Why pay 2nd Life to be somebody else in a virtual world, when you can be paid to be somebody else in the real world?
How can that be? Well, suspend disbelief for a second and look at the these two sites.
The first is payperpost.com. I signed up for them long time ago and didn't do anything with it until I heard they got funded by a VC firm I know and respect. This site offers bloggers cash from advertisers if they write on the topic of interest for the advertiser. It's a really cool idea and the company calls itself rightfully the "Consumer Generated Advertising Network". For example here is what one advertiser will pay you $10 for:
"We want you to make a short video asking Megaglobe to hurry up and launch their search engine Megaglobe.com .
We want you to have fun and to create any scenario that you can think of. The video must be at least 1 minute.
Once the video is done, please post it on Youtube. "
This really strikes a nerve with me because if it works soon everybody will be putting themselves in ads saying things for money that they don't believe. But that's what ads are.
Quick digression...I used to hate the pain reliever commercials. Imagine this ad: A tough looking elderly man, in his fifties or sixties, waring a squared shirt, outdoors, well-built, tough face, white hair, maybe an NFL coach, overall totally respectable and in one word, SOLID, goes on TV looks straight in your eyes ands says "For my really tough headaches, I take Tylenol". He doesn't, he's an actor, he's paid to lie. I've for years had the wet fantasy to track down this actor in his home break down his door and throw the bottle of Tylenol at him and say "you liar...I took the Tylenol but it didn't do me no good!" but I digress..
So you make money by making ads, then you take that money and give it to FakeYourSpace.com. That's the second site I am talking about. This site went up 5000% on Alexa recently from 260K to 6800. What they do is that they create a fake myspace (or any other SN site) profile for you where you use the pictures of a model that looks really hot to represent yourself. You buy popularity. They also give you 2 comments per week on your profile, also from good looking people. Am I kidding? Read for yourself on their FAQ:
How Much Does The Service Cost?
It all depends on what you want. You have the option of picking how many friends you want to have, how often they comment, and what kinds of comments they leave. Our basic service starts at $1.99/month but until further notice we will cut this price in half to only $.99/month.
Can I Pick My Friends?
Of course you can! This is what Fake Your Space is all about. You can pick the hottest looking friends to leave you messages. We have a wide selection of men and women of all ethnic backgrounds .
So here is how this arbitrage works. You write about something and get paid, they you create a fake page and fake traffic to get more traffic and you write more on this site to get paid more. By doing that, what have you done? You've become somebody else in the real world, and kept that hidden.
Now, I ask you, isn't this better than paying to become an avatar in a computer simulated world?