A lot of money being made on your participation

Many “grassroots” participatory media efforts “flip” (are sold) to larger companies, earning their founders millions, while those that helped build these businesses – those who participate in them – get no portion of the ever growing riches.

Kevin Rose of Digg is furious at Jason Calacanis of Netscape to propose a model were top contributors actually get paid for their labors, their passions, their enthusiasm.

Kevin Rose seems to think it’s ridiculous that some people get paid for their efforts: “Ya see users like Digg, Del.icio.us, Reddit and Flickr because they are contributing to true, free, democratic social platforms devoid of monetary motivation”.

Really? So you’re giving your excess investment money to charity Kevin? Not taking a salary in the tens if not hundreds of thousands of dollars? You aren’t going to take a few cool million of your own when you flip?

Driving a Hyundai like myself bub?

Didn’t think so.

Here is what Dave Winer has to say:

Digg’s Kevin Rose responds to Jason Calacanis, but doesn’t really respond. Jason raises a good question. No doubt Kevin is going to make something like $20 or $30 million when he sells Digg, which seems a pretty likely outcome. What will the users get? It’s a bit awkward for him to claim they do it for love if he himself doesn’t do it for love. As always Silicon Valley breeds hubris, that’s what Calacanis is taking advantage of, and doing it skillfully and without shame. If a lot of people didn’t agree with him he wouldn’t get away with it (Calacanis, that is).

I’ve mentioned before that I wouldn’t want Philly Future to follow this typical Silicon Valley narrative. It would be nice to be rich, but not on anyone else’s backs. Especially my neighbors. And that is the difference isn’t it?

Philly Future’s community is comprised of neighbors. Not just in the virtual sense, but in the actual physical sense.

Update: Turns out Kevin Rose doesn’t take a salary. That doesn’t change the rest of these questions however.

Crossposted from Philly Future. Comment there.