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October 18, 2007

Random Slashdot Stuff for Auction on eBay

In honor of its 10th anniversay, Slashdot is having a charity auction of a few items on Ebay, proceeds to benefit the EFF. The current bids:

  • $1225.00 (25 bids) for your own @slashdot.org email address.
  • $257.52 (17 bids) for the case (plus some internals) from the first server to host slashdot.org.
  • $1076.00 (23 bids) for having your URL plugged in the auction follow-up story on the site.
  • $51.00 (10 bids) for a fire-damaged copy of "Watchmen" that belonged to a Slashdot founder.
  • $676.00 (19 bids) for a random collection of Slashdot merch (t-shirts, hats, etc).
  • $2000.00 (34 bids) for a very low Slashdot UID (which would represent to others that you had signed up for Slashdot in the very early days of the site).

One of the things that has always fascinated me about celebrity is the way it can be used to create value from nothing. For example, if you are a famous baseball player and you sign a blank piece of paper, it suddenly has value--from out of thin air. If you could get $50 for an autograph and signed 100 autographs a day, you could earn almost $2 million a year just from that (I used my nifty RPN calculator for that one!). Of course you would flood the market for your autograph etc. but still it's impressive.

The Slashdot charity auction shows a bit of this. The server case, certainly, is pure celebrity effect; the thing belongs in a scrap heap, and it's hard to imagine what the winning bidder would do with it besides exhibiting in their house and saying "d00d" a lot (until their wife/girlfriend intervenes and redirects it back on the path to the scrap heap). In about 1991 I was in a snowboard shop in Whistler and they were selling a used board from a famous snowboarder (the name "Sean Kearns" leaps unbidden to my mind, but that might be wrong). It was selling for $800, much more than the new boards were selling for, but it had a sign on it saying "This snowboard is a piece of junk, it's cracked and delaminated, but you'll pay for it because it's Sean Kearns's [or whoever's] old board!" And it probably did sell.

Some of the others are reasonable; the Slashdot swag you could at least wear, if not derive $676 of use from; a plug on slashdot is worth something; and "Watchmen" is a great story. The @slashdot.org email address could show you are a cool frood and maybe get you a job or a date. I do wonder about the low UID. It gives you no extra functionality from just signing up tomorrow and getting a high UID, but in the world of Slashdot it does connote status. So again, it's value that was created from nothing due to the success of the site.

Posted by AdamBa at October 18, 2007 01:25 PM

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well I for one welcome our new geek overlords ...

Posted by: OS at October 18, 2007 03:09 PM