Deb's Lake Conroe Real Estate & Stuff! : The Monster that Web 2.0 Created

The Monster that Web 2.0 Created

Rainers! Please read and understand! Each dollar is precious to us right? So, what if we continued to work for free? How long would we last?

Please help support AR...


With the advent of Web 2.0, there's been a virtual proliferation of interactive social media websites offering all kinds of really cool features and tools, all for FREE!

At a time when cost containment has quite literally become a way of life and a necessary survival tactic for today's Real Estate Professional, FREE is greatly appreciated! Especially for those of us who are constantly challenged with just covering our basic monthly expenses.

Unfortunately, in this rapidly spawning multiplicity of platforms chalk full of FREE stuff, the results have bred a rather 'spoiled' attitude from among those of us who have benefited greatly from their use. And the minute any hint of monetization rears its ugly head, the masses cry 'Foul!' and start jumping ship, heading off to the next recently-launched latest and greatest Internet FREE fest!

Okay, so maybe users don't necessarily jump ship immediately, but there certainly is a considerable amount of whining and resistance to the possibility of 'charging' a fee for something, even if that 'something' is simply an upgrade or improved version of what historically has been offered for FREE. And it doesn't really matter what the actual upgrade amount is, or whether the added benefits are justified. Anything more than FREE is just too much!

Granted, our community here at ActiveRain is somewhat unique. While I would consider this to be a social network, its application and impact extends well beyond a mere social environment. If offers significant features/benefits that serve to improve or enhance our businesses as well.

Here are some of the common methods currently being implemented for creating self-sustaining revenue on social networks:

1.   Advertisement Support:   Sell advertising space on the network. This is by far the most common, unfortunately ads on most social networks don't have the best track record of click-thru rate.

2.   Subscription Fee:   Require a monthly subscription fee of ALL members. This has been effective for dating sites, but that's about it.

3.   Data Mining:   Selling off membership data to 3rd party groups. Definitely my least favorite of the bunch, and really not an option unless you tell your members up front what your plans are.

4.   Site Sponsorship:   Developing partnerships with key companies to sponsor various network events or sponsor sections of the network.

5.   Affiliate Marketing:   A cooperative venture where a social network sells/promotes another company's products/services on their network, and splits the profits with that company.

My point in all this is not to voice criticism, per se, towards those who tend to complain about monetization or charging fees for certain features. We've all been spoiled to some degree by the rampant availability of FREE stuff. Neither am I condemning those companies who have contributed in unleashing the 'spoiled' monster.

Users/members of social networks need to be reminded that the company behind each social media site is a business, and as such, needs to create and maintain a self-sustaining profit to remain solvent/operational. Otherwise, all those really cool tools and features that you've been enjoying won't be FREE anymore. They'll be GONE!

Social media companies, on the other hand, need to create viable revenue streams that offer reasonable ROI on member investment, and justifies the fees being charged.

If social networks are to successfully survive and grow in today's challenging economy, there needs to be a better recognition/understanding of the truly cooperative/collaborative relationship that is exists between the network management and its vested members.

The first tenet of the ActiveRain Weltanschauung is this:

"We understand that the value of the ActiveRain community rests entirely with its members."


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Comment balloon 3 commentsDeb Brooks • January 13 2009 02:24PM


Deb, Thanks for posting this. With all I've been doing the past few days, I missed this entirely. BTW, thanks so much for your supportive comments. I'll be back to see ya!


Posted by Debi Boucher, "Realtor Showcase" - Real Estate Photography/Virtual Tours ( Real Estate Showcase Photography) about 11 years ago

Deb, I am going to go over and give Rich support for this post too. This is so true. I see it all the time when people complain about AR charging for anything like they committed some grievous sin. How do people think businesses stay in business if there is no monetization of any kind.

I have had people complain about me and unscrubscribe because I am an affiliate of Iclipart and make like $5 to $9 for anyone using my link to buy the clip art!  I was just blown away, a meezly cup of coffee I could buy with that.

I being the capitalist that I am, love it when I see monetization models. I support all the businesses that support me. If you can think of a way to monetize, more power to you. I was thinking I should put a donation box on my side bar for all the coaching posts I write:)

Posted by Katerina Gasset, Get It Done For Me Virtual Services (Get It Done For Me Virtual Services ) about 11 years ago

Hi Deb...I am very appreciative that Active Rain is providing mutually beneficial ways for us to support it while promoting ourselves.  I have an individual blog and am a community sponsor (a number of communities).

We know the value here.  Lucky us.  Thanks for re-blogging.


Posted by Kate Elim, Realtor 540-226-1964, Selling Homes & Land a (Dockside Realty) about 11 years ago