The much maligned world of Second Life introduced a virtual currency that had very real and tangible economic value. In fact, as of July 2009, more than $1 million worth of value was being exchanged daily. The real commodity in this virtual environment is time (itself the only meaningful scarce and precious resource), and the work product of this time—virtual goods such as a designer house or services such as a classy escort—is, in fact, a real service—in the form of intellectual property (IP). Either way, this time has a price that is either based on a deliverable, hourly rate, or whatever the market will bear.
Universal currency is a great playing-field leveler—especially when those playing fields span nationalities, geographies, languages, and audience segments.
Yahoo! Answers is a terrific example of universal currency. It’s an IP marketplace where people buy and sell solutions to problems, with a point system as a method of payment. How does it work? Turns out the answer is already in the Yahoo! Answers database:
You lose 5 points for every question you ask.
You earn 2 points for every answer you post.
Yes—if you continue asking questions without answering you will run out of points and will no longer be able to ask questions.
So as to be able to ask more questions per day, all you need is to get to higher levels by earning more points.
At level 2, you will be able to ask up to 10 questions a day (level 2 starts at 250 points).
Starting from level ...