Laura Dawson makes an interesting point on her blog, LJNDawson. com, about the future of co-op spending and what it looks like in the world of online book communities like Shelfari and Librarything. With publishers like Dundurn Press already creating Shelfari profiles , publishers seem to be quickly taking advantage of a solid mainstay of current Web 2.0 activity: free promotion through participation.
A favourite expression of mine (which will go uncredited as I’m not sure whether it is a proverb or an actual quote that’s just entered my proverb lexicon due to repeated use) is that things worth doing almost always require either money or time. Profiles on social networking space rarely cost money…but they do take an awful lot of time to do, if you want to do them well. Will co-op spend start being essential for publishers looking to showcase their wares on these sites? Maybe—but I hope not. If the point of an online community is to share perspectives and hopefully learn from those with informed and intriguing perspectives, then I as a consumer want to be able to see publisher profiles. The chances that they are written by someone who loves books and has a pretty good knowledge of what they are profiling are high.
Banners or other site ads? Not so much.