Bored? Let’s put on a metaverse!

Second Life is a “metaverse,” which is short for metaphysical universe. In Second Life, everything you see — every scrap of clothing, every piece of scenery and every avatar (which is a player-operated character) — is “built” by the players themselves, either for their personal use or for sale to others. Someday, this world’s ability …

Sharing is good, but only with a few hundred of your closest friends

Metcalfe’s Law says that the usefulness of a network grows exponentially with its size. A recent New Yorker article by John Cassidy (pp 50-59, 5/15/06) pointed out that if this were the case, MySpace would be far more useful than Facebook. My calculations are that it would be about 100 times more useful. MySpace has …

What monkeys can teach us about offers and pricing

Earlier this month, research that I had come across a year ago, in The Economist, received additional attention in Seed. This study of the economic behavior of capuchin monkeys suggests that the human response to various pricing strategies has been in our DNA for a very long time. When these monkeys were trained to use …

When is an email click-through not a click-through? Think “unsubscribe”

When is an e-mail click-through not a click-through? When they’re telling you to kiss off! It’s hard to believe it’s been nearly a year since I had lunch with my friend and long-time career doppleganger, Melinda Krueger, and she told me about her latest email metrics discovery. It was a way to take into account …