Pushing the Envelope on Online Social Networks

GigaOm has an article on how “uncontrollable” user-generated content on individual profile pages might be monetized. This was spurred by FIM’s Ross Levinsohn on how MySpace intends to make its network more palatable to advertisers conscious about the unsavory content eroding their brand equity.

Ross:

“More mainstream marketing on MySpace will be kept to the “well-lit” areas of the site, like the Books, Comedy, Film, and Games sections rather than on individual profile pages, which have less strict content controls–something many advertisers have expressed concerns about.” “We want to make it easier for marketers to work with us,” Levinsohn said.

Obviously, many issues arose as this train of thought runs counter to what Robert Young, the writer of the article, calls the “government-citizen dilemma”, or rather the “social” responsibility of the corporate behemoth NewsCorp has in buying the online society of MySpace “netizens”. Hmm, really interesting analogy, i never thought of it that way but seems rather apt.

“In many ways, social networks today, at their current stage of evolution, are much like the currencies of underdeveloped nations… or countries that are politically unstable. In such circumstances, governments must do all they can to create and engender trust among its nation’s constituents and institutions. After all, what is money without the people’s trust… it’s just a devalued piece of worthless paper.”

Guy Kawasaki has more recommendations on must-reads for the topic of social networks here, here and here.

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