Social Networking: Working well for Top Networkers

With the recent news of top Digg users being offered cash to switch to competing site, looks like many of the successful online networkers have woken up to realise the huge monetary potential hidden in their network.

Geekforlife, a successful digger (submitted 748 Digg stories, 39 of which have made it to the Digg home page), has put his profile for sale in eBay.
Within few hours, the auction has received 27 bids (current value being $325).

In another instance, Unilever hooked up with a Myspace user to promote its deodorant Axe.

Christine Dolce, who goes by the alias
ForBiddeN, boasts around 900,000 Myspace “friends” in her network.

The bleached, buxomed, and marketing savvy cosmetician is hosting a game show called “Gamekillers” – based around dating tips, which obviously revolves around the Axe brand.
So far,
75,000 have already signed up for it!!

This is definitely a good news for networkers – since companies/brands are ready to pay for their strong network;

And companies too are piggybacking on these user’s networks (considering the demand/supply equation in online advertising, this is one of the easiest and cheapest ways to promote one’s brand)

But the basic question remains unanswered :: Is this the future of social networks? What started as a free and unbiased movement is being exploited for commercial purpose.

Especially in the internet world, where one isn’t too sure about who their *online* friends are/their intentions etc, such a commercial aspect would be detrimental to the very foundation of trust, these social networks are made up of.

Also, it would be interesting to watch how these social networking sites will react to somebody using their platform to make money? Will they promote such deals/ask for a share? Or simply snap-off these profiles?

Only time will tell.

Related: Online Advertising – Demand Supply Equation

Filed Under: Social networking, digg myspace profile

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