CouchSurfing Couchsurfing International Inc. is a hospitality exchange and social networking website. The website provides a platform for members to "surf" on couches by staying as a guest at a host's home, host travelers, or join an event. Couchsurfing International Inc refers to two separate legal entities. The first was founded in 2003 as a non-profit organization, and was liquidated in 2011.
The Rise of the Sharing Communities Creative Commons photo by Lobkovs As the sharing economy picks up momentum, its reach has become global. In cities and towns around the world, people are creating ways to share everything from baby clothes to boats, hardware to vacation homes. There are also groups emerging that consciously identify with the big-picture sharing movement. The Rise of Collaborative Consumption The general theme of the book is that we’re shifting away from a society of hyper-consumption and equating personal self-worth with amount of material good accumulated, and instead to a world where our ability to access and exchange resources, develop a reputation, and build community and social capital takes precedence in how we choose to express who we are and what we choose to define us. The authors give hundreds of examples of how people are finding new ways to share and exchange value – what they call “collaborative consumption” – using social lending platforms (Zopa, LendingClub, Prosper), open barter networks (ITEX, Bartercard), peer-to-peer coworking and currencies (Hub Culture), reuse networks (Freecycle), car sharing (ZipCar, GoGet), bike sharing (BIXI), swap trading (SwapTree), and peer to peer rentals for plots of land (Landshare, a room for the night (Airbnb), or any other item you could imagine (Zilok). In closing, here are a few of my main takeaways:
Tags - Archives Open sourceSharing Art of creation, making and sharing ideas with Jens Dyvik On 16 April 2014 by Narmada Ramakrishna Collaborative decision-makingLoomioOccupy "It’s time to massively distribute access to decision-making" - An interview with Ben Knight (Loomio) On 15 April 2014 by Arthur de Grave The Internet is an unprecedented tool for discussion, but there is still one thing at which it is incredibly bad: enabling collaborative decision-making. I discussed this issue with Ben Knight, one of the guys behind Loomio, a software born out of the Occupy movement whose main goal is to tackle this issue. Policies for a Shareable City UPDATE: We've summarized much of this series in a new report, Policies for Shareable Cities: A Sharing Economy Policy Primer for Urban Leaders. Get your free copy here today. On May 7, 2011, Shareable hosted SHARE San Francisco at The Hub social enterprise coworking space.
Co-Creation The participation and involvement of consumers in the creation process formerly dominated by businesses. "A quick search on Google Scholar confirms the pattern: from only 23 articles citing ‘co-creation’ in the 1970s, the 1980s delivered a paltry 102, the 1990s a more substantial 658, while the first 9 and a bit years of the 21st Century has already spawned an impressive 3,660." ( "Co-creation is a very broad term with a broad range of applications. It's Time to Go Big: A Vision for the Sharing Economy The sharing economy is in a regulatory crisis. Airbnb’s hotel tax issues, the cease and desist orders slapped on peer mobility apps Sidecar and Lyft, and other brushes with the law have catalyzed a flurry of organizing and dialogue about sharing economy regulation. It started with the launch of San Francisco’s Sharing Economy Working Group in April, and was followed with the formation of the Bay Area Sharing Economy Coalition in August, lobbying by the Collaborative Economy Coalition at the Democratic National Convention in September. SPUR’s Gabriel Metcalfe wrote a provocative opinion piece about it earlier this month, and Shareable’s April Rinne and NYU professor Arun Sundararjan offered much commented counterpoints. This is a sure sign the sharing economy is maturing.
The secret to the sharing economy: ‘You don’t want the drill — you want the hole’ Neal Gorenflo had his come-to-Jesus moment with the sharing economy in a parking lot in Brussels. It was June of 2004, and Gorenflo was well on his way to becoming a bona fide suit. He had worked in the telecommunications business and for an investment bank. Now he was on a strategy team for the global shipping company DHL, up for a promotion, and on a business trip in Belgium — and he just couldn’t live with himself. Using Tribes to Enable Sharing Within Offline Networks Neal Gorenflo wrote a thoughtful post on the issues related to neighborhood stuff sharing. In the post he noted that while there are a huge number of sharing sites out there, so far none of them has managed to gain significant traction. In the end of the post he offered some suggestions on how to get neighbors to share their stuff. One of the suggestions, "Sharing Meets Community Organizing", really struck a chord. I believe the answer is to empower the offline networks we already have - whether they are our neighbors, fellow students or colleagues at work. We need to give people tools to share within these networks, and the community organizers the tools to facilitate this sharing.
On the skill of sharing and the sharing of skills Helen, a good friend of mine in Transition Norwich, used to tell this hilarious anecdote about the time she decided to ask her neighbour if she could borrow a cake tin. Motivated by a transition ethos of not wanting to buy a new one if it wasn't necessary she plucked up the courage and faced the slightly confused awkwardness of the exchange with her neighbour. Having been lent a cake tin, she then was racked with worry about damaging it or not giving it back soon enough. In true Helen style it is a slightly melodramatic example, but it beautifully illustrates my topic for this post.
Indebtedness and Reciprocity in Local Online Exchange During the past few years, web services that encourage sharing, selling and exchanging goods or services in local geographic settings have gained in popularity both in the US and in Europe. With widespread Internet access and the emergence of online platforms for exchanging goods and services, it is easier than ever to make the stuff we are not using available to others. Yet, the availability and ease of use of web technologies alone do not explain user participation and non-participation in these systems. Behind all of the Internet technologies, interfaces and platforms, online exchange is fundamentally about understanding social uncertainties, risks, and rewards. Sharetribe supports everyday exchange in local communities.