Feb 4, 2007

[Web] Revenue Sharing Communities

myLotA friend of mine recently sent me an invitation for a revenue sharing community called myLot. Now I'm generally not one for social networks these days - long have I turned my back on sites like Friendster, but I was curious to see how it proposed to generate revenue for the users so I'm currently experimenting with how viable the site is.

As far as I can tell, the site derives income primarily from Google AdSense ads littered around the site. I get this feeling they're generating more income from sheer number of page impressions as opposed to click-throughs. Strangely enough, the site uses Yahoo! Search as its default engine.

We know that Google will start sharing revenue with YouTube users soon, which ultimately begs the question is this is really the direction everyone needs to go. I mean think about it, do advertisers really get the most bang for their buck by allowing their ads to be posted in this manner.

While placing the ads in more and more web services for larger and larger user bases helps create more ad impressions from a gross perspective, but will this really result in what advertisers really need - people to actually click on these links and considering signing up for the services being offered. As people become more and more internet savvy, they're also beginning to work around the web advertising system. I have to admit I consciously avoid clicking on sponsored links and search results and I got the extra mile by using the Firefox extension Adblock Plus to ensure no ads are displayed at all while I surf the web.

So can sites like myLot really guarantee continuous income for its growing user base? The site claims to rely on a system to determine "quality" posts and responses to assign revenue and somehow I get this feeling it's more about how many ad modules you hover over in order to generate more page impressions. I dunno - how does one automate something like that? If there is human intervention, that would require a large number of screeners, which in turn means more overhead costs and less net income for the company behind the site.

Perhaps myLot is a bad example of a revenue sharing site, but you get my drift. It was one thing to position ads on webpages that generate consistent content in terms of its quality - it seems another thing entirely to have ads on forums that do nothing but ask the same survey and meme questions over and over again along with talking amongst themselves about the next bit revenue sharing site or how to better utilize their ads for more income.

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