I'm a huge fan of the community-enabled business model (Skype, MySpace, Facebook, etc). That said, here's an interesting article on MySpace
from the good folks at Techdirt
. According to the article MySpace will generate $30-40MM in revenues, with approximately 28MM users. That equates to $1-1.30 per user per year (that's actually fairly similar to Skype currently with $60MM revs/55MM users). Doesn't leave much room for marketing for user acquisition (maybe offer a whole can of Coke per user) and emphasizes how critical guerrilla and viral marketing is to the business model.
Great example of this is the SimplyFired
site (Alexa rank 55K) that manages to generate some great community-created content for our friends at SimplyHired
(6,813). Consumer marketing has always been a massive cost for companies (Google Ads anyone? How about a SuperBowl commercial?). What better way to acquire target customers then by engaging them as a community via a niche wiki/blog, have them build content and then invite their personal network to read the content they just created? (and oh by the way, here's a related service for you to use/buy) Developer focused on consumers should take advantage of VGCCEcM! (btw, do a search on "lockness monster" on www.msn.com
and look at the bottom of the first result page. VGCCEcM works! ;))