David Kirkpatrick writes in Fortune:
The economy is changingand in ways that can’t easily be measured by conventional economic indicators like wages, prices, or savings levels. Ever since the Internet started to connect everyone to everyone else all the time, people from around the world can more easily contribute energy, ideas, and knowledge to joint projects. Some of the more familiar examples of these collaborative efforts include blogs, open-source software, podcasts, and even the nonprofit online encyclopedia Wikipedia.
When users chip in on projectscommercial or otherwisethe experience improves for everybody. I call this phenomenon the contribution economy. This is how it works: If a blogger posts a thought about something in the news, another blogger can add his or her own comment. Or when someoneanyone!modifies a listing on Wikipedia, value is created that benefits everyone.