Reuters ran a thorough expose on the social networking phenom, citing the inclusion of superstars like 50 Cent who have created their own networks via Ning. Even though artists maintain healthy followings via Myspace and Facebook, they don’t have access to the most vital aspect of their following, the fans email. With sensitive data like email and demographics, a social networking site can then be monetized by commercializing access to advertisers.
Identified as “next-generation” fan and web sites, social networks are becoming hubs where artists can not only have an intimate connection with their fanbase but they can also directly market to them, effectively excluding the middleman. Now portals such as Facebook and Myspace are looked at as “funnels” which help strengthen the membership on personalized social networks, like the Ning supported Thisis50.
Gina Bianchini, CEO of Ning summed it up best when she said, “They take and use services where they don’t know the users, don’t have access and don’t have full control, and funnel those fans to something they do control.”
Ludacris, the Pussycat Dolls and Ice Cube are cited as artist that have jumped on the bandwagon early and cemented their spots in the blossoming social network field. Ice Cube’s venture, UVNTV is a slightly different service, that allows its members to host their own TV channel. That service, which includes Snoop and Cube amongst its content providers, will be up and running by January 2009. CLICK HERE to read this informative piece on why social networking is the wave of the future. Get familiar, knowledge is power!