I'd like you to take a little visit to Ello. Ello is a new social networking site (SNS) which is trying to capitalize on the frustration of Facebook users. Ello promises that it will never have advertising and never use data mining. In this way, it hopes to attract many users away from Facebook.

Ello still needs to generate revenue to keep this software active. Its business plan is to have the basic version of Ello for free usage. But this company plans to create and sell advanced features. Ello users who want these advanced features should not mind paying a few dollars a month to better their experience with Ello.

Will this business plan work?

If the plan does not work, the investors behind Ello will push it into the direction of advertising and data mining, in essence a breaking of its promise to get people to its product. These investors will risk the ire of their users rather than lose their investment. They will hope that enough users will stay with Ello despite implementing ads.

However Ello manages its future is totally out of control of Consensus. But Consensus and Ello (or some other upstart SNS) could have a strong connection with each other. Rather than building the software from the ground up, Consensus could license the software from Ello and make modifications to suit the needs of Consensus.

Such a license would have benefits to both parties. Consensus would get some proven software a lot quicker and probably for a lower cost. Ello would get some unanticipated revenue.

These two SNS's would seem to be competitors—and thus Ello would not want to co-operate in this way. However, Consensus and Ello are going after two different market segments. Ello seems to be trying to appeal to the mass market of SNS users—or at least those who deplore online advertising and data mining. Consensus is focused on being a tool for the non-profit world to communicate its message via SNS. In this way, Ello may be quite willing to associate itself with Consensus.

There will be lots of similar opportunities as the market for SNS evolves.

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