Imagine a world where advertisers bid for a bit of your time and social networks paid for your data or the content you create.

I love this idea. Latanya Sweeney, a professor at Harvard, has talked it up, and now, finally, there’s a crop of social network businesses trying to make it work.

One is called Chime.

Instead of simply creating a free service like Facebook and then keeping all the money for itself by selling targeted advertising and data, Chime is offering to split the cash with the people who create the content: that's you.

Another start-up called Personal allows members to create online lockers of personal information and then allows them to chose to share that information with selected friends.

But as Advertising Age reports that’s just step one:
   

Personal plans to launch an anonymous marketplace early next year, where marketers will be able to target users based on their personal information. It envisions a scenario in which consumers are compensated for buying products or viewing ads for products that are likely to be relevant to them.


 

“I think the best compliment I can give is not to say how much your programs have taught me (a ton), but how much Marketplace has motivated me to go out and teach myself.” – Michael in Arlington, VA

As a nonprofit news organization, what matters to us is the same thing that matters to you: being a source for trustworthy, independent news that makes people smarter about business and the economy. So if Marketplace has helped you understand the economy better, make more informed financial decisions or just encouraged you to think differently, we’re asking you to give a little something back.

Become a Marketplace Investor today – in whatever amount is right for you – and keep public service journalism strong. We’re grateful for your support.