Social Networks: Still Value to be Had

Posted on June 15, 2007

Yes, you read right. This is a post on social networking. Wait! Don’t move on to the next post yet. I’ll admit that I have become numb to the whole social networking scene too (with the exception of my recent obsession with Facebook). There is no doubt that noise permeates the space these days. However, I’ve recently met a few folks who have shown me that there is still a lot of interesting things to be done on the social networking front.

The thing that has sparked my interest is high value niche social networks.

I find those types of networks interesting because there are a lot of creative ways to monetize them beyond ads. I like ads as much as the next guy but I think that social networks shouldn’t rely on ad models alone.

I won’t go into any business models that I have heard of recently just in case they weren’t intended to be shared but suffice it to say there were some really interesting ones.

Most of the business models centered around high value people and information. Since the group of people participating in a high value niche social network are part of a specific niche (woah - master of the obvious there) and presumably have a lot of value to add within that niche to others who are on the outside (i.e. stock market analysts, industry analysts, etc.) one could charge the outsiders for access to that information. Combine that approach with advertising (that will fetch a high CPM due to its targeted nature) and you’ve possibly got a good business on your hands and one you can replicate across other niches.

Of course you’ll have to be careful with regards to the access you give outsiders. Not only that but you’ll really need to be very open and honest with the userbase. It’s the ethical thing to do and the users with appreciate the openness. Sure, some may not come on board but most probably will since they’ll see the benefits of being able to talk to other high value folks within their niche about issues theya re facing and how to solve them.

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1 Comment so far
  1. George July 4, 2007 6:26 pm

    I think you should really check out our site. Its a social networking website based around events. The catch is this site is for everyone. Check it out.