I saw an ad for Hey! Nielsen on the New York Times this morning - http://www.heynielsen.com/
You know 'social networking' has some traction when Nielsen are using it to record our opinions on TV, movies, music, games and personalities. Launched in September 2007, the site is still in beta but there appears to be a sizeable audience who are signing up to give their opinions. Not only can users rate programs/movies etc on the traditional likes-dislikes scale, they can also have a rant about why or why not upload a video. Nielsen have also implemented 'cloud rankings' - the larger the link text is, the more popular it is. They have also used the green-yellow-red scale to indicate how well liked (or disliked) a show may be.
So why would users want to sign up to Nielsen's latest data-gathering methods? Here's a bit of a snippet from the FAQ:
So, What's In It For Me?
We know you love TV, movies, music, the web, and the personalities behind it all, just a little too much. So here's your chance to let your voice be heard, your face been seen, and your opinions be a force for change. You, plus the exclusive access and power of Nielsen means that your opinions not only reach millions of people via the web, but may also reach the media moguls who decide what goes on the air and on the web. The more heat your postings generate, the greater the chance your opinions will land on the most influential inboxes in the biz as we will be inviting select Hey! Nielsen members to take part in sneak previews and other invite-only events. Plus, the more connections you make to other users, the more interesting and useful recommendations you'll pick up on all sorts of entertainment. You'll be thanking us in no time.
While there is obviously some deep data-gathering going on here, the site seems to come across as friendly without having that 'we're a business trying to be hip' feel. At the very least it's worth a quick look to see how a research company is tackling a new generation who are more than willing to give their opinion online.