10:11 AM

Would You Share Your Income With Your Influencers?

The Web 2.0 culture is a sharing culture. Sharing links, information, news, photos, videos, music -- anything digital is being shared.

But would you share your salary? Would you share part of your income with people that influence you? Would you like to share in the income of others that you influenced?

Do you think that someone like Larry Ellison should share their compensation? You can take a poll here.

What does this all have to do with anything? It's my way of introducing you to Openyear.
Founder and CEO Joseph Hentz Jr. is working on a service called Open Pay: "Basically Open Pay allows you to be paid and to pay others based on how much you influence them and how much they influence you."

Here is an example:

Say you're an earner making $50K per year, and your company is headed by a super earner CEO making $500K per year. Whenever what you write or say reaches your CEO , or anyone else using Open Pay, we track your influence on them and rank it relative to all the other people influencing them within a 2 week pay period. If you're among the top people influencing your CEO (or anyone on Open Pay), you get a payment based on a percentage of his $500K salary automatically (or a percentage of anyone's salary you influence on Open Pay). Likewise, people that influence you will receive a payment based on 2% of your salary, provided courtesy of Openyear.

You would also have the opportunity to put up some of your money. In return, you would get a chance to share in more than 2 per cent of other people's money. More details here.

Openyear has produced a site which tries to associate the venture with people such as Muhammad Yunus, the 2006 Nobel Peace prize winner and his efforts to eradicate poverty worldwide. And there are many other fuzzy, feel-good connections that Openyear is trying to make, such as:

The global economic system will encourage individuals, businesses and institutions to share their prosperity and participate actively in bringing prosperity to others, making Income Inequality an irrelevant issue. Unemployment and welfare will be unheard of.

Openyear seems to be saying that "income inequality" can be eradicated by implementing its system of influencer tracking. I don't get the connection.

For one, it would be tremendously difficult to monitor influence. Secondly, how does sharing your salary with people that influence you eradicate poverty?

Why should Mr Ellison share his compensation, which in 2008 was $556 million? If I influenced him in any way, why should I share in his success in taking something and him being able to monetize it? What's in it for him? A feel good fuzzy feeling that he has handed over millions of dollars and now become "income equalized?"

The idea of my sharing my income and then sharing in the income of others seems like moving money around where only Openyear would make money, by taking a piece of the action.

Openyear is right in one respect -- there is money to be made from influence. But we already have well developed pathways to monetize influence.

Influencers get compensated by being paid to do what they do: as analysts, journalists, broadcasters, professional athletes, company leaders, teachers, etc.

I don't see the point of Openyear. And I certainly don't see the point in its cloaking of its business motives by trying to make it seem as if it is aligned with the noble mission of Muhammad Yunus.