olia lialina: Some days ago I was reminded by Burak Arikan about the project he and Engin Erdogan started in 2008 -- User Labor Markup Language (ULML). Their idea was to create a transparent situation on code level where "user generated content" would be valued and users would be paid.
They state: "Our aim is to construct criteria and context for determining the value of user labor, which is currently a monetized asset for the service provider but not for the user herself. We believe that universal, transparent, and self-controlled user labor metrics will ultimately lead to more sustainable social web." http://userlabor.org/
Another important quote: "While service providers may understand, calculate, and leverage user contribution to determine business plans and solicit advertisers, its value often remains opaque to the users. Activity logs are stored as the property of respective service providers and some providers allow access to parts of these records through their Application Programming Interfaces (API). Still, there is no means for interpreting this information universally across different services."
Danja Vasiliev: ok, after reading the comments (and links) above i think i have my answers ;)
there is also an interesting publication concerning these issues called "Digital Labor: The Internet as Playground and Factory" by Trebor Scholz