Available for rent, but not for sale?

Andrew Baron who founded Rocketboom is selling his Twitter account on eBay as part of an apparent publicity stunt. Quite apart from the obvious point that eBay as part of its T and Cs doesn’t allow the sale of digital assets (aimed originally at Second Life and World of Warcraft items), what is Brogan actually selling anyway?

Its like a firm trying to sell goodwill, its on the balance sheet but like a community its ethereal in nature and can easily dissipate in next to no time. Taking an example closer to home, Friendster was the first iteration of the modern social network, it built a community at such a rate that is servers couldn’t cope. The community went elsewhere and the company has now re-invented itself as an Asia Pac Facebook.

I once heard someone quote an Afghan saying about ‘being able to rent peoples loyalty but not being able to buy them’. I hope that Andrew Baron’s customer realises that and he also feels comfortable with the trust discount he will suffer in future social software reincarnations.