Making Virtual Economies Work

* Susan Choe, Outspark
* Lee Crawford, Twofish
* Christopher Donahue, Live Gamer
* Karl Mehta, Playspan
* Moderator: Susan Wu, Ohai

Great audience question – to what extent is it good or bad to seed the economy by giving away free credits or points to get trading and volume moving?

susan choe – do not give anything away for free. period. that will train your community to expect free credits for free.
susan wu – it is better to teach members to do things for credits – like update email, give real name, etc, and then give them credits for that action. this creates a good expectation of reward for engaging in a particular transaction.
dan – reward time value – when ppl spend a lot of time on the site, reward loyalty.  some sites have two forms of currency which can buy two kinds of different kinds goods.  this helps alleviate the gap between the haves and the have-nots. allows members who are strapped for cash but loyal to participate.

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