Marketing and Media Opportunities in Social Networking and Online Communities

I had the chance to participate in the IRTS Foundation‘s panel last night on: “Marketing and Media Opportunities in Social Networking and Online Communities”.

Other panelists:

Manon Bone, Director, Sales, Friendster Scott Heiferman, Co-Founder and CEO, MEETUP Cem Sertoglu, Co-Founder and Former CEO, SelectMinds Laurel Touby, Founder, CEO, & Cyberhostess, Moderator Jack Myers, Editor, Publisher, Jack Myers Report and

My notes:

Bone: friendster revenue is ad driven, not membership driven. heiferman: Meetup has few ads. We get money from our users: $19 per month per group. For that $, you’re buying an easy way to find others.

Touby: mediabistro is a community for media professionals. Tv, books. No one is a direct competitor to them. Now have blogs, e.g. . only word of mouth marketing. 350,000 users today. Sertoglu. Corp. Alumni like their former coworkers, even if they dislike their firm.

Teten: gave overview of social software industry structure. Myers. How get ad agencies excited about social networking?

Heiferman. we don’t want them! myers. myspace secret sparkle deodorant deal. When teen girls checked out the musicians who had signed up as brand promoters , they were invited to sign up to enter contest for new ipod. 30,000 did it. myers.

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What’s the problem if a needle company Advertises to a meetup of knitters? heiferman. 100000 people go to a meetup every month….there’s huge market potential. cem. 80 companies run formal organized communities for their alums, many of them served by SelectMinds, which is an ASP.

(DT: that’s a tiny percentage of the total market.) Teten. The future is bottom up , ‘open source’ marketing, not top down.

What if marketing materials were published with a Creative Commons license, encouraging, rather than prohibiting, derivative works? Social software facilitates the participation of the market; people communicate/market to one another, instead of receiving a top down message. E.g., george masters’ ipod ad.

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