There is a specialty message board I’m on, it will remain nameless.
The admin PM’d me and asked me if I’d be interested in being a junior mod, said it would require me to be online and doing mod work for at LEAST eight hours every day!?! And this would all be unpaid of course, basically all I would get out of it is the joy of wielding my large throbbing mod stick of power. I laughed and declined, he said no biggie plenty of others he can hit up. This board has several times had industry surveys that the admin begs users to fill out to support the site, he has a bunch of junior mods apparently devoting a full days labor every day to keeping it humming. It definitely seems to be exploiting a certain kind of personality.
There are tons of other examples of sites where essentially free labor is exploited, hell last.fm let their users build up the giant database of music connections and than whoops sorry guys we’re going to a pay site so thanks for creating our product!
Sometimes it backfires in user revolts and wars.
I wonder if it ever crosses the line, would Apple for instance be able to let the endless Apple fanboys/girls work the retail floor for no pay just because they luv being so close to Apple?