Seriosity To Fix Email Overload (or not)

Seriosity has a solution for over-crowded email inboxes. If you want someone’s attention, you’ll be paying for it.

The company’s hook is that they’ve studied World of Warcraft and other multi-player games and believe they’ve found the right way to get people’s attention – virtual currency. You attach a payment to an email, called a Serio, which is transferred to the recipient. The recipient is able to determine how important an email is based on the size of the payment. When an inbox is overcrowded, presumably the reader will sort through to the higher paying emails.

This strongly reminds me of beenz, a Web 1.0 currency that would be handed out for doing various things, like visiting web sites, that users otherwise wouldn’t be bothered to do. The company fell apart just after the Nasdaq tanked earlier this millennium.

What isn’t clear is what people can do with the currency other than send emails. Let me convert this into cash or frequent flyer miles or something else, and I’m in (beenz did this). Otherwise, what’s the point, other than to amass a stunningly large number of Serio and then spend it on…sending emails.

The company, founded in 2004, is based in Palo Alto and is using $6 million in venture capital to feed 27 hungry employees. See CNET for more.