Save your paperclips!

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When we became bloggers for this class, I’m sure many of us did not realize the power of the blogging world.  The internet community brings opportunities that I never really thought possible.  As I was stumbling around for a topic to write on this week, I came across the story of the “one red paperclip”.  Kyle MacDonald, a Canadian blogger, sought to use his blog to trade a single red paperclip for a house.  Yes, a HOUSE.  Through a series of online trades, MacDonald finally accomplished his mission. MacDonald’s trading began on July 12, 2005 and ended exactly one year and fourteen trades later on July 12, 2006.

How in the world can one man trade a red paper clip for a house? Good question.  MacDonald’s original message on his blog stated,

“This red paperclip is currently sitting on my desk next to my computer. I want to trade this paperclip with you for something bigger or better, maybe a pen, a spoon, or perhaps a boot.
If you promise to make the trade I will come and visit you, wherever you are, to trade.”

He started small with his first trade being only for a wooden fish pen. Since MacDonald was willing to travel anywhere and basically willing to trade for anything, blog readers jumped at the chance to interact with the author.  Wikipedia provides a complete version of all of MacDonald’s trades:

I find the story of the red paper clip inspiring and completely fascinating.  Have you ever thought about using the internet to accomplish something like this?  Would you now?

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3 Responses

  1. This is so entertaining. I know that there have been some pretty crazy things (like a ghost and the right to name a woman’s first baby), however, none of these seem as innovative of a process as what this guy did. It would be interesting to see how much eh ended up spending on travel between these places. I also wonder what made some of these people agree to the trades… did they all know about his goal or were they just interested in what he had to offer?

    • He posted on his blog that he was making these trades in order to purchase a house so I imagine everyone he traded with was aware of his final intent. I personally think it would be more interesting if they didn’t.

  2. Hey im doing this exact thing! Check out my blog! Wierzbicki barterz.tk Im only doing it for the state of oklahoma though.

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