I've been telling people this for years. Demographics are not dollars. If newspapers, which used to provide something of value and still do occasionally, can't find a way to "monetize," how could social media possibly do it? LinkedIn is a ghost site making a cash grab. Groupon should have sold out when it had the chance. Now there are scads of imitators, and Groupon's only strategies are to divide into areas of concentration and/or go microlocal and/or buy up the others, all of which will cost more than they have, even with a vastly overvalued ipo. Or they could hang out and wait for the competition to myspace. That's "myspace" as a verb. I would have said "betamax," but you're too young to get that, I bet.
Actually, hidden in that linked story is an excellent look at why advertising too is dying. Only a few rich people have anything left to spend, and it doesn't take too many people or much imagination to pitch to them. Most of the advertising I get paid to write is pitching the federal government, who's a rich guy no matter what he says.
Sorry, sometimes I have the illusion I'm still in business. I'm fascinated by what the world values and doesn't, and how it assigns these values. Because nearly everything I value has no value to the world. Like right now, I should be writing for pay but Ima write a poem. And speaking of young folks.
Bikram at 50
Beware, young women, beware. I dare
To place my mat square in the front of the room.
Every pop of my knees and hips reports
Like a shot in the dead of night. I am your
Gray and sweaty wake-up call, girls.
I come from an abundant, careless time,
A time before we knew that none of it was good for us.
Weak weed, full bush, lead, white bread
In the balloon-festooned plastic bag.
Bowl after bowl of eight essential vitamins.
Sucked dry by Count Chocula in the heavy metal parking lot.
And look where it got me. A pretty young thing
Orders me: "Down, dog," and I obey.
I am the memento mori among your still life
Of flowers, ripe fruit, shimmering, freshly opened
Oysters. What a spread those old masters
Used to lay out, didn't they? They knew how to live.
But there, in the middle, they'd place
The grinning skull--skulls are forever
Grinning in bad writing, aren't they?
You smile at me and tell me:
"Keep it up. You're doing great."
I grin back at you.