May, 2009

The Internet: A Rabbit Hole for Those Who Try to Control It

May 13th, 2009

As you may have heard, Craigslist is closing down its Erotic Services section, after a continuous attack by politicians and cops.  Ultimately, though, as many have noted, modern-day bureaucrats cannot control the internet or the oldest profession:

As PC World reports: “The notion that Craigslist and [its] officers should be held responsible for third-party content on their site because they didn’t do enough to satisfy the individual whims of respective state attorneys general is wholly inconsistent with the law,” says (Electronic Frontier Foundation) senior staff attorney Matt Zimmerman.”

The internet is, increasingly, a rabbit hole for those who want to control content, which is to say, the internet has already beat them.

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Ebay Cuts Fees For Casual Sellers

May 12th, 2009

“The online marketplace eBay is eliminating some upfront fees to attract more sellers who occasionally auction off items.”

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Peer-to-Peer Online Loans

May 3rd, 2009

Prosper.com is an online peer-to-peer lender. Over S150 million (in amounts as small as $50) have been lent and borrowed by over 750,000 members of the site.  The business model may prove to rewrite the way people get loans, whether they need money for school, to build a business (an internet business perhaps), or for just about any other funding need. The model isn’t without its problems. In November, the SEC shut them down. for violation of the Securities Act of 1933. But on April 28th, Prosper.com was given special dispensation in California and, for now, it can operate in that state.

There are other internet sites offering peer-to-peer financing, for example DebtX: As The Economist magazine reports, While “Prosper aggregates lots of small bids, from ordinary investors, DebtX sells larger loans in asset classes such as commercial property…”

There are still many question to be worked out: “As of August 2008, approximately 18.5% of all money loaned on Prosper from inception (February 2006) through June 2008 are in some form of delinquency” But imagine how all of this internet innovation is changing — or redefining —  long-time traditional finance.

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