If you're a skilled worker, craftsperson or administrative worker looking for a new place to market yourself, the founder of Second Life, Philip Rosedale, may have you in mind.
Rosedale is about to launch a site called Coffee & Power, a new website that is gathering place (or a kind of virtual, online marketplace) for people looking to find (or fill) skills-based jobs. The San Francisco-based startup has raised $1 million in funding from Amazon CEO and founder Jeff Bezos, Greylock Partners, Mitch Kapor, Catamount Ventures and Kevin Rose, according to TechCrunch.
Divided into “wills” (as in, “I will do so-so for you”) and “wants” (as in, “I want someone to do so-and-so for my company”), the site is also broken into job sub-categories including: Errands & Deliveries, Expertise on Tap, Teaching & Coaching, Building Software, Sales & Marketing, Artists and Artisans, Little Luxuries and Setup, Maintenance & Repair. (There's also an “Et Cetera” category to catch others.)
Rosedale told TechCrunch's Leena Rao that the idea for Coffee & Power came to him after witnessing connections made within virtual world Second Life. People liked Second Life, he said, because they were able to create value from each other and use skills and capabilities in novel ways in the virtual world.
To use Coffee & Power, you create a listing to inform others either what you are willing to do, or what you need done, and how much you're planning to charge (or willing to pay, if you're hiring). The site features a map that shows your listings along with those of other people. Offers or questions can be asked or answered via text messaging or your phone. But here's the interesting part: both buyers and sellers use a kind of “virtual currency” for payment. You purchase or receive the virtual currency with real money from a credit card or PayPal, and when you're finished with the gig, you can turn the virtual currency back into real moolah.
Which is good, because while it may be something like Second Life...it involves real work. And trying to buy groceries with “virtual currency” is generally frowned on at stores.Tracey Schelmetic is a contributing editor for TechZone360. To read more of Tracey's articles, please visit her columnist page.
Edited by Carrie Schmelkin