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Sunday, December 12, 2010

Opinion: What do you think of the following name for a website:

The first time I heard about Farmville was when I received a strange request on facebook from a friend.  She wanted me to help her "buy a cow."  I ignored it.  I was next asked to help plant a field.  Then another acquaintance became rather insistent that I help him build a barn..  But what I thought, naively, might have been a creative computer virus out of the Ukraine, was actually a real business.  Apparently million of folks spend HOURS of their day on it.  Not only were they taking this silly thing seriously, but, to my utter astonishment, I learned that people were spending money - I mean REAL cash, buying virtual cows and virtual barns!  We are in a recession and people are spending money, buying things that don't exist except on a hard drive somewhere.  When I began telling some of my collector friends, it took me, in some cases, actually taking them online to convince them that I wasn't just yanking their chain.  They just couldn't wrap their brains around the idea of people collecting things that don't actually exist..

That's where the idea for was born.   I probably will never spend time putting up such a site, because why waste energy making fun of something that is itself a waste of energy? For those who are actually spending money on this madness, I really don't mean to be insulting, but WAKE UP!  You are putting millions of dollars into the pockets of people who are selling you digital livestock!  What happens if, God forbid, someone writes a "Mad Virtual Cow Disease" virus.  You will watch your "valuable" virtual longhorns get wobbly-kneed and die!  What if your barn gets ravaged by a virtual wildfire?

We need REAL innovation in America.  Real hands building real things that create real opportunities.  We won WWII largely because we were an industrial powerhouse that outproduced the Axis and, as a result, the Nazi Party is now a remnant of history.  We are rapidly becoming a nation which produces nothing.  Ours is a "service economy" which, if you have ever called for technical support on just about any product, is even outsourcing services.  What have we become really good at - generating debt.  Even though we produce little, we manage to consume a LOT.  Is this the kind of country we want to pass along to our children or do we want to get back to innovating the next generation of products and actually be the ones to make them.

It's something that is up to all of us.

Note: As an interesting side note to any "techies" who happen to read this blog...each roaming virtual animal is actually a small computer program that eats up your RAM and makes your computer slower.  So if you are still set on playing this silly game, keep your animals in the barn!  Better yet, slaughter them and turn them into virtual leather jackets - I think that could be a BIG seller on eBay.

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