Jason Calacanis has argued in the past that users should be paid for content. He did just this at Netscape in what was viewed more as an effort to hurt Digg than to actually reward content creators, but that was OPM (other people’s money). Now comes word that he’s going to do this with at his own company, so his own money (at least partially).
Mahalo will pay users who create good search result pages:
Today I’m thrilled to announce the Mahalo Greenhouse, a place where the public can build search results that-if accepted by our Guides-will be included in the Mahalo search index.
Oh yeah, if we accept your search result we will pay you $10 to $15 per search result (the range is based on how many search results you’ve completed: more here).
Shrewdly, Jason is also offering to make contributions to the Wikimedia Foundation for users who don’t want the cash themselves. He writes: “We’ve earmarked up to $250,000 in donations to the Wikipedia this year.” Since many — myself included — view Wikipedia as at least partially in competition with Mahalo, this is an interesting way to crimp the complaints of the competition a bit. It is a significant amount for Wikimedia which raised $1.5 million last year from all sources.
Good stuff. And more proof that content doesn’t want to be free!