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I’m a borrower, get me out of here!

It’s been a while since I blogged about the stuff that’s really interesting. 

No, not banking.  Technology!

But Technology is coming into its own right now, thanks to the credit crisis.

Think about it.

You’re stuck at home, with only beans on toast and a cup of tea to live on.

The TV is your best friend and the DVD of "Titanic" has been watched so often that Kate Winslet no longer gets excited about Leonardo’s cheeky little looks, and the boat manages to avoid the Iceberg.

What do you do?

Escape into another life.

According to Forbes folks are turning to virtual worlds to get away from this depressing world we exist in today.

"Consumers reduce spending on real-world goods and luxuries and console
themselves with so-called virtual goods–digital copies of products that can
cost just pennies, allowing users to indulge their materialistic fantasies
without spending much."

Too darned right. 

A Gucci handbag? 

You betcha. 

A new Ferrari?

Sure, darnit.

According to the article, Gaia now gets seven million unique American visitors per month.  Habbo’s teenie users spend an average $18 each monthly and have doubled their time in escapism to forty minutes per session.

All of this intrigues me, in terms of what you can do with this from a financial markets perspective.  That’s why I’m hosting the Electric Sheep Company at the BAI Retail Delivery Show next month, in an exclusive discussion as to what these things can do for banks.

The Electric Sheep
recently launched Webflock, a normal browser-based version to access and use the capabilities of virtual world, social networking.  This is an interesting development, as it means you can use virtual worlds anywhere.  No special software downloads.

The latter was a key inhibitor of Second Life

Second Life took off rapidly between 2006 and 2007, but lost a lot of support when their banking system imploded last year after a run on the banks.

The bank run was caused by a lack of regulation of the system by the management.

Sounds far too much like Real Life.

About Chris M Skinner

Chris M Skinner
Chris Skinner is best known as an independent commentator on the financial markets through his blog, TheFinanser.com, as author of the bestselling book Digital Bank, and Chair of the European networking forum the Financial Services Club. He has been voted one of the most influential people in banking by The Financial Brand (as well as one of the best blogs), a FinTech Titan (Next Bank), one of the Fintech Leaders you need to follow (City AM, Deluxe and Jax Finance), as well as one of the Top 40 most influential people in financial technology by the Wall Street Journal’s Financial News. To learn more click here...

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