Shaking the Money Tree

Jeremiah Owyang moderated a great panel last night at the MIT-Stanford Venture Lab. The word of the evening was monetization as applied to multiplatform social networks. Specifically, opportunities for developers within Facebook’s F8 and Google’s Open Social API. The panelists included:

Jia Shen – Rock You CTO and Co-Founder

Sourabh Niyogi – Social Media VP of Engineering and Co-Founder

Steve Cohen – Bebo Head of Platform

Ken Gullicksen – Morgenthaler Ventures, Managing Director

Jeremiah stirred things up with his opening remarks. He observed that this space is difficult to monetize and offered this supporting fact, MySpace ad clickrates are just 25% of the clickrate of website ads. Clearly, when kids hang out in MySpace, they are not thinking about shopping. This grim statistic hasn’t dampened the enthusiasm of marketers who are desperately trying to follow the eyeballs as they spend more and more time away from traditional media. 

Jia Shen offered up some Rock You stats to counter the argument that advertising chases the cool kids away. He asserted that Rock You widgets are on 18% of MySpace profiles and 60% of Facebook profiles. He also said that Rock You widgets attract 1.5 billion page views per month.


Sourabh Niyogi of Social Media has some interesting insights based on their social media advertising platform. He claims that applications on Facebook are seven times more viral than MySpace. He also claims that it took them less than a day to port a Facebook app to Bebo but it took 5 days to port the same app to Open Social.

Kevin Marks made Google’s Open Social seem very straightforward. Open Social accomplishes three things:

1. It allows access to the people and friends in your social graph

2. It manages data persistence

3. It manages user activity streams

Open social is currently in .7 developer release. Many developers are using Shindig, an open source Open Social project to cut their teeth on the development environment.

Finally, Ken Gullicksen, a venture capitalist expressed faith in the future. He believes that there is so much demand from advertisers to follow their audience to online venues that monetization is inevitable. Capturing eyeballs is still the name of the game. “Before you find a business model, find a pleasure model…”


One Response to “Shaking the Money Tree”

  1. Payroll Solutions Says:

    Usually I dont make comments on blogs, but I would like to mention that this post really forced me to do so. Really nice post!

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