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May 19, 2009

App lets online friends send martinis across the U.S.

Posted: 05:00 PM ET

As social networks continue to search for viable business models, "virtual currencies" are becoming more important.

See today's CNN story for more on the subject. On a slight tangent, I thought I'd toss out a link to a cool site I encountered during my research (If you can call looking for neat Web sites research).

It's called Give Real, and you can use the site's applications in social networks to buy real-world drinks for your friends - no matter if you're at a sports bar in Cleveland and your friend's at a techno club in California.

Functionally, it seems a little clunky. You select a drink, determine its price and write a note for your friend - like a proposed toast or something along those lines. Then you pay for it with a credit card and the drink goes to your friend's e-mail, where they must enter credit card information in order to get a credit that will let the friend redeem the drink wherever he or she would like.

Here's a how-to guide from the site for a bit more of an explanation.

And more from TechCrunch on that point:

Once your friends already have cards in the system the process is much easier, but I question if my friends would readily enter their credit card numbers to redeem their gifts in the first place (then again, people will go through a lot for a free drink).

Still, it seems like it could be a fun tool if, say, your friend is getting married or graduating from school and you can't be there. The idea is also interesting conceptually: many social network apps create currencies so you can buy virtual gifts (pixel T-shirts and the like), but this app lets you give your online friends something tangible. The drinks exist in the real world, not just as pictures online - which, if you're a drinker, is probably important.

What do you think? If you try the site, let me know how it goes in the comments section.

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Filed under: Internet • social-networking sites

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Johan Nix   May 27th, 2009 6:18 pm ET

Quite a misleading service. Their copy leads you to believe you only need a credit card, when in fact, you need to open up your entire financial history to them through your banks online account credentials.

Nothing (no not even a $5 drink) is worth giving someone my bank credentials.

Even if my account is secure with GiveReal, they are no doubt tracking my purchase history in order to sell my identity to marketers.

J.C. Noriega   May 4th, 2010 9:09 pm ET

There are more secure ways to buy drinks online.

Bella Kuree   October 18th, 2010 1:05 pm ET

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What do you think about changing it every few months?

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Cool article. Ready to read more.

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Neil   July 29th, 2011 11:56 am ET

a bit flawed from accessibility point , mobile is more effective , hence hotclubber are about to launch a new mobile product which in the usa in a few short short weeks .


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