A 2009 study (pdf) by Jose Van Dijck and David Nieborg with the title "Wikinomics and its discontents" take a swipe at the economy that intices volunteers to engage in 'mass collaboration' and 'communal creativity' to (the authors argue) do other peoples' work for free.
They cite a study of regular internet users gauging the amount of content they create online, which found that just more than half are 'inactives,' another one-third are ‘passive spectators’ and only 13 percent are real-life content creators.
Let's pick up from there:
The active participation and creation of digital content seems to be much less relevant than the crowds they attract: the homogeneous term ‘users’ is misleading in that it conceals the difference between active and passive involvement or, put differently, between producers and consumers of user-generated content. Manifestos such as Wikinomics and ’We-Think’ make one believe that, since every user is an active, creative contributor, the very idea of‘consumer’ is definitely passé. The term ‘user’ turns out to be a catch-all phrase covering a wide range of behaviour, from merely clicking to blogging and uploading videos. Mass creativity, by and large, is consumptive behaviour by a different name.
While commercial firms have an uphill road to build online communities, gaming platforms are much more successful at bringing people together.