This is a very interesting video from Yahoo! Tech Ticker, an interview with Jonathan Yarmis of AMR Research conducted by Sarah Lacy. Yarmis believes that there are four pillars to disruptive technologies that will define the future - not in silos but in terms of how each pillar interact:
1. Social Networking Phenomenon, powered by the technology
2. Cloud computing
3. Mobile access to data
4. Monetization beyond the traditional search ads
Yarmis also suggests that "paid search ads in a social networking phenomenon" (and I will add, in other technologies - for example in mobile access to data on a phone or a wireless device) are not the only way to monetize all these.
(Think of it this way: If you are talking/networking with your friends on your PC or on your mobile device, would you really click on a text ad that's irrelevant to what you and your friends are talking about?)
The internet, Yarmis says, will remain to be free - and I do agree. Capex from tech companies that are funding these "free" internet services won't be able to maintain these levels of interest. Monetization will be critical. However, most companies are still very much stuck to the old "advertising mindset" of capitalizing on "inventory" rather than creating new ways of monetizing these.