How amusing to see the return of ‘monetisation'. A central idea of the dot-com boom, it has been revived as part of the hype for Web 2.0, a new slant on the internet that stresses participation and networking through chaotic amateur websites like YouTube and MySpace. ‘Monetising' Web 2.0 is what the likes of Rupert Murdoch (owner of MySpace) are hoping to do. To monetise something is to turn it into money - in this case, kids swapping video clips. Like ‘burglarise', the word is the result of Americans using a suffix to turn a noun into a verb. But it's not new. First recorded in 1880 in Webster's American Dictionary, the verb meant establishing something (eg, gold) as legal tender. It has other meanings in economics. But the modern version arrived with the internet. First use was in a 1999 New York Times article about a proposed merger between a cable TV network and a pre-Google internet search engine. Those were the days.
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