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April 01, 2005

Timebucks: A skill-trading and time-trading community Web site

Earlier this year, I became an advisor to a start up company called Timebucks, a time-trading and skill-trading Web site started right here in Seattle, Washington.

Timebucks is a directory of people seeking to exchange their hobbies and skills with each other to meet new people, reach out to their community and support a more egalitarian economic model.

Essentially, you offer a skill - in my case, I've offered to help advise people starting non-profits (check out my Timebucks profile), then others request your help. Once you've shared your time, they deposit Timebucks in your account e.g. usually $15 Timebucks per hour. Then, you can use your new Timebucks to trade for time from someone with a skill you need e.g. guitar lessons or pet sitting.

There are a number of things that excite me about Timebucks. Primarily, we are a country full of amazingly talented individuals - but the automobile and urban life have artificially divided us - Timebucks leverages the power of the Internet to help us find people with skills we can learn from. It essentially allows us to tap into our vast store of cultural wealth. Yet, everyone's time is worth the same $15 per hour - there's no incentive to hoard Timebucks. As economic times get tougher for people, Timebucks - and its barter - may become a lifeline for many people.

Culturally, Americans are raised to buy what they need with dollars - but I think Timebucks may change this.

You can listen to an interview I conducted with Steve Van Dyke, Timebucks' founder, from my audio blog Tales for Change.

Steve is always looking for feedback too. You can write him here.

Posted by Jeff on April 1, 2005 at 11:17 PM in Washington Culture | Permalink

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Comments

I thought it was started in Vashon Island.

Posted by: Carl Ballard | Apr 2, 2005 10:44:35 PM

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