THE BLOG
02/26/2014 05:39 pm ET Updated Dec 06, 2017

Money From Nothing

Last week I wrote about Bitcoin and cryptocurrencies. Thursday night in New York I stumbled into another innovation in the medium of exchange:

2014-02-26-yelpcard.jpg

This arrived with my check at the excellent Toshie's Living Room in the Flatiron Hotel. Hardly a surprising development, but provocative.

I know you're waiting for me to say this increases the liquidity of your social assets, but I'm not going there.

Consider the next phases of this market:

· The frank and universal incentive (as opposed to asking your limited number of friends to review you) will further devalue the currency of Yelp approval, or any other social review site.

· People wishing to monetize their status as Senior Contributor or Mega Maven or whatever should be able to trade-up to the top shelf by showing their status. Finally -- value for your Klout score!

· Would Toshie pour you a second shot to add a review on, say, Time Out New York? You could drink all night, going from one club to the next and imbibing in exchange for reviews on all your social media.

More seriously, how does the cost per impression of this medium compare with, say, advertising on taxi screens? It seems pretty economical, and reasonably well targeted, and builds some goodwill with the customer you already have. So I'd expect to see a lot more of it.

A postscript: earlier in the evening, in exchange for my applause, Melanie Marod, the also excellent singer, gave me a CD of her music.

To paraphrase Dire Straits, it was an evening of "music for nothin' and my drinks for free." This is what happens when Andy Warhol's 1968 prophecy -- "in the future, everyone will be world-famous for fifteen minutes" -- meets Ray Kurzweil"s from 2001: "We're doubling the rate of progress every decade."

Now, everyone's a nano-celebrity. - CAM

Posted by Chris Meyer on February 26, 2014