If you’ve read Cory Doctorow’s awesome near-future science fiction novel Down and Out in the Magic Kingdom [Amazon U.S.] [Amazon U.K.], then you know what whuffie is. If you haven’t, here’s the gist: The novel takes place in a “post-scarcity” world, where the basic needs of life and lots of its luxuries are freely available to all. There’s still an economy, however: it runs on whuffie, or reputation. Do something nice or good or interesting or fun, and others grant you whuffie points. Do something mean or stupid or boring, and others can take away your whuffie points. (Get a more detailed explanation at Wikipedia, or read Down and Out — it’s really good.)
And now, someone has started The Whuffie Bank — its motto: “In a world where reputation is wealth, only those that do good and well onto others are the richest” — in an attempt to begin to create a meaningful reputation economy. You can think of the number of Twitter followers someone has as a sort of reputation wealth or poverty, too. In fact, at the moment, The Whuffie Bank runs off of Twitter: you can grant someone else whuffie points, for instance, by retweeting someone else’s tweet. Or you can simply give some of your points to someone else: I just gave 10 whuffie points to Laremy Legel, my editor at Film.com, to thank him for making it such a joy to work for him.
So that’s all I want for Christmas: give me whuffie via The Whuffie Bank, for whatever you liked about FlickFilosopher.com in 2009. You can do so right in my account at The Whuffie Bank, or you do it directly in Twitter, by tweeting:
“WHF [# of whuffie points] @maryannjohanson for [whatever reason]”
Of course, you have to have both a Twitter account and a Whuffie account to do this.
Thanks, and Merry Christmas, Joyous Festivus, Happy Kwanzaa, Ecstatic Saturnalia, Happy New Year, etc.