1) Create an Open Ad Network, similar to Adsense but for any multimedia, for use on social networking sites like Twitter, Facebook and FriendFeed, as well as blog sites like WordPress.
2) While anybody can upload an ad and say how much they are willing to pay for its run, only users will have the power to distribute the ads. IOW, users get to pick and choose the products and services they wish to endorse for their own social graph and casual readers.
3) Ads are very dynamic, mostly limited-time offers and invitations by companies previously approved (Users will input their “150” – the number of brands we are each loyal to on average, which serve 80% of our everyday needs) . Once the goal of the advertiser is met (such as 10,000 coupons saved or printed), the ad is automatically replaced by another in the queue.
4) Of course, there will be room to introduce new products and services, too, for those companies seeking brand awareness. This will spawn limited offers to targeted influencers such as “Can we send you our new coffee maker to try at home?”
5) As users’ friends, family and followers engage with the ads, the user makes money.
6) Smaller businesses that can’t afford to pay cash can offer users discounts. For example, $.25 per engagement towards meals at my local restaurant (so if 20 of your local friends check out the ad of the new restaurant you recommend, you get $5 off your next meal there). Also, if a startup cannot afford to pay, the user can override the “place best paying ads first” function and distribute the ads for little to nothing, to give deserving companies a boost and help make sure they stick around.
7) Earned money can be spent at participating LOCAL businesses via cell phone exchange, so that users are encouraged to spend the money locally, to shore up their own communities. If spent this way, the money is not taxable for the user (but would be subject to tax for the businesses) and the business picks up the bank transaction fees. So even if you earned $1,000 a month or more via this system, you wouldn’t get taxed on it and you wouldn’t increase the tax rate of your primary income. (Of course, the government will have to sign off on this, but given the state of our economy, if there were a groundswell of support for this, it shouldn’t be a problem.)
8 ) The alternative is to withdraw cash once a month, which will be reported to the IRS and bank transaction fees will be charged.
1) Individuals will earn and spend extra money, stimulating the economy, especially their local communities.
2) Since people will be recommending products and services they know and enjoy, then trust, confidence and demand will all increase.
3) Advertisers will finally benefit from an online advertising method that actually works for demand creation (as opposed to Search’s demand fulfillment).
4) Because companies themselves cannot distribute the ads, goodwill and not just money is required for any and all ad runs. This will make businesses more accountable to customers and society at large.
5) Crappy ads will not be distributed. Demand for higher quality ads will increase and professional copywriters, photographers, videographers, and so on will be put back to work.
6) Everybody has the same, level playing field so that small companies without huge advertising budgets can still access the marketplace and compete effectively with big companies.
7) Being able to access the market will make entrepreneurism skyrocket, creating income, tax revenue and jobs.
As I’ve written before, we should create a for-profit consortium to make this a reality. The sooner the better.