Who Benefits from the “Link Economy”?

Posted on August 16, 2009


The web has undermined the business models of content creators because there is now an abundance of information online and in most cases, it’s there for free, supported by someone willing to work for ad dollars or simply the added recognition of having a prominent web platform. 

The argument seems to have swayed in the aggregators’ favor.  In general, the consensus is that producers of original content that want to put their work behind a paywall or demand payment from linkers, just don’t get the fluidity of web.  According to media professor and consultant Jeff Jarvis, we are moving from a “content economy” to a “link economy:”

Let’s say that the real value in this equation is not content and information — both of which are now quickly commodified — but links, which are the new currency of media. Links can be exploited and monetized; get links and you can grab audience and show ads and make money. Content is becoming a cost burden, what you have to have to get the links, but in and of itself, content can’t draw value without an audience, without links.

Source: http://blogs.bnet.com/intercom/?p=2854

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