MyLikes.com: The Holy Grail of Social Media Monetization

  1. Yes it is advertising, which is a chance to leverage your social media presences into real money, but it encourages authenticity, because if you are not authentic you know that the value of your influence, your legitimacy, will go down, thus your earning potential, not to mention the value of your reputation, which on social media networks is the most valuable thing you can have, will go down too.
  2. It’s FUN. Even if there were no money involved, I would love this site. It’s fun to play with. Much in the same vein as GDGT.com, where geeks enjoy being social about their “gadgets,” this site encourages you to be social with EVERYTHING in your life that you “like” or maybe even love. It’s fun to play around with this site. They have contests, in which you can leverage your likes of things that you may not be able to sponsor. The whole site just feels like one big party. And its “non-guilty” fun, because it seems to be sprinkled, or maybe I should say “doused,” which ethical juice. There’s a special, ethical, Googley, feel to it, that one only seems to feel from engineer types, which I believe the founders of this company are. I know that they are ex-Googlers, and ex-Googlers just seem to have this ethical ambience driven in their DNA. It’s the same kind of ethical, transparency I feel from Leo Laporte and the guys who founded FriendFeed, who were also ex-Googlers.
  3. It’s inclusive. Ad.ly, for instance only seems to be interested in the stars. I signed up with them months ago and haven’t even heard a peep from them. In contrast, one of the founders of Mylikes.com, Bindu Reddy, personally invited me to the service, thanked me for joining, answered all my questions personally, and this was after we had established an internet “relationship” pinging or having many “real” conversations about subjects we were both interested in. She’s real. Mylikes encourages the “little” guy to get involved. Sure they may only earn a buck here or there, but its fun even without the money. The money, though, as little as it may be at first, encourages the enthusiast to be even more socially active, if they are so inclined, and to even increase their social media reputation by enabling them to follow and add to the conversation of things they are really interested in.
  4. In short Mylikes, enables people to leverage their own interests, which energizes their social media presence, encouraging them to be more active. And active in a way that provides more value to the network. In other words, it enables folks to monetize their integrity and reputation and the interest and energy they put into their social networks. To me this is nothing less than a perfect formula to increase of value of the network itself, and the individual who is participating in it, who, in essence, is the real value of the network.
  5. I just wrote to someone on Twitter about Mylikes, “I think they have hit the sweet spot of monetizing one’s social media presence without sacrificing integrity.” But when I think about it, it’s really a way of monetizing one’s social media presence and increasing one’s integrity and reputation. To me that’s the ultimate synergy in the Social Media world.
  6. It makes Advertising social. The ad unit has my own personal commentary about why I am endorsing and recommending the service or product. People who visit my site and see the ad can also “like” the ad, in a Digg sort of way, and they can also comment on the ad themselves, which brings the ad to life and makes it more warm and personal. Compare that to Adsense, where you don’t choose the ad, which itself might be distasteful to you, and which you’ve probably never even heard of, much less actually used and enjoyed the product.
  7. You know what may be the most fascinating feature of Mylikes to me? Unlike Yelp, Twitter, Facebook, Foursquare, and all the hundreds of other Social Media sites, their monetization model is interested in you, the user’s monetization model. All last year people fascinated how would Twitter monetize, how would Facebook? Thousands of people spent countless hours trying to solve this puzzle for a company that they had no equity in! Fascinating. I did it too. I thought about it at nights, and when I thought I had a brilliant answer I would @ reply @ev my brilliant idea! Can you believe that? All these minds at work worried about how @ev, already a millionaire many times over would make money! Twitter and Facebook don’t give a hoot about you making money, but they do give a hoot about you creating content for their site. Sure you get the value of their network, but after time, that starts getting a little old. Mylikes is a Social Network that is interested in You benefiting monetarily from the efforts you put into, not only theirs, but the other social networks you are contributing to. That is the killer app to me. Energize the user base with something more than just “features.” Energize them with an actual monetary gain from the sincere efforts they put into it. Money is “life energy” as @DeepakChopra calls it. To actually “earn” it through providing value is not greed. It’s freedom. And that quest for freedom doesn’t cause people to do bad things. It encourages them to do good things and to add more value. Mylikes is building a platform that marries user activity on their Social Network with monetary reward along with fun. This is a huge paradigm shift in the world of advertising and the world of individuals and the particular talents they bring to the table. The paradigm of the internet is the empowering the voice of the individual. The other social networks are focused on the “masses” and how many “uniques” they can grow each month. They think little of the uniqueness of the particular individual. Mylikes is highlighting the individual, with the particular tool it is providing, and thus leveraging the strength and the core paradigm of the communications revolution itself,  which is in the accentuating the value of the individual’s unique experience.

Here is a video interview Robert Scoble did with Bindu Reddy, Co-Founder of Mylikes, back in November of 2009, where they discuss many fascinating ideas about Social Media advertising, and ads in Tweets in particular:

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