Web emerged as an antidote to the rapidly increasing quantity of accumulated knowledge and become successful because it facilitates massive participation and communication with minimum costs. Today, its enormous impact, scale and dynamism in time and space make very difficult (and sometimes impossible) to measure and anticipate the effects in human society. In addition to that, we demand from the Web to be fast, secure, reliable, all-inclusive and trustworthy in any transaction.
The scope of the present article is to review a part of the Web economy literature that will help us to identify its major participants and their functions. The goal is to understand how the Web economy differs from the traditional setting and what implications have these differences. Secondarily, we attempt to establish a minimal common understanding about the incentives and properties of the Web economy. In this direction the concept of Web Goods and a new classification of Web Users are introduced and analyzed.
This article, is not, by any means, a thorough review of the economic literature related to the Web. We focus only on its relevant part that models the Web as a standalone economic artifact with native functionality and processes.