Topaz Partners note that there's big money in social media. With MySpace getting half a billion dollars, Facebook holding out for more, and a potential valuation (?) of YouTube at $1 billion, there's always money in it for the founders.
But what about marketers? Well, YouTube is selling ads. Others will certainly follow. To the degree that marketers can engage the audiences into conversations, we'll see more acceptance of advertising in these spaces.
If you want to know more about the whole social media phenomenon, what it means and who is driving it forward, Topaz suggests checking out Paul Gillin's blog, on which he publishes draft chapters of his book The New Influencers, due out in bookstores in 2007.