This has been a nagging question for me. I know that America Online in its early days was helped immensely by the volunteer work done by hundreds of chat room moderators. Many online services such as Amazon and eBay and Craigslist depend on the work done by so many of its customers, who help monitor what goes on there, and write reviews of products (in the case of Amazon). With many new citizen media projects, they are depending on the work of the community of users — with little or no pay. So why do you do this work for free? Is it helping the common good? Are you helping others? How do you justify this work that reaps huge benefits for a corporation? And what about writing a blog or producing a podcast for no pay? Why do you do it? Share your thoughts in comments, and I’ll publish the best ones in next week’s Your Take roundup.

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