Is the Web 2.0 party over? Anti-social media

Cease and Desist orders, DMCA takedown notices, lawsuits...what's so friendly about social media these days?
Written by Donna Bogatin, Contributor
Cease and Desist orders, DMCA takedown notices, lawsuits...what's so friendly about social media these days?

John Battelle laments (colorfully) that the Universal Music vs. MySpace legal battle for copyright exploitation is spoiling not only America's impending Thanksgiving celebrations, but the entire Web 2.0 free-to-the consumer party that he helped brand:

I knew this was coming, but Lord, it sucks. Now our industry is making money, and hitting the big times, it's going to be all about lawyers and posturing, right...managing this monster turns into one big poo-flinging goat rodeo...right before Thanksgiving...nice.

"Now our industry is making money"?

The recent Web 2.0 Summit Battelle led was apparently a resounding financial success and "The Search"'s Google is a Wall Street darling, but what about "our industry"?

In "Web 2.0 hype: Popularity without profits" I ask if everyone is really winning in the Web 2.0 that has hit the "big times":

The millions of individuals taking advantage of the content, application and hosting largesse of YouTube, MySpace and Yahoo win, as do the four young founders of YouTube and MySpace.

What about the shareholders of Google, News Corp. and Yahoo? Is there a payoff commensurate with the multi-billion dollar video sharing and social networking investment bets made to provide free-to-the-consumer online services?

To date, the “hardest” performance metrics YouTube, MySpace and Yahoo tout involve user "engagement," visitor traffic and page views.

YouTube, MySpace and Yahoo Social Media are popular, but will they be profitable?

Social media monetization models are unproven. Moreover, as the no-fee sites grow in popularity, infrastructure costs rise to support the delivery of free services to the video sharers and social networkers.

In "$6 billion MySpace: Will this Levinsohn cash in?" I dissect Rupert Murdoch's recent claim of a $6 billion MySpace “flip” price tag:

Brand marketers are questioning the bottom-line worth of Web 2.0 “popularity” and holding back ad spends from social networking properties, such as MySpace...

MySpace may have negotiated a “better” deal with Google than it already had in place with Yahoo, but the revenue stream from outsourced search, in and of itself, ought not be considered new revenues that “pay for” the MySpace acquisition...

FIM is not fast approaching Yahoo if revenues is the measurement. Yahoo is a $6 billion revenue company, while FIM is reporting less than $300 million in revenues. What is the timeframe for catching up with Yahoo’s revenues?

In "Will Web 3.0 be in the green" I conclude:

Web 2.0 money has been concentrated in a few high profile M & A deals, but the only clear winners to date are the handful of amateur entrepreneurs who sold out at the right time. The deep-pocketed corporate buyers, however, are not reporting Web 2.0 gains to their shareholders... 

The blogosphere’s first takes on Web 3.0 continue the Web 2.0 tradition of focusing on “cool technology,” not business models.

In Web 3.0, as in Web 2.0, however, corporate marketers will undoubtedly remain focused on one thing: ROI. To date, Web 2.0 has fallen short in that bottom-line metric.

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