My ideas are simple, and if ever implemented will change how a lot of ecommerce works online especially via communities.
I believe all these other sites are going about monetizing communities completely wrong, its not about selling stuff to users its about users selling stuff to each other.
Idea 1. To put it simply it would be a double blind gift system.
User A wants to buy flowers for User B on my site. I send user A to flowers.com or some other site, they fill out all their info and order the flowers for user B, flowers.com sends back user A to my site with a confirmation number and I then email User B. User B then comes back fills in their address info and the order is processed.
In this example, I would pocket my $20.00 commission for selling flowers and there is a absolutely massive market for this stuff. I tried to sell that idea to the flower companies 2 years ago but they say its to hard to implement. This is of course complete BS and right now this kind of ecommerce is not possible because no one supports it. There are millions of people online that have online only friends. For flower companies to completely ignor this market is pure stupidity.
Lets say that myspace.com puts a for sale sign for the person that can be first on your friends list. I come along and offer to pay $40.00 to appear as your number 1 friend for the next 3 months. Myspace can pocket $5.00 and the user gets the other $35.00 How much is Honda going to pay to become some rock stars number 1 friend ? You can bet its more then $40.
Social networking sites can be like ebay, instead of selling goods they can auction off things like peoples popularity and influence. Social networks should also allow things like the double blind gift system so they can buy things for each other like flowers, get well gifts, small Christmas gifts ETC all with complete anonymity about the recievers address.