March 30, 2004
Ghetto Fabulous

FunHi has been making the geek headlines (Wired, Kottke, Slashdot) for the past couple of days, and causing some stir. Well, derision mostly, from people who scoff at the fools who have nothing better to do than sit in front of a computer and buy stuff for other people in the hopes of scoring some semi-anonymous booty.

But for those who are interested in emergent virtual economies, especially one not dependent on a 3D engine, this is a quirky little breed -- one that cultivates "community" by manifesting the air of a Videobox music video, complete with props, shoutouts, blingbling, gangstas, and bootylicious mamas ready for a beach party.

Posted by tmonkey at March 30, 2004 06:38 PM

Early Adopters Define the Demographic

We’ve all recently seen a brash new social networking service get a two page feature article by Daniel Terdiman in Wired News. Is Terdiman on to something? As those who follow Terdiman’s work already know, you bet.

FunHi’s own audacious press release boasts “FunHi.Com has taken the lead as a next generation social networking site. Recognizing that online relationship time is replacing mainstay leisure activities like movies, TV and night clubs, it is successfully diverting leisure purchases to the relationship site itself. Results show that purchasing a virtual box of chocolates for another FunHi.Com member is far more satisfying than the passive glow of a film or TV screen.”

The clash between virtualization of experience and diverting cash flows through that process is an old story. The usual winners are the mainstream players with the sway and prestige of market tested spokespeople such as royalty, tycoons, pop stars and industry picks. Now, we see a new possibility emerging at FunHi. To define this possibility look at the demographic of people that make up their members.

To the ethnologist the image would probably be “global.” One could pass this group off as a “melting pot.” The pass off would be a mistake. It is the early adoption of a new set of exchanges extended by technology that defines this “melting pot.” By analogy to the way the urban city as a technology extended exchange through its change agents, is drawing its immigrants due to fresh potentials for individual exchange. Together, the members are leveraging the mainstream media for increased presence. To date they are astonishingly successful.

Because of this raw demographic influx, it is probable that FunHi’s outrageous claim carries more weight than we think. If we take the history of a port city like New York City as an analogy what does this say about migration, early adoption and leverage at What does this say about the growing insertion of the audience into the mainstream media.

Raphael Slewicz

Posted by: Raphael Slewicz on April 1, 2004 11:02 PM

Kevin, those rhetorical questions sound like questions for you.

Posted by: dbrown on April 2, 2004 07:35 AM

Is it hard to get a Funhi invite?

Thanks, Tim

Posted by: Tim on June 14, 2004 03:47 PM

Is it hard to get a Funhi invite?

Thanks, Tim

Posted by: Tim on June 14, 2004 03:47 PM

no luck here on gettin a funhi invite. anyone?

Posted by: jody on June 16, 2004 04:09 AM

I have been a member of funhi for a while..if you would like an invitation please email me. I would be happy to invite you! My username is kenyapou on there...check me out if you need verification of my membership.
My email adress is

Posted by: k on July 3, 2004 05:08 PM
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