by Mike Masnick

Trading Talents Instead Of Cash

from the local-economies dept

If you ever study alternative economies, "barter economies" or local currencies designed to stimulate the local economy, it's likely that you've come across Ithaca Hours at some point or another. Designed as a way to help build up the local economy in the small city of Ithaca, NY, it was basically a barter system that let local merchants easily manage trade with each other, without involving government sanctioned currency. The system got plenty of hype and has been copied around the world (often with help from those who created Ithaca Hours). It appears that the concept has clearly made its way to South Africa, with an internet twist. According to this article (which doesn't mention Ithaca Hours at all), South Africans are using an online bartering system involving "talents" which are priced per hour, and function quite like Ithaca Hours. The article even quotes someone who claims to have "retired from the conventional money system," and who won't go anyplace that doesn't accept "talents" as payment.

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  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 27 Jul 2004 @ 7:31am

    Ithaca hours are over-hyped

    I lived in Ithaca and worked for a company that accepted Ithaca Hours and from what I saw nobody really liked them. We grudgingly accepted them largely to not piss off the oddly large sandal wearing community. When we had a few the CEO would use them to pay for part of a meal with a special evil glimmer in his eye. No business person really wanted ithaca hours and only dirty, food-coop, hippies would spend them regularly. Seriously.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Michael L Mercier, 2 Aug 2004 @ 10:24am

      Re: Ithaca hours are over-hyped

      A more sophistocated bartering or trading system has been developing over the last 30 years in the U.S. and around the world.
      It is a business to business system. Properly run it will create the same cash profit as currency transactions with an advantage that even cash lacks.
      Because all purchases are paid for with new sales from the system; it now means that for the first time companies can use their necessary overhead expenses as a way to grow their own business's sales and profits.
      My company, Metro Trading Association, has brought hundreds of millions in new sales to businesses in Michigan and Ohio over the last 26 years.
      To find out if their is a business to business trading system in your area check the "yellow pages" and the International Reciprocal Trade Association( or The National Association of Trade Exchanges (

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    JoelB (profile), 15 Sep 2009 @ 9:48pm

    Re:Trading Talents Instead Of Cash

    Wow. That was amazing to "Trade talents instead of cash". I think if all the people in this world would be talented and if that form of system would be used, then no one will suffer from hunger or poverty. By the way, speaking of Africans, a South African sprinter was a subject of debates due to the recent discovery on her as "hermaphrodite". True hermaphroditism is when an organism has both male and female reproductive features and organs. In humans, there are numerous ways in which some form of sexual diffusion can occur, some relatively benign, and some crippling. Either way, the Caster Semenya magazine cover might lead some to think that online payday loans towards finding her gender might be ill spent.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    feekyu, 22 Oct 2010 @ 9:22pm

    Re:Trading Talents Instead Of Cash

    yes i agree with joel. if we can make good analysis about trading, we can get best decision on any situation. BUt i still confused about software or tools to make our work to be perfect

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

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