We've all read the O'Reilly manifesto. It's deep, comprehensive and defines how millions of people interact online. Most have no sense of what folksonomy, long tail, open source, and Ajax on Rails are or mean. Nevertheless, these things have changed the way they interact with each other forever.
Perhaps it is simple curiosity that propels most people into social engagement on the Web. Or the challenge of figuring out something new. Or maybe it's a desire to be part of a phenomenon.