Women’s publisher and advertising network Glam is seeking to make money by editing streams from Twitter, Friendfeed and Facebook’s status updates.
Take tonight’s Oscars event, for example. Glam has launched a widget on its home page that lets users tweet their thoughts about the Oscars. But Glam’s stream is different from a standard Twitter stream (#Oscars) because Glam edits it. Glam’s entertainment editors decide which users are allowed to tweet in the stream and culls those who post what it feels are inappropriate comments. This way, Glam says, advertisers can get comfortable with the conversation. As a result, Glam has been able to sell sponsorship of the Oscars widget to Aveeno, a woman’s beauty brand (see its branding below on widget).
Although Glam chose to support Twitter for this event, it will support Facebook and Friendfeed for other events going forward.
The micro-blogging widgets are significant because they’re one of the first ways a company has tried to monetize microblogging through editing. Glam is calling its edited news wire “gWire.” Until now, microblogging has largely been either one-to-one or open to all. Glam lets both its own publishers and other third-party publishers embed the widgets on their websites (I would embed it here, but the widget has automated audio as well, and I don’t want to freak you guys out).
Glam chief executive Samir Arora said he’s been surprised by the reception to the idea: Glam first launched the feature last week for Fashion Week in New York, and he said within three days top bloggers and fashion reporters were participating. Glam is maintaining a list of freelance curators it can trust to maintain the streams in order to reduce maintenance cost.
Publishers in Glam’s network using the widget get a share of the revenue generated by the advertising. Within “a few weeks,” even publishers outside the network will be able to receive payments, via micro-payments from PayPal, Arora said.
The feature is best used when anchored to an offline event such as the Oscars, Arora said. This way, there’s not only a steady stream of commentary about a particular subject, but a sponsor such as Aveeno can buy branding on everything from the widget box to the physical event itself (Glam has organized events in LA this weekend around the Oscars) and display ads on Glam’s sites covering Oscar-related content, as well as ads on video modules.
Brisbane, Calif.-based Glam is also creating a way for third-party publishers to create their own edited versions of micro-blogging streams, embed their own widgets, and make money from advertising.
[Update: Related to Twitter/Oscars theme, check out Techcrunch's story on Thummit, a startup that is running a site that evaluates Twitter messages about the Oscars to determine who is faring the best.]