Thanks for the overwhelming response from our announcement this week.
Our team can't wait to continue to work with advertisers, agencies and bloggers to create innovative programs. Although many publishers/agencies/advertisers are getting great case studies under their belt, we are early as an industry understanding the science of connecting advertising dollars with an audience in engaging ways that tap into the power of today's technology and the 'influence the influencer' dynamic.
Having said that, look how much progress has been made in the last few years.
Six Apart's Design to Inspire contest w/ HP was a great example of the shift we are seeing from 'the passive consumer' to 'an empowered consumer' who takes on the role of the producer, creator and marketer of content. Check out how enSue calls our to her neighborhood of friends: "I would appreciate if you vote for me." Influencing an influencer. So cool.
Metrics / ROI
What would help make advertisers more comfortable is more proof that their dollars are effective. Heidi Browning, Judit Nagy and MySpace started this process last year with the "Never Ending Friending" study. Here's an excerpt:
"While advertising and community pages have a strong effect, over thalf the impact of Social networking marketing comes from "the momentum effect" that occus when one consumer uses the brand as a reference point in his or her own personal profile, or passes along the information to a friend."
Makes sense. If you reach people that can then evangelize about the experience and they attract and engage their network of bloggers and readers who also spread the word you get this network effect of engagement.... and so on and so on and so on (remember that commercial?)