Friday Free Business Idea: Wormhole Detector

September 1, 2006 - Get free updates of new posts here

Written by Berry from Money Thinking.

Just kidding but Noah says titles are important

Noah’s brilliant… he saw my free business idea and decided it would be a good thing to post on “Friday’s Free Business Idea” day. Just brilliant… smart on my part too for customizing my offering to fit his MO. I also bribed him with burritos…I thought I read that he liked burritos somewhere but maybe not…but I told him I’d buy him a burrito if he let me post.

Noah says pictures make a good post-- here is a river five minutes from hom. Lots of canoers and rafters every summer!
My name’s Berry by the way.
Here’s my idea: “Reverse Blogging”
Normal Blog= Author decides the topic…readers respond.
Reverse Blog= Reader decides the topic…bloggers respond.

Trust me there are LOTS of places that have lots of input and replies. Like Meta Filter and any number of wikis and forums, etc.

But, this site would buck the trend…it would have… deep breath… relax… GATEKEEPERS! Here is an article about gatekeepers in the web 2.0 era…Here’s another. I have not been around long enough to answer all these “new media”, “pinko”, “long tail” marketing pr type web 2.0 questions… but I digress.

Here is how the reverse blog idea might work:
1. People visit the site and ask a question about personal finance (or another subject- but that’s my favorite).
3. The bloggers choose just one question a day to be answered.
4. Bloggers answer the question.
5. The bloggers choose which answers display on the home page.
6. Bloggers get links to their blog every time they answer a question.
7. The answers are not threaded (but some mechanism for dialogue may be developed).


THE BOTTOM LINE– The page would have good quality questions and good quality answers…which may mean good solid traffic. This could lead to strong offline press.

If you’re a programmer and would like to pursue this let me know…I’ll pay for the hosting and help a you develop the concept.

My college, or at least the original building on the campus where I went to school. I got my degree in Elementary Education but never have taught a class!

Thanks Noah, I’ll put your burrito in the mail!

Berry’s Money Tip: Spending money is not saving money. If you spent $17 on a shirt that WAS $49 you did not save $32. You SPENT $17. Get that right and you’ll spend less because you’ll be less emotional about how much you “Saved”.

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12 responses to “Friday Free Business Idea: Wormhole Detector

  1. ChenChen Reply

    Good money tip; it’s probably helpful for managing our budgets better, but it’s also hard to think in terms of how much money you saved vs. how much you spent. It’s like thinking about sunken costs. People still behave irrationally…in an economic sense.

  2. Sri Reply

    You are right about the spending part. Few years ago, I bought Max Payne 2 for xbox for around $45….just yesterday I saw it on sale for $1.99……eventhough I already have the game, my cheapo-ness wanted to buy it coz it WAS $1.99…..I have so much junk in the house that I bought on sale but never ever used it. I have 2 boxes of clothes that I bought from GAP because it was on sale…..the box has been sitting around for about 1 year now. Since then, I have put on around 10 lbs as well…..so I doubt the clothes fit! Gap clothes anyone?

  3. Doug Karr Reply

    You got me! I liked this so much that I added a new button and form on my blog called, “Ask Doug”. I also added a Tip jar using PayPal. Ahhhh, I see an early retirement coming!

    Thanks!

  4. Berry Reply

    I thought I mentioned Yahoo answers… D’Oh! I did mention that it is similar to MetaFilter. Yes, this idea is similar… this would just be a traffic generator for some bloggers… I think the content would be quality enough to be picked up by offline press in part because the pages would be very clear and concise… NOT like a forum or a free for all answerfest.

    Nonetheless if it was the right idea for me I wouldn’t have put it up here.

    Thanks again Noah, this was fun.

  5. Laura Allen Reply

    Speaking of free business ideas, I’ll be hosting the Carnival of Marketing, starting tonight! Please send me your suggestions for articles to post by 5pm EST tonight!

    Thanks!

