Monday, October 1, 2007

The T-Dome for Less Than a Twenty


Though I was quite busy during the weekend on home and work projects, I did have enough time to buy the Tacoma Dome for a mere eighteen dollars. I suppose that could put me in the same category as a gullible New York tourist who has purchased the Brooklyn Bridge, but I prefer to think of it more akin to naming a star after someone special through the International Star Registry (which I have done).

It isn’t official of course and I don’t maintain any rights to the real property. However, on A Dollar an Acre what I can do is add descriptive text to the acreage as it appears on a global map and can designate a destination for any click through.

The site exists through the efforts of Michael Pilon, the founder of MapMuse, a web mapping services firm that provides advanced mapping services to real estate brokers across the United States and an internet company has been around since 1999.

Intrigued by the idea, I wrote and asked him what he hoped to accomplish with the site. To me, it was a rather obvious money making venture with an interesting hook. He wrote back, “DAA is a business venture but kind of a side venture to my primary business, MapMuse.com. I thought of it one day when I saw some of the other Million Dollar Web pages that were selling pixels. I thought it would be very interesting to connect geography to websites….

An example of this is the Million Dollar Homepage, a website created by Alex Tew, a 21-year-old student from Wiltshire, England to help raise money for his university education. According to Wikipedia, “launched on August 26, 2005, the website is said to have generated a gross income of $1,037,100 USD and has a current Google PageRank of 7.”

Michael also wrote, “I thought DAA would also connect the virtual world to the physical world but in a more visual way. It will also be interesting to see what people buy, why they buy it, and what they connect it to. We also hope to make some money from it but to be honest I think it will either take off or not get many visitors…”

As Cindy Jett, Michael’s wife informed me in her promotional email, “You can buy these acres for advertising purposes, sentimental reasons, or as an investment. Every acre in the virtual world is available for just 1 dollar.

Dollar an Acre is described as “part billboard, part game, part human interest, and part investment strategy.”

I love it. Create a virtual depiction of the real world and then start selling the real estate for it.

So far, it appears I am one of only a small handful of people who own a piece of this non-property. When I bought my parcel of digital land less than two hundred acres were spoken for. Most of those have been scooped up by Michael, who promises only to buy a small number of spots. As of today, 238 acres of the 196,935,000 sq miles of surface area on the Earth have been bought, so there are a few acres left.

I may not be able to camp on it, but I will print out the page it is on and place it next to the coordinates for the star I named through the international star registry.

1 comment:

noisms said...

It's a neat idea, but one that has echoes of Japan's property investment bubble which led to the collapse of the economy in the late 1980s/1990s. I'm not an expert, but I think that had something to do with the buying and selling of nonexistent land and property.

I wish I'd thought of what Alex Tew did, though. I just slaved for three years at a sink in a restaurant kitchen to fund my degree... ;)