Wednesday, May 31, 2006


Monetizing Social Networks Thanks to Google

One of the thorniest issues in recent years is about monetizing social network initiatives--now that MySpace, Yahoo/360, blogger and others have taken off. People often ask: why do people contribute to social networks (especially open source movements? While there are non-monetary reasons (such as reputation or self-satisfaction), I have always felt that monetary mechanisms will simply accelerate network-based communities. But, micropayments are expensive to set up till now.

What's changed? Google
AdSense API. According to Google:

The AdSense API is ideal for developers whose users create their own web content through web hosting, web publishing, blogging, and social networking applications.

Now individual bloggers or contributors to a community network can receive fair royalties. If you like to read more about it, the first case study--not surprisingly-- is

Blogger. I wonder how MySpace and Yahoo/360 will react? What about all the user-generated content in other sites?

Interesting issues to ponder.

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