Anyone who has lost track fo time when using a computer knows the propensity to dream, the urge to make dreams come true and the tendency to miss lunch. Tim Berners-Lee ¹
The header for the Carrot.org site reads “Carrot -Coins for the Web – Enabling Casual Commerce“. We are often asked what is this thing “casual commerce”.
It refelcts the casual nature for transactions which are carried out using CarrotPay. From the purchasers perspective a couple of clicks and a purchase for a few cents is made and the digital content delivered. From the content creator’s perspective, the casual creator dip a toe in the water and set up to accept small payments with no great adminstrative effort or financial commitment.
The Oxford English Dictionary defines Casual as: “relaxed, without formality of style or manner”
and Commerce as: “the activity of buying and selling“.
What type of commerce are we talking about where this wold be remotely relevant ?
An example of casual commerce in the real world could be the stereotypical youngster setting up a lemonade stand on the pavement outside his home to raise money for his latest project. All it takes is a large jug of iced lemonade ( usually down to Mum ), glasses, a table, a chair and the all important cash box for the mountain of sales receipts and Hey Presto you are in business. Not a long term business venture but the first tentative steps in an entrepreneurial career, a form of casual commerce.
Making the leap to the internet, we have our budding entrepreneur creating content which he thinks he could sell on the internet. Setting up the web-site to display and sell the content takes a couple of hour’s work. The little app cannot be too expensive and is to be sold for 50 cents but here’s the thing, he can forget credit and debit cards, as they are too cumbersome to set up, it will take ages to arrange and the charges will be too high for such low value transactions. What about Apple ? they are really cool ! but similar issues – lose 30% of your proceeds to Apple and a lengthy approval process.
Enter CarrotPay, it takes a couple of minutes to obtain a merchant’s WebPurse in order to accept cash ( the Cash Box ) and a couple of lines of code to drop the buy buttons into different locations on the web-site and hey presto our budding entrepreneur is in business. Possibly the first, small steps towards a serious business or something to play around with on those bad weather days – Casual commerce.
¹ Sir Timothy John “Tim” Berners-Lee is a British engineer and computer Scientist and MIT professor credited with inventing the World Wide Web.