Many of us in the ad industry have been debating and exploring how to monetize the online space., in particular, social media. Be it Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Digg, Tumblr, etc. how can we calculated the monetary value and return on investment of a "friend," "fan," "follower" or "connection." Can a company directly correlate the previous classifications to sales data? Does a consumer become a fan before they are a loyal consumer, or does the loyal consumer before a fan? It's a chicken and the egg situation.
Perhaps, Empire Avenue, a revolutionary online influence stock exchange combined with an advertising platform, will be the first step is figuring out this conundrum. Here's EA in a nutshell. You join and then you buy and sell virtual shares in your friends, family, or whoever catches your eye! Ideally, EA will allow individuals and organizations to convert their online influence, will connect advertisers, consumers and influencers, and will determine the value of someone's influence online. EA's goals are 1) Measure the influence value of individuals registered with Empire Avenue, 2) Give influencers control over the advertising they carry, and allow advertisers to better reach their target consumer, 3) Lead to better returns and leads for advertisers, and 4) Pay influencers the majority of advertising revenue generated.
Now, I'm intrigued. But I'm not so sure I'm intrigued enough to register and spend time on yet another social media network. Sure there might be some value or money heading my way from it, but how far down the line must I go to get there. What's my personal ROI? Also, the idea of being "bought" or "sold" but randos just doesn't sit well with me.