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  • Coffee And Power: Finding Work Just Got A Little Easier

    [caption id="attachment_4483" align="alignleft" width="250" caption="Coffee and Power"]Philip Rosedale[/caption]

    If you have an unusual skill that you know people would love to hire you for, it's sometimes hard to sell. Mainly because it is difficult to promote your business, but Philip Rosedale has introduced a new website that allows people to sell their work a little more creatively. Quentin Hardy of The New York Time discusses more in his article Bit by Bit, Work Exchange Site Aims to Get Jobs Done:

    SAN FRANCISCO — Philip Rosedale tried to change the nature of play with Second Life, a virtual world of colorful online avatars that got a lot of attention a few years ago.

    Now he wants to change the nature of work.

    While Second Life is still around, it never lived up to its hype. But Mr. Rosedale, 43, is back with a new business called Coffee and Power, where people buy and sell most any kind of task, like making Halloween costumes or writing sophisticated software.

    To prove his point that a work exchange could function, Mr. Rosedale built the software for his new company by hiring programmers from around the world and dividing up the work into about 1,600 individual tasks, from setting up databases to fixing bugs.

    “We think it’s the new model for how software will be written,” he said. “It worked so well that we decided to extend it to all sorts of work.”

    Coffee and Power has storefront space in a nondescript part of San Francisco’s Market Street where people can drop in and offer to do jobs or hire people for tasks. They can even start working together on the spot. Mr. Rosedale works upstairs, along with a handful of full-time staff members.

    On a recent day, the public space had three groups of people making use of the human and laptop fuels behind the company name. The groups were working on software projects, business planning and tutorials.

    As with Second Life, the business has a virtual currency for buying, selling or bestowing tasks as gifts. Coffee and Power takes a 15 percent fee for moving the money back into real dollars.

    The site has been active since spring with little fanfare. It attracted fewer than 700 transactions, but is now starting to actively solicit buyers and sellers.

    “About 25 percent of our site is needs, and the rest is offers,” Mr. Rosedale said. “We’ll need about 10,000 jobs before we know what the final balance is like.”

    Other online services have similar ideas — Task Rabbit, and Amazon’s Mechanical Turk among them. One of the striking things about these services is how inexpensive it is to get something done.

    Read more at The New York Times

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