I want to take a brief break from Gannett coverage (I'm under slept, having stayed up half the night watching Montana returns roll in.) Last week I appeared in my first virtual Q&A, at a Wired event in our new Second Life digs. The topic, naturally, was crowdsourcing in general and how Linden Lab – the company behind SL – has used crowdsourcing to great advantage. It was great fun, and the audience asked several thoughtful questions, such as Mordant Kepler, who wondered whether minimum wage laws should apply in crowdsourcing. My reply, somewhat abbreviated:
I think there are policy frameworks that we haven't begun to work out. If I'm a turker in Bangladesh, what's my minimum wage? If it's in US dollars and the requesting company is incorporated here, I think the answer would be our minimum wage, but I'm not even sure you could enforce minimum wage on piecework like that, which explains why some people are -- rightfully -- worried about crowdsourcing's implications.
If that sounds like a long-winded way of saying, dunno, you're not far from the mark. In my defense, no one else knows either. But I think we're just seeing the start of this debate. At any rate, read all this and more on the Wired game blog. The beautiful thing about virtual public speaking is that it generates an automatic transcript.