Monday, July 17, 2006

Paperclip Update

A while ago, the internet was abuzz with the story of Kyle McDonald, a Canadian who was attempting to trade a red paperclip for a house. Not directly, mind you, but in a series of trades that he would "win" by enough to eventually end up with a house. (Bryce first brought this to my attention.) It seems that Kyle has finally succeeded, as he now has a house in Kipling, Saskatchewan.

According to the Royal Bank of Canada Financial Group, the average two-storey home price in Saskatchewan in the first quarter of 2006 was $175,000 (Canadian, I guess). So that's not a bad set of trades. Of course, as his plan got into the press, people were no longer just trading for the good, but also for the experience of being involved in his scheme. All in all, though, that's a pretty nice rate of return on his investment...

[Another interesting note in all of this is that part of McDonald's final haul includes "$200 in Kipling Cash" which "can be spent at any local Chamber of Commerce business." So that's another place in the world using a non-official currency. With only 1,000 residents in Kipling, it surely isn't used to the degree that private monies were used in Argentina recently, but it is still noteworthy.]

(h/t to David Pogue, NYT)


Blogger Candy Minx said...

This is a really fun story. I followed his blog since he began it a year ago...and it is quite an amazing project.

I think even if some people became involved because of the exposure I don't see that as being "not good". The final decision on what was traded was Kyle's. I know he is a very kind hearted person through blog pals. I suspect part of his reasons for taking some prizes over others was because of the sense of the person involved with the trade.

Kyle has also been very generous with his time regarding a pal of mines blog... of Sean who is fundraising for diabetes while losing 250 pounds.

I think in any neighbourhood there is a sense of reward and quality of life when you know your neighbours and your neighbours know you. Is that any different in blogland by trading with Kyle someone may have been seeking a new form of community. Fame is an obvious metaphor for god,(god omniprescent, and known everywhere) but it is also a metaphor for community. Kyle gave Sean a lot of advice about how to structure his posts and also donated money to his diabetes fundraising. I am curious if he and his girlfriend are going to live in Sakatchewan or keep trading. I think it's pretty cool they brought a lot of attention to that town.

Really enjoyed your blog and have linked you in an experiment with making 20 posts once a week.


7/17/2006 7:25 PM  

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