EDIT: last paragraph – built in modules in Pligg to give back money to citizen journalists (people who submit articles) for Pligg sites like Bloggerati and Kwoff.
Quite a lot was written in the late nineties about importance of giving your social network members a way to get some extra cash themselves. Or revenue share with you. It builds loyalty and traction for the community. Handing over a million dollars is one way of gaining members, but enabling members to buy and sell, or take a clip of advertising, or auction or something else will keep the members. It should become a nice little earner for both you and them which builds goodwill. Because, of course, it’s hard to complain about how “monetized” a site has become if the community are participating in it. Ask Sitepoint Marketplace. I love that site. It’s like eBay addiction has caught up with me – but I buy websites and speculate on domain names, not webkinz and last season’s Prada. I still have ZERO clue what I am going to do with the “Facebook style social network” which I popped up at socialnetwork.com.au. If you have a social network around a subject that people are passionate about – and let’s face it, that’s most of the niche online communities – find a way for that subject matter to generate revenue for both you and your network! Worse comes to worse stick a subforum for classifieds – that way they can at least trade amongst themselves. Their trusted selves I mean.

Google AdSense revolutionised advertising by allowing the consumer – a social network member – to be the distribution channel for the advertising. No longer did you have to be a big portal or sign up with a banner ad company, now you could have ads directed to your little blog that were relevant to your blog’s subject matter. Affiliate programs are awesome. Widgets and gadgets allow bloggers and community hosts to take distribute your marketing. Awesome.

YouTube InVideo Ads (premium only)

Drive engagement and awareness with targeted placements within premium YouTube partners’ video content. (ie. not your crap)

Which is why it’s a bit of a surprise that there is no affiliate program for advertising in YouTube (Advertising). If YouTube wants to monetize viewed content, and they are embedding ads in premium videos, why not embed them in members videos that sign up and have an adsense account? It’s a genuine question. One answer that makes sense is that Google scrapes your site then delivers ads relevant to subject matter. So there is less likelihood of a porn ad on a kids site and a diaper ad on a porn site. But I don’t know, I thought Google/YouTube/Adsense were clever at that sort of thing…

And for me, the consumer, if I know that good quality vidcasts and my clever videos might earn me a few dollars, wouldn’t I increase the ‘quality’ (or at least the appeal to my target audience)?

Tip: if you want to monetize user generated content, let the creator/member share the revenue, and they will find ways of selling their social media for you!

I thought I blogged about MetaCafe Producer Awards before? I can’t find the blog post but then again, Google Blogspot search goes ga-ga sometimes. Ah well, here goes:
User creates video, user uploads video, user gets income per 20,000 views. Host gains income from advertising and sponsorship. Win-win-win. There’s even the added benefit that the community minds less about the advertising when the revenue is going to their mates. (Watch out for ‘gaming’ the system). Think of Current.TV (the Al Gore User Generated Content TV station) and the money they pay members for the ads.

I predict the next really big social networks will make sure their members can earn revenue. MySpace is the Social Network 1.0 – marketing driven, closed in. Social Network 2.0 will be open and affiliate and online community revenue driven. Facebook is heading in that direction. Second Life is well down that road. If you think I am being naive remember the generation we are talking about – Gen Y – and the strange mashup of materialism and ideals that exists in their bright goofy souls. God bless their little cotton socks. 🙂

There was something else I wanted to add, but I can’t remember right now. Watch for an Edit later. After my afternoon nanna nap probably. 😛

EDIT: oh yes, I remember, Pligg which Bloggerati Australia runs on, bloggerati.com.au has a Google Adsense Revenue model. This means that if you – say, Meg or Steve, – put your Adsense id in your profile, and then everytime you submit a news link on Bloggerati Australia, the ad that appears next to your submission is your revenue. I, as the hostess with the mostess, can specify in the settings whether your adsense appears 50% of the time or 100% of the time next to the link information. I’ve enabled it – put your id under your profile – but I need to place the ads somewhere. Gimme a little while…

(I spelt it monetize cos I got sick of the spelling checker in Blogger putting wavy red lines under monetise. Sheesh, there it goes again!)