Via VentureBeat, Seth Goldstein's Social Media has created an advertising system that allows you to customize ads that your friends see, enabling individuals to interact through advertisements.
Here's a great example from the social media blog
Below is a concrete example of a social banner. It's an ad, presumably sponsorable by a company seeking to spread the word about its new-found greenness. So, without further ado, here's a our user violating, privacy busting, all your data in a social banner, banner!
Blog Reader: "Umm...wait. Is this a trick? My data has to be in here somewhere. I know! It's hiding under the alien! Oh, no. That's silly. Wait! You pulled my facebook interests to stereotype me as a certain type of user, thereby populating the buttons with choices that would appeal to me, thus increasing ad CTR!"
As Winnie the Pooh would say, "Oh bother."
Your data isn't in there. Not at all. But, let's say you do opt to share why you're green with your friends by clicking on a button. This is what your friends would see, except replace this dude's picture with yours.
Blog Reader: "OMG I'M IN THE AD! You mean when I choose to share why I'm green with my friends, my friends will actually see it?"
It's rather difficult to share something with your friends when we can't tell your friends the thing you wanted to share. So, yes, that's precisely what we did.
It's almost what John Battelle has been talking about and playing with - with his conversational marketing.
As you all know, I'm a big beliver in putting the "social" in marketing. In fact, my own blog has evolved to mostly a networking tool where I'm highlighting my clients great writing and the activities of other people that interest me.
This is the first time I've seen "social" applied to the advertising unit. And I think it's very significant. And almost genius in its simplicity and obviousness.