How a deal might be struck (continued from part one)
Assuming there is a certain level of trust between the buyer and seller, there are a few ways a deal can be made and a few questions to be addressed before the transfer is made. Will the buyer maintain the seller’s identity after purchase? To what extent is the buyer allowed to act as the seller when they acquire the account? Consider:
- Display name
- Personal pictures
- Existing blogs
- Existing comments
- A list of friends exempt of being solicited personally
An agreement between a buyer and seller can be structured in any way. The possibilities are really up to the parties’ imaginations. Here are some other facts and ideas to be kept in mind when arriving at an agreement.
1. Keeping a seller’s pictures up can help to ensure that friends don’t delete the account after the transfer. It is common behavior to aggregate existing friends and not pay much attention to minor profile changes when the potential “deleter” has a long friend list and only interacts with a few people with regularity. As a buyer, don’t raise any flags by putting up an unlikely photo or doing anything else that might be suspect behavior, like bulletin spam.
2. The seller can change their account email address. They’ll no longer be found if someone searches based on email. It may, however, take weeks for the email to be removed from the search results.
3. One can enable an away message thus disabling new incoming messages if desired.
4. One can require a last name to add you as a friend (which can be changed to something not obviously guessable) if the seller does not want new real life friends finding this profile and becoming a friend.
5. A buyer may want to require comment approval. If the account purchase is publicized, it should not be made known on your page. If people know that a profile is being used for marketing purposes they’re less likely to keep it as a friend.
Finally, I have listed some scenarios where a buyer and seller may have their biggest concerns.
1. The seller agrees to maintain the account with links / ad space and retains the password.
2. The seller gives up the password and the profile retains the seller’s identity. The seller agrees to give free reign to the buyer to solicit any of their friends and pose as them to any extent.
3. The seller gives up the password and the profile retains the seller’s identity. The buyer agrees to restrictions on what photos will remain, what type of new photos are acceptable, and limitations in blog posts, etc.; after all, the profile will be played as if it were still the seller. Of course the seller may have some interest in keeping their name clean!
4. The seller changes their identity completely and then sells with the password. This may not be as attractive to the buyer because there is a greater chance that profile friends will delete this mysterious new person they are friends with, but the seller can rest assured that the marketing efforts are not coming from their face & name directly. Remember, my hypothesis that people with tons of friends don’t regularly interact with them, thus keeping the friend retention of this type of purchased profile higher than what may be expected.
When is this going to hit?
By now, we should all be aware of pay-per-post bloggers that receive compensation for reviewing or mentioning products or services. I will agree that selling a myspace account is very similar in concept, but there are clearly some great advantages to myspace over a blog in this case — you can see your target audience.
I really think that the sellers need to create the online marketplace for these transactions to take place. No one would be happy knowing Wawa is seeking to purchase myspace accounts openly. It would all work better if there were some type of brokerage or means for a buyer to purchase privately.
So… does anyone want to buy a relatively small profile with a friend id in the 50,000 range?