The idea is simple, similar to craigslist, but non-monetary.
Basically a website where people can post asking for favor (home repair, web design, help moving, business advice, car repair, computer help, etc..) in exchange for what others can offer (homemade cookies, massage, translation, tax preparation, whatever skill/assistance they can offer).
Similar to http://www.favorpals.com (just found it, came out in 2009?), but sorted by location like craigslist.
Johnny X in Manhattan, NY
"I need someone to help me with my car. It has radiator troubles and I simply cannot afford to fix it. If you can help me, I can offer my assistance as web designer to start the website you've always dreamed of, or just give you advice on how to start. Otherwise I would offer my labor for whatever you need done. Let me know what you need done, and if i can't do it, I will see if I know someone who can. I need my car!"
People might just advertise their skill sets, in case anyone ever needed them in exchange for something good.
I'm actually surprised this idea has never been done successfully. favorpals.com seems to have only 2 users and I saw an old article for favorville.com which no longer exists. Especially in these economic times, people need a helping hand more than ever. If you don't know someone who can help you , and you can't afford what you need done, this would be a great alternative.