Tag Archives: internet

The Sharing Economy

The Technology Quarterly section of last week’s issue of the Economist carried two articles on what they call “the sharing economy”, the category of electronic commerce that’s more peer-to-peer than B2B or B2C. Sites like airbnb.com let people rent out places to stay — whether it is a spare sofa or a full house. Sites like relayrides.com let people rent out their cars. and other sites let people rent out almost anything else they own.

The rise of the sharing economy is their cover story and provides an overview of these sites.

All eyes on the sharing economy is a longer article that goes more into the challenges the “sharing economy” faces, including regulatory hurdles.

I don’t know what the regulatory landscape looks like for all of these in Canada. It looks like airbnb is available in Canada (you can rent a room in Ottawa for $40/night or an apartment in Hintonburg for $71), but they likely make use of whatever legal structure has developed around Bed & Breakfasts. Car lending/renting may be more complicated in Canada, because the car rental services don’t appear to be available here yet.

It feels a bit like crowdfunding, which has been slow to develop in Canada partly because of (real or perceived) regulatory obstacles, but is a truly disruptive

What do you think? Is peer-to-peer lending potentially disruptive to more traditional rental markets? Will it develop into an important segment of the economy? Can existing regulatory frameworks already accommodate peer-to-peer renting in Canada?

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Launching Kaplan-Myrth.ca 4.0: Realigning personal websites with Web 2.0

The phrase “Web 2.0” means lots of different things depending on thecontext, and people disagree about what exactly that term even means.But one thing I take it to mean is the fragmentation of information onthe internet that was enabled by RSS feeds and then by the networkingof content and accounts.

This fragmentation, or distribution to put it in perhaps a betterlight, means that instead of having one pamphletware homepage, evencasual internet users often have at least one or two other places wherecontent is stored and updated online and, more significantly, wheretheir identity is updated. Do you use Facebook?Flickr? Del.icio.us?These sites all have content that elaborates on your identity, and ifthat content is not at least accessible from your homepage, then it’snot attached to you.

I like messing with web technology, so my own homepage has gone throughdozens of iterations from many flat HTML pages to my most recentcustomized PmWiki installation. But inthe last year or two I have come to use so many other sites fordifferent purposes that much of my content is not posted on my ownsite. For instance, like lots of other people, the more I tweet, the less I blog on myown site. And now that I found Posterous,which lets me post to a blog by email, I’ve stopped posting to my ownblog altogether.

So tonight I embraced the inevitable fragmentation of the 21st Centuryinternet, despite the efforts of social aggregators like Friendfeed, Swurl and Socialthing, and Irecalibrated my website as aportal, almost a placeholder, with links to the other sites where Iupdate content. In effect, It’s back to a pamphletware site, but linkedto much more dynamic sites than I imagined when I had my first page in1994.

Embrace the fragmented web. New ways of distributing contentnecessitate new ways of displaying it. Welcome to the web 2.0 homepage:http://kaplan-myrth.ca.

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