Still at the Innovative Marketing Conference, three leaders in the space were asked where the money is in consumer-generated media.
Here's how they responded:
Chris Tolles, Topix.net: "In the past year, all the new sites that have broken the top 20 site list have been user generated content. I think it costs a million dollars now to be on the home page of MySpace, which nobody looks at."
Craig Newmark, Craigslist: "There's spinvertising and the occasional scam. In New York we're going to charge the apartment brokers because they asked us to. The more ethical ones think it will discourage the less ethical ones. You give people who are advertising the chance to be more right and more ethical, the chance is they're going to take it. In the future, marketing might be more branding, then participating in public discussions to get the message to the consumer. And countering disinformation on discussion boards. Just make it discrete, please, otherwise I'll have to go ahead and delete all your comments."
John Hiler, Xanga: "We're managing communities of people who live on our sites. It's a lot easier to be a CEO than to be mayor. You have to manage your approval ratings or you're not going to be reelected. How can I make my site, my brand a better community? How can I build trust and all those things? I think less about the corporate things than about serving my community. And the money will take care of itself."