If you remember the dot-com bust pretty well you may recall a company called AllAdvantage. Back in the 1990’s this Internet start-up was one of the first to recognize that online advertising really was the wave of the future. AllAdvantage paid you to surf the web. The idea behind it was simply to install a toolbar on the screen, fill it with advertisements, and the company could pay you to surf the Internet with money it got from the advertisers, and still have some leftover for itself.
AllAdvantage caught on with web users quite easily, as one could imagine. Just install this bar on your screen, ignore it when browsing online, and get paid. Since AllAdvantage didn’t require you to click on anything, it was quite easy to take advantage of the system. College students would leave their Internet Explorer browsers open on their computers when they left for the day, allowing them to collect money for “surfing” when they were really all the way across campus attending class.
Not surprisingly, AllAdvantage went under along with thousands of other web start-ups, mainly because it paid out more than it collected from advertisers. There was no safeguard to assure that would not happen. However, it appears the business model is making a comeback.
A new company called Agloco has improved upon the model. Again, you install a toolbar and get paid for surfing the web just as you do now. However, web surfers get paid a cut of any ad revenue that is generated, thereby ensuring that Agloco doesn’t paid out more than it collects. So, users will need to use the toolbar’s search engine or click on ads in order for the model to generate revenue to distribute to users.
Whether or not the idea will work remains to be seen. However, the service is set to go live shortly, and those who made a killing off of AllAdvantage before it went belly-up, or anyone else who is interested, can sign up at Agloco’s web site and they will email you when the service goes live.