Regular readers of Techdirt will notice that a few weeks ago, they began accepting applications for Techdirt Insight Community (if you don't read Techdirt, start; these guys are fucking smart). My best explanation of it is that they are pooling together a talented group of individuals who have knowledge about different technology-related fields. While it would be infeasible to keep this collective on a full-time payroll, having them login occassionally to answer questions on topics within their field for smaller amounts of cash makes good econonomic sense. Rather than having tasks assigned to them, individual members of the community can pick and choose which issues they'd like to work on. I don't know what kinds of rates companies pay to receive advice or answers from the Techdirt Insight Community, but I'm sure that it is well worth it. For a much better explanation, check out this post and video by Techdirt.
I've applied, but been far too busy with work to really get into it. If anyone else out there has applied, or if you are with a company working with Techdirt, I would love to hear about your experiences.