Conversation Agent - Valeria Maltoni - So You Want to Make Money While You Make Friends

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Delighted to have you here and thank you for sharing the link to Wired. That was a thought-provoking article.

"Once you've made the decision to go free, if you didn't think of how to monetize what you're doing beforehand, you're going to struggle to introduce successful ways of doing so later." You are exactly right.

I do wonder about Facebook. Wrote a couple of posts on it, too. If they were not planning, why are the legal notices and privacy notices so unfavorable to members? They *know* people don't take the time to read them. Yes, in that specific case I do wonder.

I am pleased that LinkedIn has an economic plan attached to it. It gives me and other professionals options to scale up. And that is preferable to having to opt out.

Carolyn Ann,

Of course the friend thing was not literal, or we're all looking for love in the wrong places : ) I know you get that.

And believe it or not, I knew what a bob was. Too many British movies? I love that humor. Apparently the Mr. Bean character is in reality a quite soft spoken gentleman of a brilliance unequaled.

I wrote a post not long ago about working with friends - you've got to define things really well, or the friendship goes.

Good thoughts. Thanks for sharing your experiences around this topic that has really bubbled up recently. ( and PSFK as mentioned and ...)

WIRED has an interesting article on this as well (to promote their editor in chief's new book, nonetheless):

I agree that cheap equals low value perceptions, but I wouldn't equate free with low value.

With free, you may get skepticism (what are they going to try to squeeze money out of me for with this?), but the value is tied to the content matter/utility/etc. with free, not the lack of cost.

I think the point you were trying to make though was in how to decide which way to go - free vs. paid - and then once you've made that decision, how to maximize the revenue opportunities associated with it.

This is a fine line to walk most certainly. Once you've made the decision to go free, if you didn't think of how to monetize what you're doing beforehand, you're going to struggle to introduce successful ways of doing so later.

In saying that, I think I would flip your statement, "you need to make friends as you plan to make money," around. You need to plan for how to make money before you make "friends."

I think this is what is proving to be quite the challenge facing YouTube, MySpace and Facebook. I don't believe any of them were built with an idea of how to make money as much as they were made to just help people with common interests and/or associations connect. They may have hoped to turn these ideas/sites/communities into money makers, but I don't see anything that makes me believe they had a plan for how to do so from the start.

Now as they test different ways to do this, they're upsetting various members of their communities and risk having those members disperse to places where their experience is consistent and they don't feel like they're being used or interrupted.

Anyway... a very timely post. Good stuff.

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