Leveraging Digital Histories of Use For Resource-Sharing Organizations
An increasing number of non-profit groups and organizations are offering what Trebor Scholz has called “platform cooperativism”: networked-driven collections of shared things (e.g., books, tools) and resources (e.g., woodworking spaces, fab labs) that benefit local communities. In contrast to for-profit services in the sharing economy (e.g., Uber, AirBnB), platform co-ops attempt to promote both ecological and social sustainability, with the goal to promoting a fairer distribution of goods and labor, ultimately creating a stronger sense of community. However, simple inventory management systems do not account for the challenges that these kinds of organizations face, which include transience, anonymity, and general lack of creative interactions among community members, making it difficult to sustain their engagement. We designed and developed an interactive system aimed at supporting the capture and sharing of equipment-use experiences among members, called “Roaming Objects”. We deployed the system for two months in a tool-sharing community to explore how it might help to address the challenges faced by these organizations.
KEYWORDS – Sharing Economy; Collaborative Consumption; Sharing for Maximal Use; Digital Histories; Interaction Design.