Haven't you noticed a certain tendency of biiiggg companies trying to buy some hyped web-project, and failing in their intend to use it as their cash-cow? I think it's pretty obvious that it is both short-sighted and naive, yet this process continues.

I've just read today that Twitter is still unsure on how to make money. And it's difficult, given their service. A web-based interface featuring the ability to publicly post 160-char wide messages, spiced with a social networking layer. No one would have ever given them the slightest bit of support for that .. ridiculous idea. But, like a thousand times before, it was exactly what people were looking for, and what they could use. But honestly, who wants to pay for a service like that? It's of restricted use and could easily be replaced, the second one being significantly more dangerous to any upcoming business model.

Why? Well, time has proven that trying to monetize a good service in a bad way always leads to the same service being cloned and offered for free, again. And with respect to the nature of most services acting as pure infrastructure providers for some kind of social interaction, this is totally possible and reasonable. People just don't care about the logo on top of the page providing the cool service, they care about the service.

And so we have some companies desperately trying ( because they need to, of course ) to monetize their products. Failing. And it's sad, because we all got used to use them in our daily lives, at least wikipedia. But how can we compensate them for their direct costs? It's hard to answer i believe, and the question behind is way more hard to answer.