Red Paperclip Story Lost In Translation

from the all-about-the-profits dept

Last year, there was a ton of hype about the "feel good" story of the guy who traded one red paperclip up to a house through a series of barters. It was a nice, fun story and the press ate it up. Of course, as with any internet hit, it wasn't long before there were a number of copycats. However, over in China, it appears that something got a little lost in the translation. A guy in China who still insists that the original story couldn't possibly have been true, figured he could make up the same thing and created a copycat, except the whole thing was pretty much made up by the guy. He got some woman who wanted to be a rock star, changed her name, and then set up a similar site, as the woman, pretending that she wanted to trade a red paperclip (he didn't even change the color) for a house. He then kicked off a whole media blitz (which the media fell for) and made himself $37,000 over a few months as the media went nuts over this woman. The woman got a recording contract... and then dropped the whole "trading" thing and lots of folks got angry at the guy who set it up. However, he still insists that he's no different than Kyle MacDonald, the original red paperclip guy -- other than the fact that Kyle wasn't as good (so the Chinese guy says) at monetizing his scam. He also says that it's been good for business, as lots of others who want to become famous on the internet are now coming to him for help. So, apparently, we can start to expect cheap Chinese knockoffs of other internet hype campaigns as well.

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  • identicon
    Clemons, 5 Jul 2007 @ 12:51am

    Well, since there are Chinese knockoffs of everything, there can be knockoffs of news stories too.

    Still, the game MacDonald played to get a house was pretty freakin' cool. I wonder if anyone can do it just as easily? I could use the cash.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 5 Jul 2007 @ 1:04am

    I want to trade a hook

    I'd like to trade my hook for a line and sinker. Any offers?

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 5 Jul 2007 @ 3:04am

    The impression is that you think the original story is true - perhaps all "cool" stories are always true if they are from the US.

    You seem sceptical about whether the Chinese guy is better at monetizing the scheme - well he's only Chinese !

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Suffering fools..., 5 Jul 2007 @ 5:48am

    troll bait

    The impression is that you think the original story is true - perhaps all "cool" stories are always true if they are from the US. You seem sceptical about whether the Chinese guy is better at monetizing the scheme - well he's only Chinese !

    Paranoid, way too paranoid. This is a human interest story, not a racial statement. Your little rant comes across as flame-bait. Get off your soapbox and chill...

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Wyndle, 5 Jul 2007 @ 6:10am

    Re:

    Still, the game MacDonald played to get a house was pretty freakin' cool. I wonder if anyone can do it just as easily? I could use the cash.

    Anyone is capable but it will not be easy to do. He had time to dedicate to publicity and bartering, slightly more than most working people I know. If you want to get into the alternative advertising arena then this is the task for you.

    On the other hand, I have a display sword for trade...

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 5 Jul 2007 @ 6:22am

    Whether or not the original story is, in fact, true is beside the point. The person in the original story most likely did not do it for monetary gain, but just to be able to say he could do it and did do it. This greedy Chinese guy, looking to achieve profit no matter what, apparently missed that point. Who cares if Kyle didn't "monetize" his story? Good grief, can't anybody just have a good time doing something without profiting from it? This Chinese guy sounds like he'd be in good company with the Ferengi. ^_~

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Wyndle, 5 Jul 2007 @ 10:51am

      Re:

      But Kyle DID profit from it. Perhaps not with money, but rest assured that advertising execs put his name and contact info in plain sight of their HR departments.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Caroline, 29 Oct 2007 @ 1:15pm

    AWSOME

    i have a red paper clip not the same as yours obviously but i wonder.....

    thanks for the idea!!!!!! lol

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]


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