ChittahChattah Quickies
By Steve Portigal at 2:43 pm, Friday February 17 2012

Dry your eyes with an eBay for the broken-hearted [Telegraph] – There’s an interesting idea here; I’m not sure exactly why this sort of items deserve their own ecommerce site; is the narrative sufficiently appealing for buyers and sellers to replace an established player like eBay? I’d suggest they get their story straight, the site says “Never Liked It Anyway is a place where once loved gifts from once loved partners get a second chance.” If the gifts were indeed once-loved then the site’s title is not very accurate. Or maybe this is something I’d have to be a woman to understand.

The bride ditched at the altar hardly wants to save her wedding dress for a later date, while angry ex-wives are unlikely to keep the diamond earrings from a cheating husband. How about selling off those expensive gifts? A new website, NeverLikedItAnyway.com, is helping dumped girlfriends and jilted brides get emotional closure – and a bit of cash to ease their heartbreak. The global site, set up by New York business consultant Annabel Acton, 28, is an eBay for the broken-hearted. Users upload an image, description and “break-up price” for their item, as well as a sob story of how they came to be getting shot of it online. From engagement rings and wedding dresses to the detritus of a cancelled wedding day, spurned women are flocking to sell their unwanted goods.

Find puppy love (cats too) through Meet Your Match [AP] – As Internet dating tips fully from losers-last-refuge to lovers-log-on, it becomes a metaphor, albeit a tortured one, for other types of services. Weren’t we screening for a good match in adopting pets a long time ago? Sounds like they have streamlined the approach, but the idea is probably strong enough to stand on its own without leveraging online dating. Although maybe that’s the journalist looking for a V-Day angle?

Meet Your Match was designed by Emily Weiss, vice president of shelter research and development for the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals. Potential adopters answer 19 questions on subjects such as whether they want a playful or laid-back pet, how their animal will spend its days and how they will spend together time with their new dog or cat. For the pet evaluation, animals are put in a room in front of a camera. Staff members watch how quickly they settle, lie down, curl up and what else they choose to do. They watch the animals play and interact. People and pets are assigned a color – green, orange or purple – and one of three categories in each color category.

Dogs are watched for friendliness, playfulness, energy level, motivation and drive. A dog might be a laid-back couch potato, a curious busy bee or an action hero go-getter, Weiss said. Green is for dogs who like to be physically and mentally engaged, orange for middle-of-the-road dogs who enjoy regular activity and interaction, and purple for dogs who are easygoing, Cats who test green thrive on adventurous, carnival-style living. Orange is for go-with-the-flow pets, while purples require a less exciting, library-like home where they can be nothing more than a love bug, Weiss explained.

Merope Lolis tested at the ASPCA’s Adoption Center as a good fit for a purple love bug – a cat that would be on its own much of the day. But she fell in love with a beautiful calico cat before realizing that it was a “frisky cat who was going to need lots of attention when I wasn’t available. I found that information to be very useful to me,” Lolis said.

Jevons paradox [Wikipedia] – These counter-intuitive principles are handy to collect as frequent reminders that the world is a complex system of complex systems, and our presumptions about interventions leading to predictable outcomes are hopelessly naive.

The proposition that technological progress that increases the efficiency with which a resource is used, tends to increase (rather than decrease) the rate of consumption of that resource In 1865, the English economist William Stanley Jevons observed that technological improvements that increased the efficiency of coal-use led to the increased consumption of coal in a wide range of industries. He argued that, contrary to common intuition, technological improvements could not be relied upon to reduce fuel consumption.

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One Response to “ChittahChattah Quickies”

    I have such a mixed response to the NeverLikedItAnyway site. I understand that for the sellers it is cathartic in a way that eBay can’t provide. Maybe buyers enjoy knowing they are benefiting from a post-breakup discount. Honestly though, I feel like this commodifies negative energy and productizes broken hearts. Bargain or not, I could not bring myself to buy something here- no matter how great the trauma, er, discount.

    Comment by Tamara Christensen 02.20.12 @ 12:47 pm