What do the unpaid contributors and their commenting audience get from the AOL deal? Apparently permission to keep on doing what they do, still unpaid. As true serfs, they will thank the Manor Born for that permission. Better to get some publicity — they think — than toil in some ‘not part of the conversation’ twilight.
All of us probably know someone or perhaps some have posted items/comments on that site. What we’ve found talking to acquaintances is a weird passive resentment being used mixed with pride that their item is posted. Like a sweating serf beaming after receiving a nod from the carriage as it enters the gates.
Hats off to Arianna for using all those people so ruthlessly and profiting off them so blatantly. With a few minor exceptions, the people we know who post items there deserve that unseemly existential resignation. Some deserve more. We can’t wait to see how the circus will set up shop under AOL. So many serfs wanting to be found.