Internet Sweatshops

N’Gai Croal discusses user-generated content:

Whether these 21st-century worker bees can be said to be having fun (is it really entertaining to update a Wikipedia entry?), there's no question that their moonlighting has value even if they're not being compensated. A YouTube spokesperson informed us that 10 hours of video are uploaded to the service every minute, which she says is the equivalent of 57,000 full-length movies every week. The comedy site FunnyOrDie may have broken into the national consciousness with Will Ferrell's hilarious video "The Landlord," but it's the cumulative efforts of all the John Q. Comics that will determine the start-up's future prospects. We asked FunnyOrDie CEO Dick Glover to calculate what his site's estimated 10,000 hours of video would cost if professionally produced; at the "inexpensive" industry rate of $400,000 per half hour, it comes out to $8 billion.