Online Social Experiments: Paying it Forward With Coffee

Okay, so I have to be honest. I had no intention of writing about this today, but after stumbling across a few links, I decided this had to be addressed. Everyone knows I love coffee. It's no secret. I am also a patron of Starbucks, and chances are if you are in Bangor, you'll find me doing my work here. So today I came into Starbucks to pick up a coffee and berry coffee cake and got to work. I read up on some financial articles and responded to some emails and finally decided to take a look at one of my new favorite daily blogs.

The name if the blog is Laughing Squid and if you haven't gone there before, I encourage you to. They have a wide variety of blog posts including youtube videos, photographs, artist designs and so forth. The website explains that they are an, "an online resource for interesting art, culture & technology". I found the blog about two weeks ago, and visit almost every day now. All that being said, I was looking at the updated pages, and came across one of the coolest social experiments I have recently seen. Why do I find it awesome? It involves Starbucks, and my love for coffee.

The blog post sent me to a link that was started by Jonathan Stark, a bigwig moblie guy. Anyway, I was then informed that Jonathan Stark had opened up a digital Starbucks giftcard. You can actually get giftcards on many mobile phones now, which makes life much easier and your wallet looking less like George Constanza's billfold. Stark had put a certain amount of money on it. He then embedded a picture onto the site to let people take a picture of the gift card for you to use. The catch? There may not be any money on the card when you order something, but that also means that you have the change to make someone's day by reloading the gift card. Sound confusing? Well, it is a bit crazy I have to admit, but I had to try. In fact, when I went to check the balance of the card, there was $5.83 left on the card! I didn't use the card at that point in time because I had already gotten my coffee. Later on however, I got a hot chocolate, and while there was no money on the card, I decided to pay it forward and put $5 of my own money on the card. Heck, I spend a ton of money here, why not make someone's day?

And here is the proof. This is a copy of my receipt from today showing that I put $5 on the card.

And if you have a question as to how much money is on the card, you can follow the card on Twitter. Yes, the giftcard has its own Twitter account which tells you each time a transaction is made. Here is my transaction tweet that the card put out!


So there you have it. For instructions on how to get a picture of the giftcard, Click Here. It also explains in greater detail how it works. Try it out!

Couldn't you use a free coffee now and again?

Seth P.