The world's first virtual community dedicated purely to chocolate, launched last week in Switzerland, gives cyber-networkers the chance to satisfy their sweet tooth as their friend network grows.
Modelled on successful precursors like Facebook and MySpace, www.myswisschocolate.ch, based in the small town of Pfaeffikon near Zurich, provides a virtual platform for people who share a love of the sugary treat that is the country's trademark.
"Although we're passionate about chocolate, our site is not just for chocolate lovers but also for those learning to love chocolate all over the world," site founder Sven Beichler told Reuters.
After registering on the homepage of what the founders call the "club", members are automatically awarded a voucher for 5 Swiss francs (just over $5) worth of chocolate.
"For every friend the user then adds to his or her network, his chocolate account increases proportionately," Mr. Beichel said. Users are also awarded "chocolate points" every time a friend buys chocolate without a voucher.
The virtual balance of the chocolate-lover's account can then be converted into real chocolate - handmade by myswisschocolate.ch and shipped to 15 countries worldwide.
Switzerland pioneered the mass-market development of chocolate in the 1800s and is still home to producers such as Kit Kat-maker Nestlé