SwapThing improves services exchange

SwapThing improves services exchange

I covered SwapThing in July, and criticized its user interface. I'm happy to report that a new version of the service, launching tonight, is a lot more attractive and easy to use, and it's also much simpler to enter items you want to exchange: Just type in the UPC or ISBN, and the system will get the name or title of your item.

SwapThing is also rolling out a redesigned services exchange. Previously, you could swap work for goods, but it was a bit of a force-fit: Services were treated much like physical items, and people who were interested in services offered couldn't easily get enough information on the provider to decide if they wanted to make a trade.

The new services trading system allows service providers to buy placement on SwapThing ($8 a month for local exposure, $10 a month national), and to display more information about their company, turning a listing into a good and persistent online advertisement. (SwapThing is also integrating the Rapleaf reputation system.) It still costs $1 per swap when swapping with a service provider, but there are no additional fees for the provider.

It is, in many ways, yet another services directory, but it's integrated into a growing trading network, which could make it very interesting to individual service providers, most of whom would probably be happy to occasionally exchange their work for physical goods--or other services on the network.

See also LinkedIn's new service provider network.

About the author

Rafe Needleman reviews mobile apps and products for fun, and picks startups apart when he gets bored. He has evaluated thousands of new companies, most of which have since gone out of business.

 

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