Cup of Joe: How To Make Money In The Future

I have a secret to tell you.

I can see the future. Well, kind of. You see, I can see the future of making money. At least, I hope I can. But before we talk about the future, let’s talk a bit about the present.

What is the most successful business model to date, on the Internet? Yep, you guessed right! Advertising! The predominant model for success has always been, create a valuable piece of web real estate, built on outstanding content, that users flock to, and litter it with ads. Ads have been the leading force of monetization online. And, if you were to read Google’s quarterly statements, you might think that this trend will forever continue. But, unfortunately all good things must come to an end and even giants like Google will need to adapt.

Study Says Social Media Users Follow Only 5 Brands

More than ever, social media users are including brands in their list of friends and follows but according to the 2010 Cone Consumer New Media Study, five is the magic cutoff number.

How do you become part of the small, inner circle? You already know the answer to that. 77% of users said they followed a brand for free products or discounts. No surprise there. But getting the engagement and keeping it, are two different things.

Says Cone‘s director of new media, Mike Hollywood:

“Attracting new media followers is like starting a fire – coupons are your gasoline, and engaging content are the logs that keep the fire burning. Consumers’ affinity can only tolerate five brands, so companies need to think beyond the coupon or clever widget to figure out how to develop long-term relationships with real staying power. The best new media strategies are those that balance relevant content with timely promotions and ongoing company-consumer dialogue.”

Facebook’s Data Tactics: Disrupting or Disturbing?

Many people like to talk about the disruption that Facebook is creating in the business landscape. Most prominent of those is Mark Zuckerberg himself.

Funny thing is that when he talks about the new world order that is being brought about by Facebook (and I suppose there are others but that’s not his job to say anyone is as smart as he is now, is it?), he usually leaves out the dark spots.

One of those has been revealed by Google as the search giant is pulling Facebook’s ability to import contact data from Google properties (Gmail) for the simple reason that Facebook doesn’t offer reciprocity on the deal like most other sites.

Jason Kincaid of TechCrunch reports on Google’s reasoning for why they are pulling the plug on Facebook with this response from Google themselves

Google Instant In Your Pocket

While Google is trying to get into your wallet all the time it now has added its latest search ‘improvement’ to its mobile offering so you can have that with you as well.

Google Instant for the desktop was rolled out in September to much fanfare. It’s mobile cousin is being rolled out as a beta and can be used on iPhones or Android 2.2 phones by turning it on on the Google home page.

Here is a video for you to see Google’s presentation.

As for me, it seemed a little clunky but the beta label can keep Google off the hook there. Even with the larger screen size of a Droid X you really only see the first result changing as you type on the virtual keyboard. Testing it on a keyboard driven Droid2 yielded the same results.

Lowe’s, Best Buy Start Black Friday Early

It’s 8:47 pm PST, nearly midnight on the east coast and 2,000 people have just left a comment on a Lowe’s Facebook post that went up five minutes ago. Why? Because in just a few minutes, Lowe’s is going to launch their Black Friday Sneak Peek Party where they say they’ll be giving out coupon codes for up to 90% off items at Lowes.com.

The deals will be off specific items and limited in quantity which means bargain hunters have to virtually stand in line and fight the crowd if they want to get one. A coupon handed out at 1 am will probably sell out within the hour, which of course, is meant to entice people to stay on all day and night. In between giveaways, Lowe’s is going to announce the Black Friday sale items that will be available on the real BF – the day after Thanksgiving. Talk about creating a buzz!

News Corp to MySpace: Shape Up or Ship Out

“We’ve been clear that MySpace is a problem.”

“The current losses are not acceptable or sustainable.”

They must show improvement in “in quarters, not in years.”

News Corp. president Chase Carey spoke to investors earlier this week and everyone is talking about it. He made it clear that the 70 million drop in ad and search revenue wasn’t going to be tolerated and that without a major improvement MySpace’s days were numbered.

It’s interesting timing. Not two weeks ago, MySpace announced a major overhaul that included a redesign and a focus on entertainment and a younger demographic. The website’s one saving grace over the years has been its popularity with musicians. Back in 2005, shortly after the NewsCorp buyout, MySpace launched its own record label.

E-mail v. Social Media: Utility v. Futility?

The debate rages on as to just how important social media is to the fabric of our changing lives v. just how much of a time suck activity devoid of value it is. People take a stand at either extreme and at all stops in between. Where do I stand? Depends on the time of day and about 1,000 other variables.

eMarketer presents a study done by TNS which looks at the amount of time spent doing a certain activity as well as the percentage of people who do the activity itself. The study shows that a larger percentage of people use e-mail on a weekly basis but people who are social media centric spend slightly more time with SM than with e-mail.