Popular social websites such as Facebook, MySpaceand Friendster have pulled down the CPMs, i.e. how much advertisers pay per 1000 views, to extremely low levels.
According to PaidContent.co.uk, the crashing in ad spending had occured early this year, with media feeling a double dip recession at the moment.
Google Adsense earnings down in 2010?
The article also points out that if there was no social media competition, CPMs would be much higher meaning that publishers with Google Adsense, Chitika, FastClick, etc would be experiencing record earnings. Unfortunately, one can't turn back time and the evolution of the Internet so we would just have to accept that giants such as Facebook are hear to stay and that CPMs will keep dropping over the next few years.
However since Facebook doesn't display intrusive ads and larger sizes, there may still be some hope for publishers utilizing FastClick, BurstMedia, Casale and Tribal Fusion's skyscrapers, leaderboards, videos and pop-ups. As for contextual ads like Google Adsense and Chitika, they closely resemble Facebook ads and may be in for a rough downhill ride.
At the end of the day, it all comes down to how creative you are. Finding new ways to entice advertisers to directly deal with your website will grant more satisfying rates.