Jonathan’s Starbucks Card Wants to Buy You Coffee

UPDATE Aug 8 4pm: Response from Starbucks: “We think Jonathan’s project is really interesting and are flattered he chose Starbucks for his social experiment. [Twitter]

UPDATE Aug 11: Jonathan Stark revealed that the card had received a total of $8700 in donations from himself and others (he has added $300 of his own money). The card has been reloaded 500 times and it’s been used around 900 times for purchases at Starbucks. [Mashable]

UPDATE Aug 12: Internet entrepeneur Sam Odio revealed that he created a script to hack Jonathan’s card and had already transferred $625 of the balance to his own Starbucks Card, offering it for purchase on Ebay with proceeds going to the Save the Children fund. [Mashable]

UPDATE Aug 12, 10pm: Starbucks contacted Jonathan to inform him that his Starbucks card was being deactivated due to the hacking and fraud concerns reported earlier Friday. [Mashable]

Jonathan's Starbucks CardMobile application developer and consultant Jonathan Stark is using his Starbucks card to buy coffee for anyone who wants it.

Grab the screenshot of Jonathan’s Starbucks digital Starbucks card shown here. Copy the image to your smartphone, head to a Starbucks near you, order a coffee and hold the picture up to the scanner. If the scanner beeps there’s money on the card and you just earned yourself a free coffee. (it only works in the US, where Starbucks is scanning the mobile phone codes)

Jonathan describes the project as “an experiment in social sharing of physical goods using digital currency on mobile phones.” He’s built a bot to scrape the Starbucks site and broadcast the current balance to a Twitter and Facebook page.

Since this experiment is about social sharing and not just free coffees, Jonathan has provided instructions for reloading the card for others to use.

The experiment is not associated with Starbucks, and it’ll be interesting to see if they comment or interject in the experiment in some way. Either way the experiment is already a great promotion for Jonathan Stark as a developer. ”

Check out @JonathansCard on Twitter for the current balance and if you’re close to a Starbucks drop in for a free coffee, this one’s going on Jonathan’s card.

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