Do you own a website where users generate content? Well, the newly released Google AdSense API may be something for you to think about. "Free" services that rely only on advertising dollars from programs like Google AdSense are all the rage these days, but is that the future? I think we are seeing the beginning of a new wave of services that actually pay users -- how is that for a business model?
With the AdSense API, you can specify what percentage of ad revenue you want to share with your users -- the only catch is that you cannot do that on a per-user basis. This gives webmasters ability to pay users (without worrying about issuing cheques) and additionally, they are given a giant word-of-mouth marketing engine.
Almost everyone wins -- Google gets more advertising real-estate, webmasters get money and a new way to market their website and end-users get paid for using websites. The only party that may not win here are the advertisers. With more end users getting involved in AdSense, we could see an influx in click fraud as now even users have incentive to abuse the system, not just webmasters.