I have been noticing more and more articles discussing the ever draining topic of how to monetize a social networking website.
Depending on the business model, the nature of the sites’ functionality, and the market through it hopes to financially succeed, a social capable site can monetize in multiple ways. I have many great ideas on how to do so, but that is not the purpose of this article.
No, the purpose of this article is to address web users and their expectations of the web. Like in any other business median, consumers expect a lot for a little. But more and more, consumers are expecting so much for absolutely nothing! What’s with that?
I don’t know of any doctors, lawyers, consultants, pilots, mechanics, etc that give their services away for free, so why is this the expectation of web based companies? Why can companies that produce a business model that is only sustainable by charging for their legitimate services frowned upon when it comes to the web?
Is it because the business is virtual and therefore perceived as less tangible and subsequently worthless?
Or is it because you know that eventually you will find a company that provides the same service or product you desire at zero cost (despite the lack of customer service or quality of product)?
How have Web 2.0 websites lost their value?
Why are they forced to get creative when looking to make a profit?
Why do people not frown upon bars making 500% profit on liquor and jewelers making 1000% on jewelry, but, for example, opening up new marketing portals by which you can expand and take your business to new heights is so undervalued by the exceedingly growing opinionated web market?
To save myself from becoming too heated on a topic I am so opinionated on, I will end with this:
If you see value enough in a product to use it, then you should pay for it.
Get off your wallets web users, because eventually web entrepreneurs are going to run out of VC funding. And when that well runs dry, you will certainly miss all of the Web 2.0 functionalities that have made your life so easy, fun and exciting.