In his post David Beisel covers potential methods for Social Media Monetization; a very good summary.

I personally believe that monetizing from social software is a very hard thing to do; everyone loves social networking, but few wants to pay for it.

Below are David’s potential ways to monetize social media, paraphrased as I’ve interpreted them:

  1. Context-based advertisement, both social context and well as content-based (like AdSense) advertisement.
  2. Advertisement via widgets (syndication), similar to #1 above, but via widget as a result of the syndication itself.
  3. Social shopping/commerce, where the social context is leveraged into the shopping experience.

  4. Pay for content such as ring-tones, wallpapers, etc.

I will add a few other approaches:

  1. Promotions offerings
  2. Directory Services
  3. The good ole’ Search
  4. New applications that improve the social networking experience, this is, how people communicate, interact, share…

The above also applies to mobile social software or media.