Twitter Could Be So Much Better Than An Advertising Company
Matthew Russell stashed this in Data Mining
Advertising should always be viewed as a means to an end
Matthew - totally agree with your post, I am continually disappointed by organizations thinking that their only route to monetization is running ad's. Very unimaginative. I wrote a post on something similar http://pandawhale.com/post/22802/data-alchemy-the-art-of-turning-data-into-value
"More specifically, Twitter’s most fundamental value is in the overall collective intelligence of its user base when interpreted as an interest graph. Think of an interest graph as a mapping of people to their interests. In other words, if you follow an account on Twitter, what you’re really saying is that you’re interested in that account."
I my note, I discuss how I think that Quora has a similar value - Quora "knows who knows what about what" - and is trying to pseudo monetize via a points scheme. However even so, a startup will have taken considerable $$ investment and will eventually need to make a $$ return. The primary exchange mechanism in the world is still sales, where gaining an individual's attention is a lottery ticket to conversion to $$ revenue.
LinkedIn is the only big player that springs to mind where they are selling access to their 'professional graph' to recruiters. Perhaps Zynga too are monetizing attention by selling virtual goods. Other than that I am struggling. Do you have any better examples?
I don't have any examples off the top of my head (besides LinkedIn), but this is something I'll be thinking more about. I agree with your note to the effect that "money is what makes the world go around" and it requires attention. (I tend to be bullish on Twitter for precisely this reason - it has people's attention.) However, I really just hope that we can "evolve" past ads at some point. They're generally necessary, but wouldn't it be great to find a way to more creatively cash in on the value you create than just by pointing me to yet another big brand retailer that has something shiny that I'll want to buy (but probably don't need.) Heck, even an ad network that's more of a "long tail ad provider for mom and pop services" would be more interesting than what I mostly see every day.