May 5, 2003

in Social Networks

I had a delightful session with Duncan Work, Jan Hauser and Mike Dillard just over a week ago.  The conversation opened easily on a subject that included a passion for money, religion, and politics suggesting it can turn online communities into virtual nations –complete with leaders, laws, and citizens. 

Mike Dillard co-authored the article for the World Future Society The Approaching Age of Virtual Nations“:  I’m not sure you can down load it there. (It’s fun with nice comments and response.) It was the idea about metamediaries, and consumer power that really got us talking. 

In the article they introduce Lifecast a company that managed to assemble a community of 1.4 million affluent participants.  Their combined annual incomes totalled more that $240 billion, and their documented personal net worth of more that $1.28 trillion.  There’s some great stats there. Members flew more that 32 billion milles annually.  Arguably it would range 23rd amongst all the worlds nations. 

What was interesting in Mike’s story was this company was formed round the golf clubs and as a result there was an enormous increase in social bonding and information gathering. Lifecast which was set up around a living the club proposition in the end turned off the networking because it’s customers the clubs found it was detrimental to doing business.  The members didn’t need to turn up for meetings they simply exchanged it online. 

What did they do? (from the wayback machine)

In addition to building and maintaining private, interactive, club Web sites with all the benefits of club news, email and message boards, we give members access to a range of lifestyle-oriented content through LifeCast Features, a selection of Web channels designed specifically for club members and their families.

Club members get stock quotes and weather reports, and the latest news and features from the worlds of travel, sports, finance, and fashion. It’s kind of an online magazine for the private club lifestyle, and it’s available only to members of LifeCast affiliate clubs.

What couldn’t they do.  They couldn’t enable or help people to connect between clubs.  That’s where there remains a healthy business opportunity and one that requires an appropriate trust engine. 

While writing this I see Britt’s been busy on a mass lux meme.   
Escapable Logic Another way of possibly confirming the potential. 

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