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dimanche, août 10, 2008

Social Networking Is Not a Business

Dans le dernier numéro du magazine du MIT Technology Review, un article intéressant sur comment tirer profit de la manne des réseaux sociaux. MySpace, Facebook et autres se demandent encore comment générer des $$$ avec la kyrielle d'utilisateurs qui naviguent sur leurs sites chaque jour? Réponse : c'est pas aussi simple qu'il y en a l'air. Une des raisons étant que les utilisateurs de ces sites viennent pour discuter avec leurs amis et non pour acheter, il en résulte qu'ils tendent à ignorer superbement les publicités que leur servent des algorithmes compliqués. Si l'on ajoute à cela une certaine susceptibilité (rappelez vous du lancement en grande pompe du programme Beacon sur Facebooks et du tollé qui s'en est suivi) sur les questions qui concernent la vie privée et l'utilisation (entendez la divulgation moyennant finances) par des sociétés tierces de nos préférences vous avez l'équation à plusieurs inconnues devant vous.

Web 2.0--the dream of the user-built, user-centered, user-run Internet--has delivered on just about every promise except profit. Will its most prominent example, social networking, ever make any money?

Extrait choisis

Social networking is the fastest-growing activity on Web 2.0--the shorthand term for the new user-centered Internet, where everyone publicly modifies everyone else's work, whether it's an encyclopedia entry or a photo album. The growth of social networking is astonishing, and it has spread to sites of all sizes, which are increasingly intertwined as platforms open. [...] The problems with social-network advertising revolve around three main issues: attention, privacy, and content.

Advertising on Google works because visitors come to Google looking for specific information. If a user who types "scooter" in the site's search field is hoping to buy a scooter, the keyword ads that appear at the right of the search results can be more useful than the results themselves. In social networks, on the other hand, users show up to find friends; ads are, at best, irrele­vant to that goal. The click-through rates on social-­networking sites bear this out. While around 2 percent of Google users actually click on a given ad (and the number is much higher when users are conducting searches for purchasing reasons), fewer than .04 percent of Facebook users do, according to a media buyer's report obtained last year by the Silicon Valley blog Valleywag.

Targeting is at the core of traditional advertising; [...] in the case of social-networking sites, targeting means sifting through the data in your profile to get an idea of what you're interested in. Social networks know more about you, your preferences, and your behavior than most businesses, and profiles are generally considered, in the words of former Fox Interactive Media executive Ross Levinsohn, "digital gold." Mining that gold is the best way for a social-networking site to make money--but, given users' attitudes toward privacy, the trickiest.


Une "petite" lecture conseillée à tous les wannabe rich de la nouvelle bulle et autres aficionados des réseaux sociaux.