Calacanis vs. Benkler Round One

Halfway through Benkler’s talk he threw a bomb at me calling my offer to pay bookmarkers crude–which I guess in some ways it was. Of course, the first person to create a market is often looked at as crude at the start and brilliant later on, but I digress.

Great wrap-up here by Andy Carvin
(photo montage by Andy).

I asked Benkler about the issue of free and paid organizations like Wikiepdia, Wikia, Firefox, and Netscape, both paying and NOT paying people for the same work. He said this was a very tricky question. However, the moderator–in a boneheaded moment–wouldn’t allow me a follow up question. Folks in the audience desperately wanted to go deeper on the issue but he pulled the plug on one of the most important discussions. I think it was personal, because Aaron from REDDIT was able to ask 2-3 followup questions (hello?!).

Anyway, Benkler and I had a discussion afterwards about “the offer” and he thinks it could work, but he thinks that I was crass in my approach by saying that I wanted to hire the top 10. He perceived this as a dis to the rest of the users. He is correct, some folks think that making the offer to the top is a dis, but the bottom line is that you can’t make the offer to everyone so you’re gonna piss off some people. I think hiring from the Netscape pond will solve the problem and we’re certainly going to do that.

Update: Another person upset that the moderator cutoff the debate. Another person comments on it.
Update2: A video I haven’t watched yet.