Wired has an interesting article on The Rise of Crowdsourcing. It squares with a report I came across recently from a UK think tank on the "Pro-Am" phenomenon, as well as some of the discussions I’ve been following on Longtail economics.
The original article on "The Long Tail" by Chris Anderson, in Wired, Oct. 2004, & here’s an MP3 podcast at IT Conversations: Chris Anderson - Economics of the Long Tail.
It’s interesting & exciting, but as the Wired article highlight at the very beginning, it has profound implications for professionals. What does the labor market & the economy look like as more & more tasks are broken down for distributed processing. As an artist & a photographer, I think the digital distribution trend is fantastic. But I’m not sure what things look like when design, photography, & even R&D are handled by a vast distributed network of oddball specialists who will do the task dirt cheap (or even free) because they think it’s cool, or consider it a hobby.