Quest: build a web portal where people can exchange virtual goods and services on their own terms
The hope is to create a website or marketplace that is as useful as possible.
It seems we can improve the results by allowing anyone to help - to improve the website, and the value they receive from it.
We want to have a very open operation, where anyone can contribute to the direction of the website and in turn receive a benefit from their contribution.
It would be awesome if a lot of people could build this website together.
Design and developmentEdit
Right now the plan is to use use an online classifieds theme on wordpress for the website. The theme is available here.
It seems like a pretty complete online classifieds set-up, with PayPal and Google Checkout integration for payments. Plus some other nice features, like an listing submission wizard for users. It costs $100.
If we took this route, we'd also need hosting at aroun $5 a month.
This is tempting, but will also temporarily close down the design and development of the website. It will be difficult and unlikely for other people to contribute to the sites design or code. They could have a user account set up, but it would not be the same as a wiki where anyone can make a change on a whim.
So we are also trying to find a better option in the future. It seems to make sense that there are people out there who will be able to make this online market place better than a few of us working alone. It would be great to allow people to contribute in a small way, and receive a small reward for doing so.
Principles of the communityEdit
It might be that the marketplace establishes some principles around transactions. This is what will separate this marketplace from the others - participants agree to certain mutually beneficial values, such as:
- Farmers agree not to spam advertise their gold in the game. In return they can sell in this marketplace where players know they're not contributing to gold spam.
- Players and farmers might also agree on a list of servers that want to be free from farming. It could be beneficial to both parties to only farm certain servers, and leave others without.
It would be great if the portal charged no commission on sales.
The portal could run ads to support this free service. This elimination of intermediary costs means cheaper gold for buyers, and high demand for sellers.
It could also allow some posters to post paid listings that were featured more highly.
The ads could come from a Facebook-style sidebar. We could try to minimise ads - encourage groupon-style discounts on goods and services, or useful information on events of interest.
We also will sell 'freedom stations' - a package of a computer, a game subscription, and bandwidth for one farmer. It would be a small cost packge that people could give to virtual workers in developing countries as a tool for self-determination.