We have been getting familiar with the concept of social/viral networking sites from a ‘use of traffic’ or monetization point of view. We wanted to do this anyway, but the trends dictated that as a traffic management/ad sales company we had no choice if we wanted to be current and competitive. The combination of circumstances had made the process of new learning much fun.
Social networking and viral marketing sites, such as PornoTube.com and XTube.com (whom we do work with, for the record), as well as all of the hundreds of smaller sites entering into this market segment represent an interesting shift in the balance of power, as far as ‘who controls the traffic’ questions are concerned. Within a short number of months and years, the aggregated control of targeted traffic (from the point of view of traffic buyers and sellers) will shift from a handful of large sites and networks to thousands of these networking sites, inclusive of blogs, where many more individuals and companies will benefit from the value of targeted traffic than so far throughout Internet advertising history.
Personally, I find this exciting news. Beyond the fact that my work has me in the middle of all this, on a higher level, control or ownership of traffic resources by more parties can only help us all. Part of the reasoning is that many of these blogs, social networking and content sharing sites will be operated in such a way that the traffic can be priced on a fair market basis, rather than being driven exclusively by large companies, including those listed on various stock exchanges.
Further, the operators of many of these sites, especially blogs will be moderate to extreme ‘experts’ in their respective areas of interest, hobbies, professional disciplines, etc. That means that these sites will carry enough compelling content as determined by people with passion for their knowledge areas to ensure that traffic quality from repeat visitors will be superb, in terms of both loyalty to the sites, as well as profitable for merchants and marketers who have products and services that are a solid match up to the content and users on each of the sites.
The opportunities we’re talking about are huge in scale, even by some of the high traffic standards already in place on the adult side of the Internet. Opportunity costs to create some forms of social/peer networking sites such as blogs will be moderate enough to allow many people to get into the targeted traffic business. Best of success to all who jump into the fray! It will be a wild ride.