spiffboxYes, that’s a real check the lady in the photo is holding. Spiffbox founder Chris Munnelly says she earned it by spending time on Spiffbox, Munnelly’s new social site where, he says, “I’m applying fundamental economic theory to solve the free-rider problem on social networks.”

In English: Those people who want all your time? They should pay you. In real money.

For people who’ve never worked in sales, a spiff is an instant cash bonus given a salesperson, a sort of financial high-five meant to keep them selling. Munnelly’s vision is that people who want your time online should, duh, spiff you. It doesn’t matter if they’re a global brand manager, or just someone who wants attention. They should pay up, in cash.

The money comes in through users buying points via credit card, taking surveys or merchant offers. At launch today, new users will receive promotional points just for signing up. The first points will be provided by Spiffbox, which is self-funded by Munnelly. His goal is to get brand managers to offer Spiffbox users reward points for engaging with their brands.

Here’s the good part: Once you’ve earned $20 or more, Spiffbox will cut you a check to reward you in cash for accumulating the points. In the future, Munnelly plans to offer PayPal and other popular online payment systems.

Spiffbox is integrated with Twitter and Facebook and is already handing out the cash. Chris’ personal page has photos of Spiffbox users holding up their real checks.

It’s funny how much effort and expense marketers go through to try to reel us in online. I’ll be curious to learn how well Spiffbox campaigns work. Is cold cash better, or worse than those rewards cards?

Spiffbox is based in Arizona and for now is self-funded by Munnelly.

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