10 July 2006

Viewpoint: Share

Everybody shares. Our lives overlap. Sometimes we can choose the nature of the seams.

Once when Hidde was working in the studio, I told him how much I liked the family that ran the laundromat down the street.

Their 3-year-old boy often sat next to me while I read. He smiled a lot. His mother offered me tea.

Hidde replied, Yes. Why do we all need to have all our own stuff? Why do we all have to have our own washing machine?

Another time, at the business school where I worked, I heard a graduation speech given by a physicist recruited into marketing research.

His agency had hired scientists to ensure scientific research.

He reminded graduates that Darwinian survival of the fittest is not the only model. Mutually symbiotic relationships also occur.

Nature is cooperative as well as competitive.

Did you know that people are sharing cars and planes?

International Association of Air Travel Couriers

Founded in 1989 for individuals wanting to fly as casual couriers to foreign destinations. Couriers take the seat while the company takes the luggage space.

Craigs List Ride Share

First started by Craig Newmark in 1995 so people could tell each other about cool events in San Francisco. Now people can exchange info on how to share rides in their own city.


Since 1999, this growing network of vehicles in US allows 28,000+ members (at the time of this post) to have instant access to a car wherever and whenever needed.

Green Wheels (Dutch-language site)

Started in 1995 with three cars in three locations in Rotterdam. Members access cars day or night, paying based on usage. Now cars available at nearly all intercity train stations in 40 largest Dutch cities.

Hitchhikers Organization

Free service developed in 1999 by enthusiastic hitchhikers. Drivers submit their journey if looking for company or a fee. Hitchhikers search the rides. Site serves all continents in 10 languages.

Zip Car

Started in 2000 when founders decided to bring Berlin concept to US. At the time of this post, members have cars when they need them in Washington DC, San Francisco, Minneapolis, Chapel Hill, Toronto, Boston, NYC.

Did you know that people are sharing books and baths?

Book Crossing

Created by Ron Hornbaker in 2001. He says, "Sharing books with your friends and neighbors is a natural instinct." At the time of this post, 478,626 members releasing books into the wild and tracking their journeys.

Gutenberg Organization

Michael Hart invented eBooks in 1971. Once copyrighted works enter the public domain, Project Gutenberg offers them for free. At the time of this post, 18,000 eBooks available.

Novel Action

Family owned and operated book exchange with low flat rate shipping. Select books online and send an equal number of books.

Japanese Public Bath

Public baths in Japan are a popular way of relaxing.

Roman Public Baths

Roman baths were like our leisure centers. They were big buildings with swimming pools, changing rooms and toilets. They also had hot and cold rooms more like modern Turkish baths.

Turkish Public Baths

The public bath was not merely a place where believers could fulfill the Islamic precept of cleanliness. It was a place in which to mingle, socialize and gossip.

Did you know that people are sharing ideas and things?


A new recycling program via internet. They say, "In our fast moving society we dispose of a huge number of items that end up either incinerated or in land fill sites. Many of these items could have a new lease of life in the right hands."


Started in May 2003 to promote waste reduction in Tucson's downtown and help save desert landscape from being taken over by landfills. At the time of this post, 2,412,676 members in 3,724 communities use the electronic forum to recycle unwanted possessions within their group for free.

Complementary Currencies

With a focus on local trading of talents and resources, community currency programs try to strengthen the local economy and build community.


Members trade goods and services through their LETS community accounting system. James Taris became a member in 1994 and started promoting the group internationally.


Corporate barter system founded in 1991 by Wayne Sharpe, Andrew Federowsky and Brian Hall. At the time of this post, 75,000 Card Holders in 16 Countries are trading 1.3 billion in Trade Pounds annually.


Corporate barter system established in 1984 helps companies trade underperforming assets. Operations in 16 countries have created over $1.5 billion in cash savings for clients.

The Power of Us

BusinessWeek article (20 June 2005) By Robert D. Hof detailing how people are using the Net to share information, knowledge, media and goods.

BBC Unveils Radical Revamp of Website

BBC article (25 April 2006) by Mark Sweney explaining rebuild of its website to focus digital output on three concepts: share, find and play. User-generated content includes blogs and home videos.

Creative Commons

Enables legal sharing and reuse of cultural, educational, and scientific works. Creative Commons licenses provide a flexible range of protections and freedoms for authors, artists, and educators. They build on the "all rights reserved" concept of traditional copyright to offer a voluntary "some rights reserved" approach.

Under New Management

New York Times article (26 March 2006) by William C. Taylor about creating innovation by sharing ideas. "According to Tim O'Reilly, the founder and chief executive of O'Reilly Media, the computer book publisher, and an evangelist for open source technologies, creativity is no longer about which companies have the most visionary executives, but who has the most compelling 'architecture of participation.' That is, which companies make it easy, interesting and rewarding for a wide range of contributors to offer ideas, solve problems and improve products?"

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