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By September 13, 2007

A pair of former Modem Media guys are introducing, which lets people put kiosks of their favorite products on Facebook or MySpace and make money on the clickthroughs, reports Bob Tedeschi in The New York Times (9/10/07). Tim Smith and Thomas R. Zawacki admit that nobody’s going to get rich on this (well, except hopefully the two of them!), but they believe that the opportunity to make a little bit of pocket change is a good fit for a certain demographic.

“If you talk to 13- to 25-year-olds and tell them they can make $15 to $30 a month doing this, that’s wonderful news for them,” says Thomas.The way it works is, you register at and create your kiosk “by browsing product categories or searching among the roughly two million items on the site.” Once you’ve made your selections, you click and drag your choices into a “lemonade stand,” that “displays a slide show of those goods, along with product headings and item descriptions.” Then you just type in your Facebook or MySpace address and your “lemonade stand” is up and running in a matter of minutes. You get paid just for clicks, but you also earn a commission if somebody actually buys something.

Gene Alvarez, a Gartner consultant, thinks it’s a good idea: “Word-of-mouth referrals tend to close more deals, and when you’re on my Facebook page and I’m selling something, you’ve gotten to know me. You don’t think of me as a dark, evil corporation.” Adrienne Durkin, who beta-tested the service, observes that people like to see what other people are buying, and besides, it takes “something that’s been a way to waste time, and actually turns it into a way to make money.” And Hilary Bowers of Yoox sees a really nifty research tool: “We’ll be able to see this audience … what they like and recommend … that’s an intimate perspective on our catalog and how this demographic reacts to it,” she says.

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