Favortree using social gaming techniques to encourage sharing among community members.
Need a cup of sugar, but don’t know which neighbor to ask for help? Favortree, the first favor-trading game for mobile phones, can help connect you with your neighbors. The game rewards members for providing favors for others by gaming the experience with a virtual fruit tree- the more someone helps others in their community, the more fruit grows on their tree; fruit can then be exchanged for favors.
Created by Micki Krimmel, founder of NeighborGoods.net, and Daniel Hengeveld, Favortree will create a safe and fun marketplace for sharing goods and services among members of universities, faith-based communities, and local neighborhoods. Favortree joins companies such as Airbnb, Zimride and Getaround in the emerging market of ‘Collaborative Consumption,’ connecting people via social networks to share resources more efficiently. With the addition of social gaming to their sharing platform, Favortree offers a unique experience for users and unlocks previously untapped revenue models in the growing Collaborative Consumption market. Gaming expert Jane McGonigal, creator of SuperBetter, is an adviser on the team, helping with the social gaming aspect of Favortree.
PSFK spoke to founder Micki Krimmel, former PSFK San Francisco speaker, about the launch of Favortree:
Tell us about the inspiration about Favortree- do I need an app to ask my neighbor for a cup of sugar?
Favortree is the next generation collaborative consumption community. We designed it to build on everything we learned from our first venture in the space, NeighborGoods.net. There is very much a need for tools that connect folks in local communities. Most of us don’t even know our neighbor’s names. Tools like NeighborGoods and Favortree give folks an excuse to get together. And helping each other is one of the best ways to build a trusting relationship.
What type of goods and services can be traded on Favortree?
Initially, we’re piloting on two University campuses. Turns out that the things college students need most are text books, video games, cooking supplies and rides to the airport.
What types of rewards do members get for trading services?
Similar to Farmville, the more you help, the more your virtual tree grows. Members earn and trade fruit for completing favors. And the rewards extend beyond the virtual. Every time you help a neighbor, you are strengthening your local community.
What kind of safeguards are built into the game to ensure member safety when trading?
By connecting facebook and twitter profiles to the application, members bring their real selves to the community. This is step one to creating a trusted network. Next, is peer ratings, the most effective reputation tool on the internet. Additionally, as members interact in the community, they grow their favortree. Their favortree becomes the tool they use to track their progress and how they share their reputation in the community.
How do you envision communities interacting after using Favortree?
Communities that help each other are stronger, happier communities. We’re thrilled to be working with Knight foundation to help build stronger bonds between neighbors.
Thanks Micki! Favortree launches today, sign up here to get early access!