Here is a paragraph from TechCrunch today:
Sprout Commerce, the company behind MyPickList, has launched a new product today, called FavoriteThingz. A widget for social networking sites like MySpace, FavoriteThingz lets users identify their favorite bands, movies and other branded products and display those brands in a nice looking slideshow. Their readers can click through to purchase the same goods and affiliate revenue is split between FavoriteThingz and widget publishers.
You can’t say that paragraph without your soul leaving your body, so I don’t recommend reading it aloud. I’m sure glad that I will be allowed to display my favorite branded products and split the revenue with someone for displaying my favorite branded products on branded websites with co-branding.
Here is the second paragraph of that article:
After identifying a product category, users select between hundreds of bands, for example, with press photos to display and affiliate revenue percentage listed next to each. Widgets can be customized a bit, which is liable to be appealing. Press photos can also be replaced by any image you chose – which seems like a branding disaster waiting to happen.
Oh it sure does. Wait until the Somethingawful Goons get hold of that. Goatse always wins, and half the Internet is going to end up joining the Lemon Party. I am glad, though, that I’ll be able to choose from musical artists by affiliate revenue percentage just like the big record companies do, instead of just doing something stupid and Web 1.0 like listening to music I like.
I’m going to skip a paragraph here and go right to the end:
Will this type of service take off? Sprout Commerce and many other people think that social commerce is set to be big in the future, not because of the affiliate revenue it generates for users but because of the existential opportunity to associate ourselves with brands. Sounds pretty vapid to me, but if brand association is an important part of being a teenager then FavoriteThingz could be a winner at monetizing it.
This service is easy to use and the widget can look quite nice. Its success will probably come down to marketing. Who can guess what will go viral in the wild frontier of youth oriented online social networking?
I already have a lot of existential opportunities. I can, for example, die. Also I can reinvent myself consciously in every moment in a world without a priori meaning, without God, without others. But in the end, as Kierkegaard and Camus both said, it comes down to marketing.
The last sentence of the article is also, of course, the last sentence in Beckett’s Happy End. Or at least it should be.