Friday, October 12, 2012

(22) Week 9 Friday flick: Virtual trust and the sharing economy

This week's Friday flick is a talk by Rachel Botsman on virtual trust and the sharing economy.

The sharing economy is also called Collaborative Consumption: the movement in which people are increasingly sharing, swapping, bartering, trading or renting, rather than owning. Strangers are funding projects, doing tasks, sharing bikes, car-pooling and renting rooms. This has created the need to be able to verify that someone is trustworthy - to access their virtual reputation. 
"Social, mobile and location technologies are coming together to make efficiency and trust. Technology creates the social glue for trust to form between strangers".
Rachel Botsman

Rachel mentions quite a few sites during her talk, and I have described them below with links should you wish to explore them.

Websites that aggregate your data to establish and display your level of virtual trust for the Sharing Economy: 

Websites participating in the sharing economy:

Taskrabbit connects you to "safe, friendly and reliable" personal assistants who bid to do your tasks and errands. Taskrabbits are background checked and undergo a multiple step application process before they are selected to run tasks . Their work is reviewed by customers and they can progressively earn increasing levels of trust.

Kickstarter is a collaborative funding platform for creative projects. $350million has been pledged by 2.5million people for 30 000 projects since 2009.

From the Kickstarter website: "Every project creator sets their project's funding goal and deadline. If people like the project, they can pledge money to make it happen. If the project succeeds in reaching its funding goal, all backers' credit cards are charged when time expires. If the project falls short, no one is charged. Funding on Kickstarter is all-or-nothing."
Airbnb matches people wanting to rent holiday accomodation with those who have rooms to rent. There are over 200, 000 listing in 192 countries. Airbnb charges 6% - 12% from the traveller and 3% from the landlord, and provides a $50,000 guarantee to landlords.


  1. Thanks for choosing this video, it's a huge topic to contemplate. I can't remember everything she said though, I was distracted by her two left eyebrows. :-)


    1. Hahahahaha how did she end up with that bald spot splitting her eyebrow line??

  2. Watched this video the other day while browsing through randomly chosen TED talks on my iPad (which, by the way, is an excellent app!). I find a lot to agree with in Rachel's talk, as I've been on the receiving end of this trust economy. I couchsurfed with many generous souls in North America who opened up their homes and lives to a stranger, and gave me shelter, food, and a snippet of their time. I know I am an idealist, but it's amazing what can happen when you trust in the goodness of people :)