A typical shopping mall today has a variety of shops (some more popular than others). These shops are not inherently different from one another, in essence everyone has one objective “Make themselves more and more popular, sell more and more stuff and pay rent/profit share to the mall owner”). Now even malls can be Specific e.g. GoldSouk (focused just around selling jewellery) or Generic e.g Citywalk (Ones that should have a Movie theater, Book bazaar and Nike store at a minimum). At most, even the biggest mall would have provision to accommodate only a few hundred shops.
Now think of a social network like “MySpace” or “LinkedIn” or “LinkNSurf”. Could these be the biggest digital marketplace of all times? You host your stores to:
- Sell your videos (think movie theatres). Again some stores are more popular than others so maybe the CNN hosting videos is popular than your user generated one but you can make a lot of money by posting a cool user generated video
- Give expert answers (think consultants), so you as a wireless expert can answer people’s queries and get paid for it.
- Resell popular music, videos, art, furniture and what not (think Best Buy). The more popular your profile is the more people visit your store and buy more.
- Even Google Ads on your profile should pay you cos you are making more money for the social network than a person who barely opens his account.
This is just a small food for thought, maybe there are a dozen different possibilities of how creatively you can utilize your profile (a.k.a shops) to sell stuff like e-cards, ringtones, class notes, etc… the possibilities are endless and the proposition is simple “You make money and hence your hosting social network makes money”.
So what do you think, by catering to the long tail of people ready to sell stuff will social network be the biggest marketplace (or in a more polished language the mother of all marketplaces) ever known to us?