer, which seems to me to be the crux of the matter: there are some highly technical skills that probably can’t be crowdsourced. But if there’s always someone willing to do what I do for free, then what?
I don’t have any answers either, but I think it’s a conversation that needs to be engaged.