So, what’s the skinny on bigplanet?

I know it’s an MLM deal. My partner recently got signed up by a friend of hers and I’m, frankly, less than thrilled about that. The reason for my concern is that this situation is causing my partner to devote time and energy to an effort that does nothing for our business.

But, acknowledging that, along with my inherent negative feeliings about MLM businesses, up front, let me ask those who might know a few things.

What I’ve gathered is that they sell a device that might be described as a dumbed-down laptop that can do duty as a phone or an internet browser (a computer for people who don’t want a computer) and offer access to discounts on some merchandise (e.g., office supplies). Apparently there are some residuals on purchases of merchandise, but the draw, as with all MLM deals, is the cut one gets off of the efforts of the vast network of bigplanet agents that will all be branches off the main root of you, yes you, the originating representative.

So, I guess I could see some value to it if you thought you’d use enough fax paper and whiteout to make back your initial investment in discounts. And I know they’ve got all kinds of peripheral deals going (she’s switched our long distance to some bigplanet related deal).
Without getting into a discussion of MLM life or anything, what I really want to know is: can she really expect to reap enough reward from this to justify foregoing efforts on behalf of her real job? Without completely abandoning her real job? Without alienating all of her friends and neighbors?

I have long held that Big Planet is among Vance’s best work. Its unfortunate title allows manny people top overlook it as if it were a simple space-opera. However, the variety of off-beat and eccentric cultures encountered show Vance at his best, and I do not believe his grasp of verisimilitude is displayed better in any other novel or novella. He provides just the right amount of telling detail to bring his cultures to life…

What? Really?

Oh, sorry, nevermind…