Monday, December 11, 2006

Online Social Networks Taken to the Next Level

I was reading about Richard Rosenblatt’s new venture in Business 2.0 and I gotta’ tell you that the concept is pure genius. Loosely translated this means that everybody and their dog are going to try to duplicate the idea within the next year. If you haven’t heard about the former CEO of MySpace’s new project, it capitalizes on the social networking phenomena to create a media company that generates content and revenue in vertically integrated streams across potentially millions of online properties.

The idea as it was explained in the Business 2.0 article is as follows:
1) Buy up all of the random URL’s that people typically type in their browser when they are trying to land on a specific site. As an example, instead of searching “free real estate flyers” many people just type in Richard’s company, Demand Media has purchased the companies that aggregate these URLs.

2) On each of these sites instead of having AdSense or Yahoo Sponsored advertisements, have actual tools to let the arbitrary visitor stop by and leave their mark. This reminds me of my childhood where we used to go hiking and carve our names into the sandstone cliffs.

3) The arbitrary visitor leaves their mark, but others can come and do the same. Each random domain is a fully functioning online social network, supported under an intuitive URL that entails the interest of the community.

4) Content that is created can be syndicated, and you really can’t get a better target market for hyperlink advertising. Thus you spread the word and increase the cash.

URL aggregators that host sponsored listings can generate thousands of dollars in revenue. In fact a few companies claim million in revenue, just from posting sponsored links in these pages. Rosenblatt’s group has been busy buying up these properties and will likely be a billion dollar industry within the next two years.

Anybody have any suggestions on how we can duplicate this program on a much smaller scale? I’m all ears…..

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