Johnathan Stark created an experiment in social sharing using a Starbucks card and it’s become a bit of a sensation on the internet. It’s pretty simple. From his site:
Jonathan’s Card is an experiment in social sharing of physical goods using digital currency on mobile phones. I stumbled on the idea while doing research related to my work with Mobiquityrelated to Broadcasting Mobile Currency.
Based on the similarity to the “take a penny, leave a penny” trays at convenience stores in the US, I’ve adopted a similar “get a coffee, give a coffee” terminology for Jonathan’s Card.
In other words, have a cup of coffee on Johnathan, or if you’re feeling generous he’s also left instructions on how to help by reloading the card. So far thousands of dollars have been spent using Johnathan’s card. He also has a twitter stream where you can see the current balance of the card.
This experiment reminds me a bit of paying it forward but with a neat social twist. Adding the social element allows this to expand beyond just the people you are kind to returning the favor in real life since social media means you can reach out to many people at once, and by one person sharing this it’s bound to reach hundreds or even thousands more people than just the one person you help.
I plan to try out using Johnathan’s card later this week, and adding a few bucks of my own to cover someone else’s cup of coffee.
What do you think of this social experiment? Would you get a coffee courtesy of Johnathan? Would you give a coffee?
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