uTag (http://ut.ag/) is a turnkey system that allows web 2.0 sites and individuals to generate revenue and retain attention from every single outbound link.
Rather than being punished for linking another site, by handing over the user’s attention, tagging links with uTag captures that value in real money without any cost to the linker or linkee. uTag provides a true reflection of the value created by linking to another site.
uTag was created by a group of five Sydney entrepreneurs during, amazingly, a 48hr entrepreneur ‘exercise’ event call Startup Camp. The team was one of three working and coding tyrelessly with little sleep for the duration of the weekend event in a borrowed board room overlooking Sydney Harbour.
uTag has two implementation methods. For websites and platforms, site-wide implementation takes less than 2 minutes, costs nothing and requires no commitment. There is also an API for developers. The second implementation method is tag a single url for individuals to use in twitter posts, blog and forum comments and when the java script method is not an option.
The business proposition is as simple as implementation; there are no upfront costs and the link creator gets the majority of the revenue generated by the link. Additionally, once a url is tagged with uTag, all revenue generated by the link is attributed to the original tagger forever. There’s no time or usage limit.
This could be a pivotal moment for the web, where for the first time the very nature of the web 2.0 world - linked content - is the basis of how people generate revenue
uT.ag allows you to tag ads onto outbound links, either from your website/blog or social media like Twitter.
It works by placing a banner of ads across the top of the page when people follow your external links. In the case of blogs and sites, the panel includes customisable links back to the originating site, including using the site name and logo. The linker gets the majority of ad revenue from the ad panel.
It has two ways of linking:
1 - “Vanilla” - these are shortened URLs like tinyurl.com etc. These are made on demand and are useful for publishing in social media like Twitter or Facebook status.
2 - “Cherry” - this is the more enterprise-class service. The site owner just places a small script in their page just like they would do with Google Analytics. The script recodes all outbound links as uTags, which display the ad panel. The Cherry service allows the more powerful custom features like custom back links, logos, and panel options. The script also excludes certain types of URLs such as RSS feeds to prevent it from breaking the functionality of these. It also allows the site to add its own exclusions, say if they own multiple domains that they don’t want panels on.
CPM rates are reportedly quite high, and the ads seem to be fairly contextually relevant. I think it has a good chance of becoming a new soruce of revenue for bloggers. It is also currently the only way microbloggers (ie Twitter) have to make any money out of their posting.