The Inflatable Soapbox

Thoughts on Technology, Society and Life

Currency025.jpg

I had an idea several years ago for a web site that acted as an exchange for real and virtual currencies. I was never an avid gamer but, after discovering Second Life and IMVU, I realized how many people were spending (and earning) money in these 3D virtual worlds. While there are some companies (IGE and others) that facilitate buying and selling of virtual goods and currencies, there didn’t seem to be a true virtual/real currency exchange market yet. One that would provide daily exchange rates for directly changing one currency into another, virtual or real, for a small fee. Like most of my ideas, this was added to a very long “projects” list. I had a good idea, I was sure, but neither the time nor resources to develop it.

Fast forward to 2010. IMVU and myYearbook are the first partners of the new Currency Connect, “a service that allows virtual world and social networking site members to exchange virtual currency among partner websites.”1 They don’t (as far as I can tell) offer exchange with real currencies, though. That would certainly involve regulatory compliances which would complicate matters. But how long can these virtual currencies, purchased with real money, be unregulated? Over two years ago, “Linden Lab, the company that runs the popular virtual world Second Life, announced… that all in-world “banks” must now be registered with real-world banking regulators.”2 Dave Rosenberg noted, in his blog on CNet News last December3, that the door is open for much larger players to bring their huge user bases to the game. Certainly PayPal, Facebook, Google, Yahoo, and Microsoft could stake a claim in this, as yet, wide open territory.

Where does that leave me? Crossing yet another promising idea off my list? Probably. I still don’t have the resources needed for development. So I’m throwing this idea out into the blogosphere. Maybe someone with capital or connections can make use of it.

What do you think? Thumbs up or down?

1 http://www.currencyconnect.com/FAQ

2 http://www.freedom-to-tinker.com/blog/felten/second-life-welcomes-bank-regulators

3 http://news.cnet.com/8301-13846_3-10415702-62.html

Image courtesy of Pulsar Media



01-29-08

Cre8Buzz! Themes Site

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cre8Buzz! Logo

I’m enjoying this new site so much! Cre8Buzz! is a friendly network of talented people trying to spread the word of their projects while making friends and contacts. Because of the ranking system, and the communities, it is easy to quickly find talented people in many fields. Two things I noticed immediately: the warm welcome from the community and the lack of css themes. Both may be attributable to the relatively small size of the user group.

BumbleBee Theme

The Buzz, as some users call it, just launched recently. Many users keep the default theme, which is clean and functional. Some try using Myspace themes with predictably horrendous results. Some members use themes from khenny of Quartz Mountain Communications, a California-based web design studio. His themes are very good but limited in number. As some of you may know, I love to play with themes, changing them to suit my mood. So I’ve started saving them to themes.timbury.net where they are available to all. While the site is not “live” yet, the themes can be accessed now. I hope to get the site built up soon, with a snappier look and an upload facility so everyone can share. As always, feedback is welcome.

So come join in the fun, sign up on Cre8Buzz! and use my themes or create your own. Stop by my page and give a shout out to my friends Antman, RealWorldMom and piper of love. They all have great profiles and links to some really slamming blogs of their own. Peace.



author photo Tim Kissane, CEO and founder of Timbury Computer Services, has 20 years of industry experience serving large corporations (including Alcatel-Lucent, Bell Labs, and IBM), small businesses and home users. An avid proponent of Free and Open Source Software since 1994, Mr. Kissane is concerned with maintaining low-cost, unregulated publishing access to the Internet for small business and individuals.