Typology of Sharing Practices

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The Collaborative Consumption Marketplace: Sectoral Typology

According to Rachel Botsman, there are 3 main categories of sharing practices:

  • Collaborative Lifestyles like Couchsurfing, and Lending Club


The original article has links, see http://www.ecosalon.com/sharing-it%E2%80%99s-not-just-nice-it%E2%80%99s-necessary/

"a rundown of 15 of the coolest sharing concepts and resources I’ve found to inspire you:

Recently launched is Shareable, a network of people committed to making life shareable. From the about page: “We cover the people, places, and projects that are bringing a shareable world to life. And share tools and tips to help you make a shareable world real in your life.”

Coworking: In which a group of people share an office space and all the amenities like printers, tea, tables, chairs, but have their own workspace. Some are permanent and some are drop-in based. Here’s a sort of coworking clearinghouse and The Coworking Institute.

Software: From Linux to open office, open source electronic resources are created by users for users.

Yard sharing: Don’t have time to garden but would like the benefits? Share your yard with a neighbor or neighbors. Hyperlocavore and Sharing Backyards are both sites that help people find and link up with others who want to start yard sharing in their communities.

Childcare: From organized co-op preschools to informal neighborhood babysitting co-ops, people all over are sharing the responsibilities of raising children. Because after all, it does take a village. Here’s a site to help you get started.

Stores and Farms: Here’s a directory of cooperative stores and buying clubs. CSAs have been around for a while and they are a form of sharing. Many of the earlier ones required members to work some hours on the farm. Then there’s cowpooling, in which you buy a whole cow with your neighbor. It’s green because the whole animal gets used, not just the prime cuts you find in the grocery store.

Cohousing: Cohousing is often like other housing, where everyone has their own private space, but the residents all consciously choose to share public space, meals, childcare, activities, or whatever they decide. This cohousing website is for people who are in cohousing or want to be in cohousing to help them share information and resources.

Cars: Having a car when you need it and not having it when you don’t is the beauty of car sharing. There are many types of car shares from informal, free and community- or neighborhood-based to businesses like Zipcar and City Car Share. Here’s a page with listings in each city.

Bikes: Popular in Europe, the idea is catching on here with varying levels of success. Shocker! Sometimes the bikes get stolen. The Bike Sharing Blog compiles information on bike sharing from everywhere.

Travel: Like to travel, but lack the money for a hotel? Or have the money, but would rather see the “real country”? Try Couchsurfing.org.

Seeds: Preserving biological diversity and making friends are two benefits of seed swapping. You could easily save seeds among friends and neighbors. There’s an informal neighborhood seed swap that sometimes sets up at my local farmers’ market.

Homesharing: Different from cohousing, this concept is for seniors to connect with one another and share houses, resources and companies. Kind of like roommates for the older set.

Skill Sharing: Brooklyn Skill Share is a network of people sharing knowledge. Another knowledge sharing organization, Bike Kitchens are places where people can go to learn to fix their own bikes and share tools.

Dinner: Frugal Foodies are loosely organized, rotating groups of people that cook dinner together once a week.

Borrowing: Neighborrow facilitates borrowing of tools, books and other household items among neighbors." (http://www.ecosalon.com/sharing-it%E2%80%99s-not-just-nice-it%E2%80%99s-necessary/)


Functional typology

The following article distinguishes: Business to Consumer Sharing, Consumer to Consumer Sharing, and Business to Business Sharing

"Many of the initial players in the Asset-Sharing Movement followed a business-to-consumer model. Think of Zipcar owning a fleet of cars shared by consumers, or Netflix providing a mechanism for customers to share its inventory of movies. What has emerged now is consumer-to-consumer sharing. And there is a major cost advantage here. Tomasz Tunguz, a principal with Redpoint Ventures, wrote recently that Zipcar spent 71% of its 2010 revenues acquiring and servicing cars. In the C-to-C market, the companies facilitating these arrangements have no such fixed costs.

While the trend toward consumers monetizing unused assets is picking up steam, Clemons says corporations have been doing this for years. For example, he notes, aerospace firms Boeing and Grumman formed time sharing computer services divisions as far back as the 1970s to allow government and commercial customers to tap into their computing capacity. Later, some companies looked for efficiency by outsourcing, selling off their internal computing operations in some cases and then buying those services from outside vendors. More recently, with the advent of cloud computing, Internet giants like Google and Amazon have made some of their massive computing power available to others. "This combination of monetizing assets when you can, or getting them off the balance sheet and then paying for them when you need them, has been motivating companies for a long time," Clemons notes.

The key to this trend, he adds, was diminishing transaction costs. If the costs and risks of handing over critical functions to outside vendors were high, companies didn't do it. But as more firms emerged to handle those tasks, and developed into trusted providers with proven track records, those transaction costs fell. The result is that over time, "companies did more and more outsourcing, and they became less firm-like and more market-like," Clemons notes.

This same decline in transaction costs is driving the movement toward collaborative consumption, according to Clemons. "The transaction cost -- essentially the hassle factor -- has dropped low enough that people can now do things they couldn't do before." Still, he argues that while corporations are well aware of the risks they take in outsourcing, consumers who are renting space in their homes or use of their cars may not be fully aware of the potential downside. "Industry understands the risk-reward payoff, and they are very strict about what you can and can't lease out," Clemons points out. "The fact that as a consumer you can easily arrange a monetizing transaction for your assets has nothing to do with the risk associated with it. It is not risk free." (http://knowledge.wharton.upenn.edu/arabic/article.cfm?articleid=2714)