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So it’s not fair that internet companies are making money from the content provided by their users? Egalitarian social networking site Weblo has two new features to prove that it’s on the side of the consumer-generators. Now, anyone who takes part in social networks such as MySpace and Facebook, who writes a blog, posts videos or even just sends emails, can calculate what they are worth online and can use this knowledge to sell themselves to advertisers.

This year alone user-generated content will generate advertising revenues of nearly £2.5 billion and this is predicted to top £2.1 billion by 2011*. Weblo , which is designed on the principle that those who take part should also profit, now champions the cause of the individuals in ensuring that income is distributed fairly.

Calculate Your InterNET Worth uses a formula to put a monetary value on digital assets. Weblo’s Ad Network then matches potential advertisers, who specific demographic, geographic and content requirements, with suitable individuals, who have advertising space allocated on, for example their personal profile pages. Costs for advertisers can be as low as £2.50.

Ricky Mirza, founder and CEO of Weblo said: “There has been much debate about whether it’s right that the owners of what are typically web 2.0 companies, should profit from what is essentially other people’s work. Of course, these sites and services provide a vehicle for people to come together and interact but most of the useful content, i.e. the hard work, is done by the individuals contributing. We think it’s only right that some advertising revenue goes back to those who make it worthwhile for the advertiser to be there in the first place.”

The two new features of Weblo build on the popularity of the site’s burgeoning trade in virtual real estate. Over 62,000 members are already profiting from their ownership and sales of countries, states and cities.

Weblo fanatic 'Doctor Jonson' from Montreal said: “I’ve been the ‘mayor’ of London since December 2006 and it’s already earned me £29. I’m building up interest in it and hope to be able to sell for a big profit soon. It’s exciting that I can now put a value on this kind of activity, as well as the other social networking I do in places like Facebook as it means I can start to make some revenue from that too. It makes me happier to contribute when some of the advertising comes back to me rather than just lining the pockets of the shareholders of the sites themselves. And of course I feel a lot less guilt about spending hours on-line if I know I’m earning while I do it!”



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