Recently, inventor and writer Mark Pesce blogged about web 2.0 and underlying motivations for why people engage collaboratively on crowdsourced web projects. What I like about this post is how he has grounded design theory in a number of social behaviours that drive web 2.0 and social media: sharing, connecting, contributing, regulating, and iterating. It is a very good discussion of value in today’s standards of web content, where relevance and currency is dependant on the openness of your data.

When you think about your design – both technically and from the user’s experience – you must consider how open you want to be, and weigh the price of openness (extra work, unpredictability) against the price of being closed (less useful).  The highest praise you can receive for your work is when someone wants to use it in their own. For this to happen, you have to leave the door open for them.  If you publish the APIs to access the data you collect; if you build your work modularly, with clearly defined interfaces; if you use standards such as RSS and REST where appropriate, you will create something that others can re-use.

Mark Pesce – The Soul of Web 2.0 (Nov 2010) (read the whole post)