Twollars

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= currency for usage in Twitter


URL = http://twollars.com/


Description

"The Twollars idea was conceived by Internet entrepreneurs Eiso Kant and Mac Taylor. They noticed that there was an enormous amount of 'social energy' on Twitter that goes unmeasured. They realised that if this energy could be converted into a symbolic standard, it could then be passed around like a currency.

They came up with Twollars as that standard. Twollars passes all the tests. It is positive. It is social. It is a measure of energy that can be exchanged like money.

It's a way to convert your 'good deed', your knowledge, your energy, your generosity it into a new form of money. By converting your Tweet into Twollars you can now pass that value on to others. You can reward others for their Tweet. And they can do the same. And soon you have new way of valuing and rewarding all the people you like, admire, and appreciate.

Twitter is a perfect platform for Twollars. Just by tweeting something like: Give 2 Twollars @macwind because he gave me great advice or, by creating a special Twollar Retweet like this: RT 3 [email protected] because of his great Tweet. You can get Twollars moving around the Twitter community. Do something of value for someone and receive a simple, symbolic recognition. A Twollar. Write a great Tweet, give a Twitter friend a useful tip, and receive Twollars in return." (http://twollars.com/aboutus)


Discussion

Stan Schroeder:

"Twollars is a really interesting service; both because it has a genius idea behind it, but also because it raises some questions about the economy of micropayments through microblogging in general.

Twollars are a Twitter()-based currency, but (not entirely unlike the US dollar) they have no “hard” value behind them. If you want to donate Twollars to a charity, you tweet something like “10 Twollars @camfed to educate girls in Africa,” and thus you have “donated” 10 Twollars to Camfed.

However, you haven’t given a cent yet; someone has to actually buy Twollars (at a rate of 10 Twollars = 1 US dollar) for the charity to receive funds. So, what you’re doing is raising awareness; you’re basically saying “I think this charity is doing a good thing; I think someone should donate money to them.”

I know what you’re thinking; since Twollars are free, can’t someone just tweet thousands of Twollars to a charity? Well, not exactly, because the creators of Twollars have introduced scarcity to make things fair. Every Twitter user starts with 50 Twollars, but users can give each other Twollars if they like; they just can’t cash them in if they’re not a charity. Twollars.com has recently undergone a redesign, and added registration for charities over at twollars.com/twollars-for-charities/.

There are several other ways to get Twollars: you can, of course, buy them from a charity at the aforementioned rate, and you “can go to one of the sites which rewards its users and visitors by giving away Twollars.” There aren’t many such sites at the moment, but the idea is, again, that a business can buy Twollars from a charity and give them away, in turn increasing awareness about their own brand.

It’s important to mention that Twollars is not charging or taking a percentage of any transactions; the money donated to charities goes directly to their PayPal account.

When you put all this together, what do you get? A very powerful virtual-currency-meets-micropayments economy that could be a great way for charities to raise funds, individuals to (directly or indirectly) support a good cause, and businesses to raise awareness of their brand by supporting a good cause. On the other hand, since Twollars are basically free, I see certain potential for misuse; for example, a group of people can create thousands of Twitter accounts for the pure purpose of influencing the Twollar economy." (http://mashable.com/2009/05/26/twollars/)

Further commentary at http://newcurrencyfrontiers.blogspot.com/2009/03/about-month-ago-eiso-kant-and-mac.html


Status

"Today, Eiso Kant, the co-founder of Twollars announced that he had been working lately on a multi-currency version of Twollars, and that “soon everyone can start their own currency on Twitter”. This could be an interesting development for Twollars, which have so far acted as a multiplier and allocator of the generosity of the sponsors US dollars donations: Twollars are backed by commitment of sponsors to donate real US dollars to the charity of the donator’s choice (the first $1,000 was sponsored by Eisomac Ltd, the creator of Twollars themselves, and it seems they are now looking for a new sponsor for the next $10,000)." (http://lebleu.org/blog/2009/03/11/thoughts-on-a-twitter-time-bank-with-multi-currency-support/)

Related Concepts and Projects

The concept of a "Thank You Currency" is already implemented in the German project Joytopia, coordinated by Bernd Hückstädt. Joytopia Dankpunkte (="thanks points") are already used by 1000+ users with their Dankpunkte online accounts. (http://www.joytopia.net in German)

For the European context there are ideas to take the concept of Twollars to a first version of a Tweuro (Twitter communication on Tweuro)