Sunday, May 2, 2010

Section 03 Late Post How does one measure cultural value?

"Free labor is the moment where this knowledgeable consumption of culture is translated into productive activities that are pleasurably embraced and at the same time often shamelessly exploited" (Terranova 37)

The free labor model of websites such as Youtube and Myspace which rely on users to freely submit content are described of as exploitation by Terranova (obviously speaking to an audience that would be well versed in Marxist theory); these content developers are not financially compensated for their work. Terranova asks why do these users continue to work for free with her answer being that users produce free labor because it gives them some sort of pleasure.

Free labor also occurs on the internet because of an alternate economy to the economy of capital: the cultural economy. Although the users of myspace might not have a monetary reward for their content they receive the ability to say "Check Out My Myspace Page   www.myspace/aoifjeoaijfeoifja". The reward for having free content on these sites is a certain cultural prestige. Because there is no monetary value to such cultural capital, how does one measure the cultural value of such user content?

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