Jonathan’s Starbucks Card Experiment: Take a Coffee, Leave a Coffee

Last week, I mentioned a fun experiment by Jonathan Stark where he shared an image of his Starbucks Card/barcode, inviting people to try to use it to purchase stuff. I had a great time trying to use it, as did many other people across the US.

Well over the weekend, someone discovered that in addition to using the image to purchase stuff… you could also add value remotely to the card. Jonathan decided to make his card even more open, and posted up instructions on how to use the card. Modeled after the “take a penny, leave a penny” trays at stores, the idea is that the card would be left out in the wild… free for anyone to use (or to add funds to).

He even went so far as to create a Twitter account for the card. Behind the scenes, he wrote a bot that scrapes the card’s info from the Starbucks site, and then in turn posts the balance via Twitter.

I love the geekiness of this thing.

// Edit: At the time of this writing, it looks like someone used a big chunk of the funds (approx $52) in one shot. I’m planning on donating a little money back, since I technically owe a few dollars, so perhaps others will too when they see this.

This makes me a little sad, but I guess it’s to be expected. I would have liked to have seen this go on a bit longer, before something like this occurred. I hate it when the trolls show up.

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