Thursday, November 1, 2007

Making Social Networking Pay

An article in yesterday's New York Times represents a brilliantly inventive example of how social networking can be used to drive revenue. It comes from India, and it is helping the countries poorest people access a job market that connects them with badly needed sources of income.

The genius behind the idea comes from creating an on-line network by leveraging a critical and highly valued off-line network: world-of-mouth. In India, personal referrals are the way people typically get ad-hoc access to job openings. By paying individuals a very modest sum once the candidate they have had a hand in referring gets placed, the social network site babajobs is acknowledging the inherent value of a reliable referral and the risk that accompanies vouching for someone else's character.

Some inspiration here for marketers in first world countries.

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