Classical Economics talks of the value of utlity, diminishing marginal utility if the same things is repeated again and again (like spam in an online community)
StackOverflow has a great way of measuring reputation – and thus allows intangible benefits /awards -similar to wikipedia badges , reddit karma. Utility is also auto generated like @klout on twitter or lists memberships and other sucessful open source communities online including Ubuntu forums have ways to create ah hierarchies even in class less utopian classes.Basically it then acts as the motivating game as the mostly boy population try to race on numbers.
in Stack Overflow- you can get buddies to upvote you and basically act as a role playing game too.
|answer is voted up||+10|
|question is voted up||+5|
|answer is accepted||+15||(+2 to acceptor)|
|post is voted down||-2||(-1 to voter)|
|100||Edit community wiki posts|
|125||Vote down (costs 1 rep)|
- A World (Online) Without Money (continuations.com)
- Follr.com Social Card Now Supports Reddit.com (socialgears.com)
- Dr. Strangedupe: Or, How I Learned to Stop Worrying And Love Duplication (stackoverflow.com)
- A new WordPress Stack Exchange (joelonsoftware.com)
- Stack Overflow hit 1,000,000 questions last night (stackoverflow.com)
- Diary of an Overflow Addict (go.theregister.com)