    🙂

    laura

  6. Seth Kagan Reply

    I just read the most recent post about reverse blogging. Very interesting idea indeed! Here’s my concern: while I fully appreciate the amount of information exchange that blogging has created, it seems that bloggers manifest as anyone with an opinion they wish to express to the masses, and enough time and energy to do so. Perhaps more so earlier in the history of blogging, but not so much as before – due to the sheer prevalence of modern bloggers – these people become pseudo-celebrities because of their ubiquitous exposure. But what bloggers espouse on is rarely fictional, and by virtue of the widespread dissemination of their thoughts, they may be perceived as “experts,â€? or wholly knowledgeable regarding whatever it is they are blogging about. Therein lies my worry; what entitles bloggers to write about what they may very well be completely unqualified to? An example related to my own field which readily comes to mind- if I were to start a blog (unlikely) on health and fitness, my qualification to do so would stem from my years of training and education, widely accepted by our society, that identifies me as an expert. However a reverse blog on the subject might very well result in responses to a question being derived from little more than bloggers reading WebMD articles, falsely believing that doing so amounts to something coherent, appropriate and responsible.

    Another example: I am sure Ramit Sethi fully enjoys both the personal satisfaction and public recognition that his site: http://www.iwillteachyoutoberich.com brings him. However after a quick review of site, I can find only the following information about him and his qualifications:

    “I’m a recent graduate of Stanford, where I studied technology and psychology. Now I’m an entrepreneur working on my own companies and consulting.â€? “I’m interested in social psychology (the persuasion process and social influence); emerging technology (its effect on society); education (how to improve K-12 teaching and, specifically, the misuse of technology in the classroom). See my academic papers or my resume.â€?

    I apologize in advance since I know he is a friend of yours, and you probably support his efforts but…

    Does being educated at Stanford alone qualify him to teach about being rich?

    Does he have anything more than an undergraduate education? In anything besides technology and psychology?

    Is he rich or successful by a standard relative to the exposure his site receives? Put another way, if people on a national scale are exposed to his site, is he rich by national standards?

    Why if he is publishing a site on personal finance, does he not even list personal finance as one of his interests?

    Please understand I have nothing against Ramit Sethi personally. I don’t even know the guy. But he represents to me a good example of a major concern I have with bloggers and blogging: a rampant lack of quality control. Where’s the accountability?

  7. Berry Reply

    Seth:
    Great post! Really made me think.
    I hope you get to read this and we can talk about it because you bring up something I have been wanting to discuss with someone…

    … that is simply, “What qualifies someone to talk about something?”

    I have never had a business or finance or marketing class but I feel fully qualified to say, “It is a bad idea to get into credit card debt.”

    I feel fully qualiified to say, “Giving away notepads for your business is a good way to keep your name out there.” (My experience- I gave out notepads, once one of my notepad pages was on the ice cream machine at a Chinese Place (printed side out!) saying the machine was broke. That’s good exposure.)

    I feel fully qualified to say alot of things based not just on my experience but based on my ONGOING education– through magazines, newspapers, websites, books, etc…

    Here are two more aspects to this:
    1. Last week I was in a bank and the Branch President asked a Loan Officer if she knew where it was that you got free credit reports… neither one knew the answer… but I did. (annualcreditreport.com). Now you would think they would know that because they are supposed to know… but it took me to tell them the answer.

    2. The lady I sold my business to is supposed to be a “tax accountant” but on Aug 14 she was rushing around trying to finish up some tax returns before the four month extension expired. It took me to tell her that, as of this year, the extension is automatic for six months- she had until OCT. 15. She is supposed to know that stuff but it took me to tell her. I’ve never had an accounting class.

    I am concerned about this issue because I don’t want to be called out for not being qualified for this or that.

    Now, all that being said, I agree- I think people just have the attitude, “I know it’s true, I read it on the internet!” HA! So yes, there is a danger there…

    not EVERYONE is qualified… the question there is “what DOES make someone qualified.” I have a degree to teach school… but a degree does not a teacher make.

    Now, all that being said, I really really agree with you… that is why I think the Reverse Blog idea would be cool. There would be information gatekeepers to make sure the answers displayed are quality answers (regardless of the qualification of the person giving them.)

    So, in the case of the “REVERSE BLOG FOR FITNESS”, You may be one of the gatekeepers… You like that answer, that answer, and that answer…. so they are posted. Only good answers are shown… Not the answers from the guy who thinks he’s a fitness guru because he eats a can of protein every week.

    Hum, there is an idea… why not have a vote system, everyone gets five votes in descending order… as the answers come come in to the questions people can vote and keep changing their vote… the ten answers with the most votes get displayed… at some point the voting stops and those answers become “the authority” on that question.

    Whew, I need to stop rambling,
    Get ahold of me and let me know what you think. I really want to talk about the “qualification” question.