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Internet Tycoon - Frager Factor

May. 21, 2007
Reporter: Staff Journalist, Frager Factor
Tags: Internet Tycoon, Virtual Mayor, Virtual Worlds

"Internet Tycoon" Rick Schwartz Buys His Way Into Virtual Mayor of Modesto and 119 Others

From the Modesto Bee to the Miami Herald, the self-appointed dotCOM king is taking on virtual worlds as the piper you'll pay. Rick Schwartz. He lives in Boca Raton, Fla., and unless you're really into the Web domain market, you've probably never heard of him. He has nothing to do with Modesto beyond having "bought" the city through a Web site called, which sells, among other things, the titles of virtual mayor. bills itself as "a virtual copy of the real world and a way for anyone to make money on the Net." It allows people to create Web sites pertaining to, among other things, cities, states and famous landmarks. For instance, an owner, or "mayor" of a city site, can add content such as photos and video that hopefully will attract visitors and, eventually, advertisers. Revenue from ads is shared by the site owner and Weblo.

Property owners also make money off other Web sites within their city or state limits, or by eventually selling their site.

According to Schwartz, "This was the front page story on last Tuesday's Miami Herald and then 6 more. The print edition carried my pic. Imagine if this takes off."