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To koine a lingua franca…


Off to Slattery’s tomorrow night and I’m really looking forward to hearing Mark Pesce speak. I haven’t read any of his books – it’s really bloomin’ hard to find them – but I have listened to hyperpeople. All 40 minutes of it, several times through (there’s still bits I’m struggling with).

I would’ve paid for that content by the way. Ok, maybe not up front as I had always assumed the guru of VRML would be a geeky nerd who talks in a monotone. (Hmmm You’ve had to sit still and listen to that type too, admit it). But paying after listening? Or even during? Absolutely! I would’ve thrown, oh maybe a dollar or 2 in the pot.

But. Even if there had been a PayPal donation button on the screen, chances are I wouldn’t have bothered. Too hard. Paying by PayPal is the equivalent of seeing a gossip mag in a newsagency, putting it on the desk, scooting across 2 streets dodging traffic to the bank, lining up, getting a bank cheque for $1.20, paying the bank a small fee, running back… only by this time, another page errr store has caught your eye and you are off window shopping again.

Of course, Amazon’s 1-Click might’ve helped. But in spite of appeals, it looks as though that technology is locked up tight. DigiCash with its anonymity, seemed promising waaay back in ’94 to deliver but they took the wrong distribution approach.

So here’s the question I keep coming back to – why pay with real life cash? Virtual worlds are big enough and ugly enough to support their own currency. MMORPGS already do, and trades between virtual worlds are growing – but there is no lingua franca, no common koine. I know I’ve mentioned a New$Dollar or MicrosoftBuck, which would operate the same way the US Dollar does now, with other economies pegging to it. Then throw in a foreign exchange. Eventually one to the real world currencies. The problem is, this economic model which works so well in the real world, has a massive flaw. Google would immediately notice and exploit it, as is their wont. And then! finally! we’d have what is currently missing online – a nice viral, virtual, commoditized, stored value, medium of transmitting a unit of account. Which incidentally is what currency has always been – a pixel substitute for a goat, or wool, or apples, or whatever cavemen traded. Sheesh you know what I mean 🙂

Ah well. gtg … to the bank.

Laurel Papworth

Named by Forbes™ Magazine in the Top 50 Social Media Influencers globally, named Head of Industry, Social Media (Marketing Magazine™) and in the Power150 Media bloggers (AdAge™). CERT IV Training and Assessment certified trainer (Diplomas and Certificates etc) Adult Education. Laurel has manager Facebook Pages for Junior Masterchef, Idol, Big Brother etc. and have consulted on private online communities for banks Westpac, not for profits UNHCR & governments in SE Asia. Lecturer, social media, University of Sydney for 10 years and Laurel has 11,000 online students. Laurel Papworth personally connects to 6 million followers online and has taught around 100,000 people in the last 10 years how to be social media managers.

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