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A New Online Bartering Revolution

The New York Times is reporting on a growing trend occurring online: the rise of bartering. It seems that small businesses and individuals are finding the trading of good and services to be a suitable alternative to outright purchase in these cash-poor times. The article profiles one growing online bartering site in particular: From the article:
Thomas Daley had been helping friends swap sports tickets for golf course green fees and concert tickets as a sideline. But on the advice of a friend, he set up an online trading site, Joe Barter L.L.C., two years ago where college students could trade textbooks, small companies could trade equipment and accountants, and plumbers, business consultants and others could advertise their services. “I was told our site should be for the average Joe, so Joe Barter, get it?” said Mr. Daley, 36. The company is still struggling to make its mark, he acknowledged in an interview, though he said he hoped an upgrade for the Web site, scheduled for August, along with a stepped-up marketing effort would significantly expand the membership. The site has 2,500 individual members, who pay nothing to join the network, and 400 business-to-business members who pay fees for consultations and referrals in connection with transactions. Last year, the company’s revenue totaled about $80,000.
Whatever its prospects for success, Joe Barter is tapping into one of the largest “little” industries of small companies in America, the barter or trade exchange business.
Read the full article here.

Use Systems Thinking to Make Lasting Social Change

What can be done when our best intentions create unintended problems—such as temporary shelters increasing homelessness or food aid accelerating starvation?After decades of helping change-makers in the nonprofit, public, and private sectors address tough social problems, systems-thinking expert David Stroh shares the pioneering framework that both demystifies systems thinking and shows how it can lead […] Read More..

Recipe: How to Make the Perfect Pancake

When most people think pancakes, they think breakfast. But for Amy Halloran, breakfast is only the start.Halloran, author of The New Bread Basket, is a self-described pancake connoisseur. From a young age, she was entranced by the magic of bubbly batter rising to fluffy cakes on the griddle. Over time, her love of pancakes developed […] Read More..

Inside the Rise of the Local Grains Movement

Our daily bread. Breaking bread together. Bread and butter. These are all common phrases that reflect bread’s foundational role in our diet and in the building of our civilization. The stored energy of grain first allowed our ancestors to shift from nomadic hunting and gathering to building settled communities—even great cities. So why in an […] Read More..

The Limits to Growth and Greece: Systemic or Financial Collapse?

Could it be that the ongoing Greek collapse is a symptom of the more general collapse that the Limits to Growth model generates for the first two decades of the 21st century? Author Ugo Bardi (Extracted: How the Quest for Mineral Wealth is Plundering the Planet) examines the correlation between what is unfolding between Greece […] Read More..

Economic Development is Broken. Here’s How to Fix It

Economic development today is completely broken. That’s the argument of author Michael Shuman in his new book, The Local Economy Solution. The singular focus on attracting global corporations is not just ineffective but counterproductive, Shuman argues, especially given the huge opportunity costs. Indeed, it’s not far-fetched to suggest that the best way most communities can […] Read More..
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