Mahalo needs free help with its business plan

Jason Calacanis, in search of a full-fledged strategy for his flailing "human search engine" Mahalo, wants you to work for him. For free. The wealthy Internet tycoon is using Linkedin to ask: "Lots of discussion as to the value of Facebook for startups.... wondering, how would you market Mahalo on Facebook?" Calacanis's Facebook bankruptcy has left the Internet millionaire downright poor — in ideas about how to use social networks, at any rate. Our favorite answer, after the jump.

From Clark Gaines of University Media Group:

Why in the world would you waste time marketing on Facebook? Don't be another cautionary tale like the 100's of other companies that have tried and failed miserably to "brand", "Market" and "promote" their business on Facebook. The users don't care what you are offering.

Facebook users are so focused on the task at hand (messaging, wall posts, stalking, friend adding) that they could care less about anything else you have to offer them unless it directly enhances the experience or functionality of one of the above mentioned activities. It would be like walking into a strip club and trying to sell encyclopedias to the customers while they're getting a lap dance.

Applications aren't the answer either. They're simply competing for the same face-time that those other tasks I mentioned are (and are losing in a blowout). Give Facebook Apps another few months and they'll be as popular as Marketplace (bomb), Facebook Share (whiff) and virtual cans of whoop ass.

Sounds like Clark is experiencing a little Facebook bankruptcy himself. Not that Calacanis should have expected any better. A similar plea for help on LinkedIn reaped scant rewards when Calacanis first launched Mahalo. But if you'd like to volunteer your consulting services to the owner of a Santa Monica estate , feel free to volunteer . Literally.