“Monetizing” Social Networking
March 13, 2010
Of late, there has been some noise in the socialsphere about how some have created real, paying businesses out of their involvement in social media.
Unless you live in a basement on a permanent inheritance stipend, you have to think about paying the bills. Making money. Using your abilities to build something that adds value and creates income. I suspect that would include…most of us.
I don’t see social networking, for all of its (wonderful) leveling of the playing field and ability to give free voice to anyone, as something fundamentally different from the rest of life. If you’re going to use your abilities to create value, at some point, that becomes a value worth paying for. And if people choose to pay for that value because it fills a need, well, that’s what life and business have always been about.
A browser and WordPress and widgets and 140-characters don’t change that basic dynamic.
My current business is to build and use networks to add obvious value – there’s a layer of it that is specific and paid, and there’s a layer that is “promiscuous” and free. All of it is geared toward creating win-win situations and long-term value for all involved. Chris Brogan and others do fundamentally the same thing, with different areas of application and approach.
Is that any different from many other businesses? In one respect, it is: most other traditional businesses monetize based on specific transactions only, and don’t offer a bunch of value for free. There should be even less whining in this space when people succeed by being generous to so many others.
If you’re uptight about people making money in this arena by honestly working hard and adding value, then get over it. It’s life. At least, it’s life outside the basement…!
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