Sharing is Caring
Since CeBIT chose “Shareconomy” as their keynote theme in 2013, the term is now familiar to most Internet users. Originally, the term “Shareconomy” was coined by the economist, Martin Weitzman. However, in relation to Web 2.0 people have been talking about “Shared Economy” for a while now. Why buy anything, if the Internet offers the possibility to rent practically everything, either against payment or completely free of charge. You can even find a local user with the suitable item for rent straight away thanks to the modern apps.
by giulia.forsythe Flikr
Business in Web 2.0
On the net “Shared Economy” is understood to be the sharing of knowledge, content, and data. There are more and more projects where group products, or individual ones, are shared with the Internet community. Of course, the best example of this is Wikipedia. Huge volumes of data are also shared with employees, customers and clients via cloud technology. CeBit is betting on this. According to a CeBIT press release, “Shareconomy” describes the societal shift from owning to sharing. This does not only affect business relationships on the web, but also social interactions and initiatives.
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Collaborative Consumption – Against the Throwaway Society
Nowadays, more and more everyday objects such as clothes, cars, or electronic equipment are shared, and there are more and more new platforms emerging in the sphere of collaborative consumption. What is still considered as normal social exchanges in good neighbourhoods or village communities is now being covered in the anonymous cities by apps and online communities. On Kokonsum you can find peer-to-peer marketplaces for exchanging and hiring anything from cars and homes to small everyday objects. Even large companies have already noticed that you can still make earnings on sharing things. Since 2009 the German railway service has been offering their customers a car-sharing pool on www.Flinkster.de, while many other commercial providers are jumping onboard in the major cities.
In Berlin, for example, you can choose from many peer-to-peer marketplaces and various rates, depending on whether the trip is long or short. For a monthly fee of 3€ you can get a small car for less than 1.90 €/hour or 23 € /day. After a one-time registration the rental car can be collected at various locations inside Berlin. To do this, the car can be reserved by phone, or with the help of an app, and then the keys can be picked up from a safe, which is opened with the membership card. When you no longer need the car, you just park it at one of the company designated parking lots; just throw the key back into the safe and go home. When you hire a car from a private vendor, you normally have to pay a fixed price for daily hire, but there are no other ongoing costs. In addition, you get to meet some new people in your own neighbourhood. However, there are not enough offers in all cities yet.
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Many small initiatives are trying to achieve a change of awareness among consumers. The trend is to get away from the insatiable consumer society and move towards a more sustainable and social society. More information can be found on the work in progress site and the Collaborative Centre on Sustainable Consumption and Production in Wuppertal.