As the virtual world program Second Life began to take off in the late 2000s, the technology community wondered how Philip Rosedale would transform the power of a second digital realm into positive change for the world. To some technies, he failed. Five years after the program started, Second Life is in a state of disarray. Its economic model is failing due primarily to the lack of new members, and the world has collapsed into a last grab attempt for spammers and late-to-the-game capitalists.
And now, while still managing the Second Life portal, Rosedale is back to the drawing board. Still exploring capitalism and social networking, he has helped develop a new online social marketplace called Coffee & Power.
The site itself is playful, yet efficient. Users can complete one of the phrases “I will…” or “I want….” Before submitting a ‘mission,’ as they are described, members can also request a set monetary value (which introduces a new Coffee & Power currency), categorize the mission, and write a thorough description. The site then posts the mission on its news feed and other members can complete this mission for the set price. They can also make their own offer, perhaps to bid lower than the asking value.
Coffee & Power currently specializes in small tasks such as running errands, posting fliers, and doing IT work. You can also use Coffee & Power to earn money via unique abilities. One user stated she would “translate from Tagalog to English, or vice versa.” Like other comparable sites such as eBay, Coffee & Power displays the reliability of each user via how many other members ‘trust’ them. ‘Trust’ can only be earned between members who have exchanged currency.
In a fun experiment, The GW Patriot logged in, set up a few accounts and began buying and selling in the virtual marketplace. We found an interesting user, Catherine Hibbitt (username “Catherinethegreat”), who was offering to write us haikus for one dollar! We went ahead and bought five. They’ll be posted down below the article and you MAY just see them on some Patriot fliers or advertisements. They’re pretty funny! The interactions were smooth and didn’t even feel like transactions; instead they were reminiscent of street bartering with virtually no pressure at all.
Coffee & Power is geared towards those with fast-paced, technology-driven lifestyles. All users can converse simultaneously through the public chat sidebar, and upon log in, users can also connect through their Facebook or LinkedIn accounts. In addition, every user has the option to receive email and text message updates from the site about new missions.
Coffee & Power has active members both in the United States and Europe; however, the site is still very much in its infancy. Most missions are located in the San Francisco area, followed by Los Angeles and Miami respectively. Regardless, Coffee & Power has the potential to be a more wallet-friendly option for those who don’t want to pay a professional or for professionals who don’t want to pay for an assistant just to get a good cup of coffee in the morning. It may be the next big thing if Rosedale can get it to spread, but only time will tell. Thankfully, in the hit-or-miss atmosphere of internet business, we should know sooner than later.
And now, beautiful haikus by “CatherineTheGreat”
Your source for Life! Liberty!…
Wit! And Opinions!
Washington Was A
Patriot Who’s Name was George…
Such Big Shoes To Fill!
Facebook! Twitter! YouTube!
Letter to the Ed,
Cartoons on America,
“Like” what speaks to you.
Life, and Liberty, Stand Up!
Join the Blogosphere.
Zachary Gorelick contributed to this report.