Sharing Economy & Social Media panel

The Sharing Economy & Social Media

February 13, 2013 / by / 5 Comments

Sharing Economy & Social Media panel

Some may ask ‘what does the sharing economy have to do with bloggers/blogging?’ If you do, then you’re probably underestimating the impact that the sharing economy and collaborative consumption in general will have (and does have) on what many bloggers opine on – their personal, social and work lives.

Panellists Reuben Sagar, Sally Broom, David Randall and Bernie J Mitchell set the scene for us by describing the technology, demand and supply, which has given rise to a sharing economy that is increasingly accessible, broad, personal, social, and economical.

Reuben from Hire Space noted that the sharing economy is fundamentally aimed at reducing barriers to entry, translating well economically for customers and venues who weren’t previously equipped to cater for this type of demand. Sally from TripBod explained that her business is based on ‘the economy of local knowledge’ where people travel and want to connect with local people, the environment and in general are eager to consume in a more moral fashion keeping sustainability and affordability in mind.

From a tech standpoint, David from AirBnB explained that it enables online connections which lead to offline experiences. Crucially,  it enables us to monetise assets we couldn’t before (subject to the lifestyle that one wants to lead) bringing forth the often casual, ad-hoc arrangements people used to make staying with family, friends of friends or friends of family that were once the norm before hotel/motel chains became the default option. In his view, though financial incentive is a key driver, positive experiences are the key sustaining force. Bernie from the Sharing Economy Podcast emphasised the growing ‘co-working’ sector for those who are mobile and are willing to share space. He also highly recommended members read ‘The Cluetrain Manifesto’, which he mentioned in his meetup preview.

Real discussion was then sparked by the audience and a few questions particularly stood out (answers are paraphrased!):

1. Will the sharing economy eventually be centralised in one place, akin to Facebook for social networking and Amazon for e-commerce?

David: there are some obvious synergies between diverse sharing economy companies (e.g. sharing a trip in a car to reach a holiday rental in a city where you have a local guide) – but it’s not certain that this will be centralised in the near future.

2. What’s the impact of the sharing economy on the ‘real economy’?

David: From an AirBnB perspective, those who use holiday rentals stay longer in a place because it’s cheaper. Meaning more disposable income to spend across the community they’re visiting coupled with the extra income which the hosts have received goes into the local economy.

Sally: Anecdotally, if you’ve product-ised assets (e.g. local knowledge) that weren’t done so before, then the real economy benefits.

3. What are the tax and trust implications of the sharing economy?

David: AirBnB has profiles supported by credit and ID verification which helps to build trust as a currency online. With respect to tax, we encourage host compliance as determined by any local law.

Sally: companies have an ethical responsibility to moderate and not wash their hands of any bad transactions that occur. Ultimately individuals are being empowered to transact themselves and it is up to the community to determine trust through reviews/ratings etc.

Apologies if we missed any other questions from the audience or answers from the panel! As you can see, it was a highly relevant and current topic with thoughtful contributions.

Look forward to seeing you at the next LBM: Multi-Author and Community Blogging!


Andy has been blogging since 2006 and has written about everything from great places to eat out for under a fiver, to tourist hot spots in London and his experiences in b2b marketing. He has run the London Bloggers Meetup since 2007 too.

5 Responses
  1. Colin Kaepernick

    Hi! This is kind of off topic but I need some guidance from an established blog.
    Is it difficult to set up your own blog? I’m not very techincal but I can figure things out pretty fast. I’m thinking about setting up my own but I’m not sure where to start. Do you have any tips or suggestions? Thanks

    Feb.19.2013 at 8:55 am
  2. Alex Lojaime

    Hi there, i read your blog occasionally and i own a similar one and i was just wondering if you get a lot of spam feedback?
    If so how do you reduce it, any plugin or anything you can advise?
    I get so much lately it’s driving me crazy so any assistance is very much appreciated.

    Feb.22.2013 at 12:09 pm
  3. Andy (Author)

    Try Akismet and use a captcha plugin too.

    Otherwise think about using disqus.

    Feb.22.2013 at 6:41 pm
  4. Sam

    Alex, I got the same with WordPress and went for Akismet as Andy suggested and seems to have resolved the problem. Otherwise your spam will grow exponentially as your site traffic increases.

    In regards to the sharing economy, I was previously with WhipCar and one of the biggest issues is trust. That’s where I personally see something centralised in the future as trust is easily the biggest barrier to overcome. If consumers received some kind of ‘trust score’ according to aggregated feedback from all the sites they’ve used – that could be very interesting in the future. The problem is for someone of Airbnb’s size, they’d be giving more back then they’d receive.

    Mar.06.2013 at 5:05 pm
  5. Sam P

    It will be very difficult to put the various sharing economy companies under one umbrella as so far it has only really be proven for significant assets such as houses, flats or spare rooms. Neighbour-to-neighbour car rental (2nd most expensive asset) hasn’t worked and nor has peer-to-peer hiring of goods or even tasks. One thing peer-to-peer companies need to be wary of is that they have to make money. Currently most do not and it’s fairly uncertain as to whether they ever will do.

    Sep.02.2013 at 2:32 pm
Leave a Comment