Nick seems to be in his recent post on some of the issues that Ebay is facing (and that other ‘social production’ sites have faced before – citing digg anf a few others): Rough Type: Nicholas Carr’s Blog: Crowd control at eBay
While the changes at ebay seem like a “death of self-rule on the internet” to the Financial Times, I view it as another step in the evolution of reputation systems. Notice I didn’t necessarily say it was a good step, just a step that will teach ebay and it’s users something and then another step will be taken. I certainly don’t think that just because ebay changed its feedback mechanism (and digg changed it’s voting algorithm) that the whole concept of social production is null and void.
That would be akin to saying that just because we couldn’t get democracy perfect in the last election that we should throw out the constitution and install another form of government. Social production, like democracy, will take time to get right and over that time it will sometimes get worse and sometimes get better. But if you take the long view, both ideals will get more perfect implementations in reality.