Modern Mating

When Technology and the Sexes Collide

Tuesday, February 21, 2006

What are your friends worth?

If you don't know how much your friends are worth, you're probably not a member of, a fascinatingly cynical site directed at the crowd.

Designed as an experiment by E. Jean Carroll, who brought us, the site tries to quantify and and monetize - for both its founder and its members - the looks and coolness of its members. It's a cross between social networking and portfolio management. Members create "packs" of 27 people (who must first agree to be a part of a given person's network). And based on the appeal of the pack they select, members can win prizes like iPods.

While this sounds innocent enough -- doesn't everyone want to win an iPod? The cynical part is that if a member of your "pack" isn't quite up to snuff, i.e., isn't as cool or as clever as the rest of the members, your total score will be lower. As a result, someone who wants to win a prize will want to trade up, exchanging lower ranking people for higher ranking people. It all makes me flash back to middle school, which in turn makes me want to puke.
Can't Buy Friends Like These, Boston Globe - Feb 21, 2006