Clay Shirky writes that the Internet helps to break the link between fame and economic success for writers.

For an author to be famous, many people had to have read, and therefore paid for, his or her books. Fortune was a side-effect of attaining fame. Now, with the power to publish directly in their hands, many creative people face a dilemma they’ve never had before: fame vs fortune.

Another of the many quotable paragraphs reads,

Free content is thus what biologists call an evolutionarily stable strategy. It is a strategy that works well when no one else is using it — it’s good to be the only person offering free content. It’s also a strategy that continues to work if everyone is using it, because in such an environment, anyone who begins charging for their work will be at a disadvantage.

Nash equilibrium, anyone?

Read the entire article. Shirky is very insightful, and he writes well.

For Discussion. I once wrote that “In reality, the economics of content are that most of the value-added comes from the filtering process, not the creation process.”

My concern is that the cheaper that content is to create, the more expensive it becomes to filter. Is there any evidence at this stage that content filtering is something that people will pay for on the Internet?