As you can quickly tell from the blog’s history we got ever so close to finishing, then it all went quiet.
Why? 2 main reasons:
- The main developer (me) upped sticks and started moving around the country looking for a place to call home;
- The holes started appearing in sw0p’s model;
But here we are over 5 years since the initial idea and 3 years since we started development and *still* there’s no decent online tool to barter items and skills. So, we’re determined to finish it off this time.
The last few weeks have been spent dusting off the code and checking it all. The good news is that we really did got lots done. We’ve also got new ideas on how to plug the holes in the model to make it a genuinely useful and, more importantly, a very usable product.
The main changes are:
- After careful consideration we’ve decided to introduce a virtual currency to sw0p. People will assign a value to their items or skills which can then be traded against. The important change is that users will be able to ‘purchase’ an item even if they don’t have anything relevant to trade at that moment. As an added bonus the currency we’re using, Bitcoin, is well established and can be used externally to sw0p;
- Remove the concept of ‘wanted’ items. Users will now search or browse for stuff that they want and then offer their own listings or virtual money in return;
- We’re introducing a lending concept to items so you can keep track of who has your stuff;
- Easy registration using Twitter/Facebook OAuth-alike logins.
- sw0p really needs API so motivated third parties can develop useful add-ons. This may not be ready for initial launch but it’s high on the feature list;
So, there you have it. We’re cutting code again and looking to get something out for testing Q2 or Q3 this year.
We’ve got everything covered technically so will be launching with or without external help. That said we could really do with some help in other key areas, namely:
- Marketing & PR: Do you have any good ideas on how we could get the concept out there when we do launch?
- Legal: We’re need advice and decent Ts&Cs drawn up around tracing contracts as well as contracts drawing up for the charity/co-op/CiC that we eventually transfer ownership of the product over to;
- Mobile: A native app for iPhone and Android could really accelerate uptake;
- Moral support: No particular skills to offer? Good at making tea? Maybe we should talk anyway.
- Donate: Please feel free to send Bitcoins to us, any money will be spent directly on development and hosting. Our address is 14QUKGqMEKQp9BFfjz2xftwxsvfyeyKFwa
We’re already digging deep financially to deliver what we’ve promised so there’s not much budget left for the above. However, if it makes a difference to you we’re open to ideas on the commercial structure for sw0p, including setting the business up as a not-for-profit.