On the surface, the ideas seems alluring. If we could be paid a share of the advertising revenue earned through social media, would we not be motivated to support and engage the concept — and make a bit of extra cash on the side.
Alas, while this is the ideas behind tsu.co, I don’t think it will get very far. You can get there by following this link — and if you sign on, and get involved, you might make you (and me!) some money, but my sixth sense is that when this organization burns through its few million dollars in original venture capital, it will go the way of many other Internet has-beens.
I could be wrong, of course, but the problem here is that well-established social media players (such as Facebook, Twitter, and Linkedin) have built enough strength that they own the market within their areas of interest. And they have deep pockets and plenty of capitalization — and keep the advertising revenue for themselves, to fund their own operations and growth.
There are specialty social media sites, such as (for renovators/remodellers, houzz.com) and narrower association and special interest groups such as the social media capacities within the Society for Marketing Professional Services (smps.org). However, it doesn’t take too much to see the uphill battle any “better” social media service would face than to look at the limited success of Google Plus. This channel has all of Google’s money and power behind it — and some rather nifty features including video conferencing capabilities — but it hasn’t attracted much traction outside of groups/organizations closely aligned to Google, or among businesses seeking to game the search engine optimization (SEO) process.
Tsu says in its materials that it will closely control things such as spamming and trickery to generate advertising revenue. Maybe it can do that — but pay-to-play sites within the Internet world generally are either notoriously scuzzy or ineffective. (So far I wouldn’t say Tsu is scuzzy; the interface is quite nice and the initiative is letigimate, I think.) Website owners and bloggers can certainly collect their share of advertising revenue through Google AdSense, but social media has been problematic for this program because if the viewers/users are closer to the publishers than the advertisers, it doesn’t take too long for some people to try to help their friends with a bit of invalid click activity. I don’t think Tsu has premised its pricing on the pay-per-click model, but that makes it even harder for advertisers to judge and accept the relevance and utility participating in the program.
If you wish to either prove me right or wrong, sign up for tsu.co, start posting and see if you’ll make us some money. Don’t hold your breath, though.