I recently attended a wonderful talk by Bernardo Huberman, HP Senior Fellow and Director of the Information Dynamics Lab and was struck by his work in social network. For more information, his Web site is within HP labs.
Some firm (outside of Cisco) will find a way monetize this network activity, until then the successful revenue model is still up for grabs. It’s no news that advertising is cyclic. Check the history of the broadcast networks. For advertisers the youth demographic of MySpace and Facebook is a chimera, of consumer gizmos and beer. Their value is smoke and not sustainable. For example, paying for downloading music trends dramatically towards hits and not albums. Great for Peter Frampton, not so Madeleine Peyroux.
The money is with the aging boomers who buy cars, vacations, weddings, second homes, medical care and financial services. The Holy Grail is getting them into a captive network. Maybe the place to start is My Golden Retriever dot Net or the long tail of Rolling Stone subscriptions.