Home Second Life Founder Launching Reputation Currency System

Second Life Founder Launching Reputation Currency System

Six years after creating Second Life, Philip Rosedale announced that he would be focusing on a new project. Shrouded in mystery, the Linden Chairman and fellow Lindenite Ryan Downe began work in October on Love Machine Inc. Said Rosedale in today’s blog post, “Yes, we are working on making a version of the Linden Lab LoveMachine (and some other tools too)…hopefully we can sell [this] to some companies and help them out.” ReadWriteWeb sought to answer the immortal question – What is love?

LoveMachine is best known amongst Linden employees as a method of peer review. According to a 2006 Second Life Herald article, it was once used as a points-based employee incentive tool. Linden employees gave and received “love” for a job well done. If an employee was well-received amongst his or her peers, their accumulated love currency was redeemable for a cash bonus at the end of the month. Similar to social capital systems like Whuffie Bank, it appears that LoveMachine may become a reputation currency system for businesses.

Intrigued, we visited the location of LoveMachine’s virtual office for more information. Judging by the posh waterfront property and lack of outside distractions, the real world’s down economy has not affected the peaceful Second Life metaverse. While startup companies in San Francisco are downsizing from their SOMA lofts, Rosedale and Downe have built themselves a tropical paradise. The duo have left their boardroom open for potential contractors to view the company worklist. Contractors have a choice of being paid in US or Linden dollars and must complete an initial project before becoming a long term employee. From the projects given to potential employees we know there is an iPhone app and database involved. At this early stage, other tasks include setting up a server, printing 50 decks of cards and delivering Ryan Downe a steak burrito. For the sake of the company we’re hoping the burrito is a lower level priority.

Given Rosedale’s success at Linden, it will be interesting to see if the plucky entrepreneur can infiltrate middle management and monetize employee incentive programs. While the Second Life universe has been a boon for virtual learning environments, widespread adoption in the boardroom has yet to materialize. Depending on the barrier to technical entry, Rosedale may find more mainstream appeal in this latest venture.

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