User generated content is hot – HOT! But if you’re a UGC (yup, I’m using the acronym) site, like RateItAll, Facebook, YouTube, or MySpace, how do you incent your members to post more great stuff, so you can make more money? Well, Google is only too happy to help you out there. Word has leaked recently (Eric was first) that Google is (reportedly) working on a new API that will allow content sites to distribute AdSense earnings to individual members. RateItAll apparently blew the embargo by posting a release discussing this too early. From it:
Pioneering online community and social network RateItAll.com today announced that it had integrated Google AdSense into its service via an API in order to share advertising inventory with RateItAll members.
By leveraging the Google AdSense API, RateItAll has enabled its members to create Google AdSense accounts, earn cash for their content contributions, and track their earnings without ever leaving the RateItAll.com Web site.
As SEOLowdown notes, this could be huge for sites like YouTube. Emphasis on could be. But coupled with Video Adsense, once might imagine a pretty interesting mash up here.
To toss a bit of cold water here, however, I’ve never seen UGC sites as the least bit driven by money. They are driven by pride, the desire to be first, reputation, whuffie. But dollars? That often screws it all up. I guess we’ll get to see soon enough…