Update: Please note that, following a few questions, a precision has been added: the word “marketplace” has been replaced with “peer to peer marketplace”. #
Media is the connective tissue of society.
Cognitive Surplus #
An alternative business model for news is not a mystery. #
I have been looking for it for fifteen years and all this time it was like the proverbial elephant, smack in the middle of the room. #
So I have taken the Grand Tour and come up with my observation of what I call the Welcome System, which can be summarized in one sentence: #
A platform where people can have content exchanges and commerce exchanges. #
A Welcome platform manages exchanges of content (conversations) and exchanges of goods and services (peer to peer marketplace). #
So the basic result is very, very simple and has been known for a long time: the basic model of content exchange between people on the Web is a conversation; the basic model of commerce exchange between people on the Web is a peer to peer marketplace. #
This is exactly what the Welcome System describes. #
“A marketplace is the space, actual, virtual or metaphorical, where goods and services are exchanged.”
From farmers markets to stock markets, from eBay to craigslist to Etsy and countless others, there is nothing exotic or strange about peer to peer marketplaces, in real life or on the Web. #
The business model of these peer to peer marketplaces is pretty standard: selling or renting space, taking a fee and/or a percentage on transactions, selling services that lead to transactions. #
It is not as if nobody had seen it coming. In fact, the best minds of the Web have been describing it for years: #
Newspapers are in the business of helping other businesses sell their goods/services.
What I’ll be telling journalists in Minnesota #
Media companies are becoming in part, retailers. Does it make sense to put a toll booth at the door to your store to keep people out? Once you have a lasting relationship, there are more ways to serve customers and make money.
The danger of the wall #
When I talk about direct sales, I am not talking about selling what our company produces. I am talking about brokering sales for our business customers: Instead of selling them eyeballs, we help them sell their products, which is what they really want.
Robert Niles says there is no new revenue model for journalism; I disagree #
And the way it makes money need not be in click-throughs on intrusive ads. That’s the old business model. The new model may well be sharing transaction revenues on all kinds of online commerce, for example.
Steve Lohr nytimes
Siri and Apple’s Future #
And there is no doubt that transactions offer a big opportunity. #
Consider for a minute how gargantuan the social shopping/merchandising market opportunity is: the current US retail market (excluding home and automotive) is around $4+ TRILLION/year and is supported by $150+ billion in advertising, the bulk of which still goes to TV for immersive, emotionally impactful ads. #
Capturing the proverbial 1% of that total market would represent over $40 billion/year in transactions which is huge! #
So, clearly, whomever figures out how to get paid to unlock socially-driven product discovery and merchandising is going to make an astounding amount of money and have a huge impact on net culture. #
Gordon Gould via Simon Simeonov
Social Commerce Goes Mainstream #
are the underlying parameters that allow such a platform to work. #
A Welcome platform has to have a system for managing the exchanges of goods and services between our members: a Commerce Management System which, of course, must include a payment system. Such a system must allow members to make transactions between each other and must allow the platform to deduct a percentage or a fee for each of these transactions. #
We’ll see that there are many other ways to monetize the services of a community with its members. But a Commerce Management System is as necessary as a Content Management System (CMS) is for hosting conversations. #
So what went wrong? What has been hiding the “elephant” from our view? #
I think it’s “mass”. “Mass” is the audience of news media and marketing. So, all of us who come from the news media and marketing world see the Web from a “mass” perspective. We have a tendency to want to attach everything that we discover on the Web to our “mass” system. #
But “communities” and “peer to peer marketplaces” work on an individual basis. There is no mass: there may be a lot of people, but they are all there one by one, each of his own volition, each for their own reasons, with his own personality, and with his own degree or mode of participation. There is no mass. At all. #
So, back to square one: we have to build new systems from scratch to host exchanges between people; we have to adapt the community mechanism to the task of gathering news; we have to adapt the peer to peer marketplace mechanism to commercial exchanges between our members. #
Sure, we have to experiment. But now we know exactly what to experiment with: communities and peer to peer marketplaces. #