Pornhub gives America wood

Watching porn will never be the same again. You don’t have to feel bad or guilty watching porn, as Pornhub gives people a good incentive to watch. By watching a video they contribute to a better, greener, society! How? For every 100 videos streamed in a certain category (for this campaign they choose the ‘Big Dick’ category), Pornhub will plant a tree! Watching porn now is justified as a form of volunteering!

The Pornhub gives America Wood campaign has received much media attention due to the strange connection (which linguistically perfectly makes sense) between porn and a sustainable, green initiative. Next to media attention, many memes have been created on popular sites (eg.,  given the campaign a boost. These memes can be perceived as value co-creation, as they are not made by Pornhub, but by people who are intrigued/inspired by the campaign. The many memes, comments and blogs about Pornhub’s campaign (see one of them below) attracts more attention, and thus creates value (both for the environment as for pornhub).

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The campaign has been a very successful one for the porn site; 15.473 trees have been planted ( The campaign lasted merely week, and easy calculations show that over 15 million videos (in the ‘Big Dick’ category only!) have been viewed on the platform during that week.

Continue reading Pornhub gives America wood

Can you really rely on online product reviews?

Product reviews on online platforms are growing in popularity1,2. Platforms like Amazon, Google or the App store use product reviews to show which products have the best experience in usage by other consumers. Most of these product reviews are extremely positive about the product3, but does this indicate that all products are extremely good and that there is no moderate product on the online market? Let’s give it a try to search on Amazon three random product reviews from books, video games and sports. The results are shown in table 1.

table 1

As can be seen from the table, two of those random reviews are extremely positive (the book and the sport watch) and one is extremely negative (the video game). An experiment done by Hu et al., (2009) asked customers to rate a music CD on a 5-star scale. This experiment shows an almost normal distribution, which can be expected if the ratings are randomly done by every buyer of the product. Most of the reviews on Amazon (table 1) show a so called J-shape distribution and not the outcome of the explained experiment. What could be the cause of those differences?

The first explanation is the purchasing bias, which states that customers with higher product valuation are more likely to purchase the product than customers with a low product valuation. Continue reading Can you really rely on online product reviews?

Flattr: A ‘Like’ with Real Value

The development of the Internet brought us several  online platforms on which we can exchange information, share pictures, listen to music, watch videos and so on. The use of Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Soundcloud is incorporated in our daily lives and nowadays we can’t image living without these services. One of the most interesting aspects of our online behavior is the fact that people share and contribute information for free on a massive scale. So what explains this behavior that we observe in the online environment? Although the urge to earn some money, a rather intrinsic motivation, can definitely play a role in people’s considerations to share or contribute to information online, extrinsic motivations such positive emotions, social rewards and connections, seem to be strong motivators which explain people’s online behavior (Mingarelli, 2013).

So how can we reward the millions of people who share and contribute information which we can use for our own benefit? Thanks to Facebook, we are able to ‘like’ others’ shares and contributions, but the familiar like button provides a more ‘social reward’ to the contributors or creators of certain information. Is this type of social reward enough for creators to keep sharing their information and contributions online for free? According to Flattr, a service enabling micro donations,  this is not the case. This European initiative beliefs that monetary support is the way to enable more content to be free and open. Flattring creators means that a supporter gives both a micro donation and social support, which provides a means of motivation which hopefully leads to more and better content to use and benefit from.  Furthermore, Flattr argues that paying for content gives a warm and fuzzy feeling and moreover, the feeling of being part of the creation of great content.Flattr Blog post

So how does Flattring work?  Continue reading Flattr: A ‘Like’ with Real Value Could it be improved?

An important British wisdom states that it is improper to discuss money – and if the Brits say so, it must be true. But living up to that maxim in today’s society can be quite challenging, especially for students. Take your typical student that lives in a house with five others. Usually, they will share their kitchen, making it virtually impossible if not very inefficient to have everyone get their own groceries and their own cooking. Of course, the big advantage of living in a student house is that you can share.

But what about the – this time – American expression that states: “There is no such thing as a free lunch”. Everyone is happy to share in today’s economy, but sharing comes at a price. Of course, there is your general freeloader problem, but in addition to that, it can become quite difficult to keep track of all expenses. That is probably what the inventors of (“Who pays for what?”) must have thought.


On their website they give the following example (“Wat is”, 2014): image we have four students living in a student house: Daan, Bart, Anne and Fleur. Bart went grocery shopping today and spent 15 euros. However, Fleur went for groceries yesterday and spent 20 euros. To see who owes whom you could calculate how much each person is in the positive or negative. For instance, Bart needs to receive 6,25 and Fleur and Daan both need to pay 8,75. Very time consuming to keep this up to date.

That’s why offers a tool where you simply enter the amount you spent and the rest is calculated. In addition to that, the website offers many features: it shows records and overviews and can show what you owe to each particular individual.

Continue reading Could it be improved?