Fred Stutzman with an excellent post on monetising social networks.
Obviously whilst there are problems with old advertising and economic models being applied directly to social networking applications, there are many new opportunities here – MySpace branching out into selling songs is a good way of them utilising content, for example.
This is timely given the warnings over advertising.
Our first attempt at a social networking application was in 2001 when we built the now defunct Soundbyte. Soundbyte was a site for students and teenagers to create and share music that they had made in class. The revenue model was based on the site acting as an attractor for physical visitation to the museum’s Soundhouse lab – where visitors can learn computer music production. The site was quite successful although hampered by government limitations – its greatest success was in greatly increasing the profile of the Soundhouse lab.