A few days ago, at an outdoor psytrance party in Boston, I caught up with a friend I had made at another party- a German cardiac surgeon-in-training. I asked how we could keep in touch, and he responded instantly, "e-mail is best". I agreed, and the next day received an invitation to join the social networking site Multiply. I liked it instantly: utterly content-based, Multiply "is all about user powered, relationship-relevant content. Every post in your news feed is shared and discussed by people you know, either directly or indirectly through friends of friends." Multiple blogs can be uploaded, video and photo archives shared, mp3s uploaded, reviews and events posted, and personal messages sent.
A new SNC startup, Yuwie, pays its users 50 cents for every 1,000 page views. Each time content is uploaded, a message is sent, content is viewed (including pictures) or a friend accepts an invitation to the site, it counts as a page view. I find it a pretty blatant example of the increasing commodification of social life through new technologies. However, it is slightly comforting that at least someone out there is seeking to grant users their rightful profit for the "work" they do to keep the founders of SNCs rich and popular.