Should Flickr (And Lots of Other Web 2.0 Sites) Pay You?

Posted by: Rob Hof on October 27, 2005

37Signals’ Jason Fried riffs off a post by SixApart’s Anil Dash, asking whether Flickr shouldn’t be sharing some of the ad revenue it gets. The photo-sharing site, now owned by Yahoo!, runs Google ads with the photos people post—and it just added the ability to print them, too. Jason wonders if, before long, the people who contribute to Flickr will come to believe they should share in the monetary spoils, not just get free hosting of their photos and maybe a little social capital.

At first, I thought, well, aren’t users getting a pretty good deal just by getting to use a free service? I mean, whether it’s MySpace or Google or Second Life or Skype, you’re getting something of value by contributing, even if it’s not cold, hard cash in your pocket. Maybe, in Flickr’s case, as cofounder Caterina Fake notes, you’re also getting the good feeling of contributing to something worthwhile, the benefit of attention by admirers or even the attention of potential paying customers. All good stuff, maybe better than the relative pittance you’d probably get from any kind of revenue sharing.

Then, just as I’m writing this post, I get an email from a new search engine, Anoox. It’s pitching itself as better than Google, of course, but the wrinkle that caught my eye is that it’s promising to share the ad money that it generates, as long as you use it as your main search engine.

Michael Parekh may be right when he suggests that the Web 2.0 companies that find a way to share their revenues with their users will have the best chance of becoming Web 3.0 companies.

Reader Comments

rosny

October 28, 2005 5:02 AM

Search engine with user using it being paid in ads. It will be abused in advertisement. The paid user will be clicking the ads, as many times as possible to generate money.

Photo post share revenue, that's a good one.

Marc

October 28, 2005 9:02 PM

There were a few schemes like this during Web 1.0. Paying people to watch ads, etc. Revenue sharing with users can never generate the amount of cash to make it worthwhile for anyone involved. Just run the numbers on any business you choose. If the product is free to begin with, where will the money come from?

Funny how memories of Web 1.0 are so short lived and it's deja-vu all over again.

me

October 29, 2005 3:52 AM

ya thats exactly what i though and thats how it is, i signed up to their site just to make monry but they have a pretty good fraud prog... i only made 41 cents with 50 ass clicks... not worth it at all

Dean Thornville

November 2, 2005 9:13 PM

Well that is 50 ("ass clicks") Cents that you made more by having used AnooX than if you had searched with Google or Yahoo. I mean hek the money Anoox shares with search user does not add up to much, about $50 on average per year if you make AnooX your favorite search engine, but that is $50 more than Google or Yahoo will give you if you user their search engines. So rather than being thankful you are bitching! How ungrateful can one be!

But the main reason to use AnooX is not that they share their Advertising revenues with the search users, it is because they have fundamentally the better search engine than Google or Yahoo. You can read why this is so here:
http://www.anoox.com/whyanooxsrbetter.jsp

And to Rosny who said AnooX "Search and get paid" will get abused, read this:
http://www.anoox.com/paid4search-fraud-prevention.jsp

My Hat off to this Search Engine AnooX, they are truly the most revolutionary (good thing) I have seen on the Internet scene for a long time.

Pete Cashmore

November 18, 2005 8:47 PM

Rob,

I agree wholeheartedly with the idea that we should pay users for their efforts, but there's something decidedly odd about AnooX, the search engine you mention. I posted about it on my blog (click my name to visit). I'd appreciate your opinion on this one.

Rob Hof

November 19, 2005 1:02 AM

Pete, I agree some of the language on the site, combined with what you found about the apparent head of the site, look rather self-serving. In fact, if you follow through on the About Us link at the bottom of the page, you get to a parent company called NetDIVE, which has been around since 1997. Interestingly, the company insists: "We are consistently able to deliver software products that offer the best of technology, at the lowest cost and most importantly with the highest long term value for your business - rather than what is the latest Silicon Valley or Media hype!" Uh-huh. Anyway, I'm not sure how well the site works, but it appears they're not a fly-by-night operation in any case.

will

November 19, 2005 1:20 AM

This Dean Thornville guy obviously works for Anoox.. way too much hyperlinking in a comment. . .

Dean Thornville = Dean Ansari? the guy needs to learn how to hit the virtual pavement for his startup. Dave McClure of SimplyHired is admirable for his persistent AND insightful evangelizing on the behalf of his startup. . . Ansari is just too underhanded . . . obviously doesnt understand that the blogosphere respects transparency over everything else. . .

Articles

November 11, 2007 10:17 AM

Pete, I agree some of the language on the site, combined with what you found about the apparent head of the site, look rather self-serving. In fact, if you follow through on the About Us link at the bottom of the page, you get to a parent company called NetDIVE, which has been around since 1997. Interestingly, the company insists: "We are consistently able to deliver software products that offer the best of technology, at the lowest cost and most importantly with the highest long term value for your business - rather than what is the latest Silicon Valley or Media hype!" Uh-huh. Anyway, I'm not sure how well the site works, but it appears they're not a fly-by-night operation in any case.
Another nice AdSense Ads Revenue Sharing Articles Site, which offers 100% share to authors who submit their Articles and Blogs. Revenue Sharing Articles Directory

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Bloomberg Businessweek writers Peter Burrows, Cliff Edwards, Olga Kharif, Aaron Ricadela, and Douglas MacMillan, dig behind the headlines to analyze what’s really happening throughout the world of technology. Tech Beat covers everything from tech bellwethers like Apple, Google, and Intel and emerging new leaders such as Facebook to new technologies, trends, and controversies.

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