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Monetize: Social Media Proprietors


.. so what is a “social media proprietor”? And how is s/he different from a blogger?

Dunno, don’t ask me. Google it….
uh oh, we are both in trouble. The only response from Google on “social media proprietor(s)” are MY presentations. So either they don’t exist, have another name or … I’m the first one to document them. heh. Moving right along…

Social media proprietors focus on a number of things that bloggers may not:

  • advertising – display, banner, those little boxy things.
  • classifieds – jobs is popular, the rivers of gold running to social media.
  • merchandising – any old crap – t-shirts, cups, toilet paper
  • mulitple revenue streams and always thinking about monetization and the bottom line.
  • employing staff – blogger for hire, paid on page views
  • raising capital – the art of getting other people to show that they value your/staff pixel scribblings.

Here are some examples:

ADVERTISING:
Oh look, this is the fallback for everyone at first. This is THE standard way of monetizing your blog. I ran courses a couple of years ago at the University of Sydney on “how to make money from writing/blogging”. Advertising was always the popular choice, probably also the laziest for any would-be social media proprietor. Heh.

Michael Arrington of TechCrunch started as a lawyer then became a blogger and now makes $2.5 million per year, has a $100 million valuation, classifieds and job boards, $12,000 per month display advertising, Crunchgear (merchandising) and blogger staff.

I have a bunch of stuff on this at Social Media Monetization and Revenue post.

EMPLOYING STAFF
Gawker Media have one manager (is that an ‘editor’ role?) for every 50 blogger. They pay on page views:

“for Gawker writers, a million pageviews a month to an individual writer’s blog posts will now net that writer $5000. Just back in January, a million pageviews would have gotten a writer $7,500. The reduced pageview rate means that writers must do more—or, of course, more popular!—work to even receive the same rate of pay.”

In depth analysis from Jason Calacanis (Netscape founder) on Nick Denton of Gawker’s model.
Thanks to Hugh Martin for sending me the link. I’m not sure that Hugh will agree with something I wrote ages ago: that MSM journalists should have collaboration and views written into their KPIs (Key Performance Indicators) by heritage media proprietors.

In spite of the fact that said newspaper journalists often don’t blog or believe in collaborative journalism (make blog readership part of their KPIs). (more from 2006/07)

We buy the Saturday paper, but we don’t consume the whole paper. Sports, Politics, Business, Crossword, the funnies, appeal to different people. Online we can know down to the second how long someone spent on a page. Different, no?

RAISING CAPITAL
Giga Om have just raised some funds:

From time to time, I have shared with you the steps we’re taking to build Giga Omni Media, the 27-month-old company behind this and the other publications that make up the GigaOM network. Today, I am thrilled to announce the start of our company’s next phase.

We have just raised $4.5 million, led by new investor Alloy Ventures, an early-stage venture capital firm with over $1 billion under management. True Ventures, our primary investors thus far, also participated in the round. The round was blessed by our angel investors, Rakesh Mathur, Venky Harinarayan and Anand Rajaraman as well. As part of the funding, Alloy Ventures general partner Ammar Hanafi will join the Giga Omni Media board. (more)

Bloggers are starting to look a lot like heritage media. *thoughtful* And Giga-Om had health issues from the stress of running his media empire.

Do Nick Denton or Om Malik have a ‘classical’ journalist/editor background? I don’t think they do, do they?

I wonder when Darren Rowse, from ProBlogger, will/has become Australia’s first social media proprietor? Or maybe it’s Duncan Riley from the Inquisitr. Or… ?

Incidentally, I’m distinguishing between blogger social media proprietors and say, online citizen newspapers like Norg‘s from Bronwen Clune and Korea’s OhMyNews. They follow an open newspaper format – less reliant on regular bloggers, more like a forum of submitted news. Also, there is less of the citizen editor role in blogger SM Proprietor sites than in vote sites like Bronwen’s and Digg.

Not sure where to place WotNews – Plugger as it was before – aggregated from blogs, no payment back to submitters, but they did sell to Wotif. Hmmm…. this breaking down of models and then trying to find similar models to compare old and new is not as easy as it looks. 🙁

Final Word: Passionate bloggers often volunteer their time and knowlege for intangible rewards such as leadership and recognition. Social Media Proprietors on the other hand, always know the bottom line of running their Empires. Ka ching!

Laurel Papworth

Named by Forbes™ Magazine in the Top 50 Social Media Influencers globally, named Head of Industry, Social Media (Marketing Magazine™) and in the Power150 Media bloggers (AdAge™). CERT IV Training and Assessment certified trainer (Diplomas and Certificates etc) Adult Education. Laurel has manager Facebook Pages for Junior Masterchef, Idol, Big Brother etc. and have consulted on private online communities for banks Westpac, not for profits UNHCR & governments in SE Asia. Lecturer, social media, University of Sydney for 10 years and Laurel has 11,000 online students. Laurel Papworth personally connects to 6 million followers online and has taught around 100,000 people in the last 10 years how to be social media managers.

2 thoughts on “Monetize: Social Media Proprietors

  1. Hi Laurel,
    I don’t actually disagree with this at all: “MSM journalists should have collaboration and views written into their KPIs”. The problem is how to manage it on a practical level when even getting many journalists to read their own or competitors’ papers is hard enough. For a long time it amazed me that no one in any newsroom I had seen up until quite recently used RSS readers. That is changing though, and perhaps your suggestion is not far from becoming reality, or “actioned” as they say in KPIspeak.

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