Millions may spend countless hours of their day posting, status updating and tweeting, but they get paid nothing for it. Such contributions to the marketplace of ideas, photos and pokes, among other realms, qualify as legitimate labor meriting pay, so argues a new social media venture.
Called Chime.in, the new network was launched at the Web 2.0 Summit in San Francisco on Oct. 17. It was created by the Pasadena, Calif.-based UberMedia, which was previously known as a buyer of Twitter clients. As compared to major rivals including Facebook, Google Plus, LinkedIn and Twitter, pages on Chime.in will be organized by subject, and not individual identities, according to a report on CNET News by tech analyst Harry McCracken. Once any subject reaches a quorum of users, they can chime in with any number of posts, ranging from comments to photos, that are fittingly called, "chimes."
The subject-driven pages are then organized into communities, the pages of which will offer space for advertising. From there, Chime.in gives you two options: The organized community can be in charge of which ads get placed on the community page, and will get to keep all the money. Or operations can be handed over to Chime.in, and the network will give the user a portion of the proceeds from the advertising that the page generates.
"[We're] firing a shot across the industry," says UberMedia CEO Bill Gross, known as a prolific creator of web ventures, according to a report in the Daily Mail. "Finally, the interests of the content creators are aligned with the interests of the publisher because they get something for their hard work."
The idea that social media users should be compensated for their aggregating and opinions represents a fundamental shift in the nascent industry. But if it has any chance of standing out in an already crowded field, it's for the very reason that it's not just another variation on the same saturated theme, says McCracken.
"If Chime.in captures anyone's imagination, it won't be because it feels like a social network. It'll be because it's a good place to learn about subjects from like-minded strangers. That means it's closer kin in some ways to sites like Ning and Google's Knol than to the social-network giants," he writes.
According to a report on Marketwatch, the network has had a promising first week. Four thousand communities have already been created, showcasing some 15 million chimes.
"We created Chime.in to enable users to surface and engage with the best content around their interests," Gross said, "and the enthusiastic adoption we've seen since opening the platform up last Tuesday shows that we're addressing a real need in the social media ecosystem."
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