Empowering Change through Consumption

Love Social and the ever-changing nature of it? Well then I really hope you were monitoring the feeds during Social Media Week #SMW. A week celebrated in every major city in the US, and globally, by industry leaders, social media aficionados, bloggers and tweeters, and the curious traditional marketing/PR folks.

The panel I joined, “Social Media + Design for Collaborative Consumption,” presented by Shared Squared and Cencom, featured Hyperakt’s founding parter and creative director @DeroyPeraza, co-founder and CEO of Mixel.cc @Khoi Vinh, CEO/President of Nicholson NY Tom Nicholson, and designer/strategist/entrepreneur/explorer Danny Alexander (@dalexdalex) as moderator.

The panelists discussed a leg of Social marketing I assumed I knew, but didn’t know much of at all… Collaborative Consumption.

“From Zipcar to Zaarly, collaborative consumption businesses are some of the more exciting startups in the Internet ecosphere, sweeping away traditional business models, and designing new models for consumer communication and engagement.”

Broadly speaking, collaborative consumption is renting or bartering for access to goods and services between users in a peer-to-peer marketplace.

Think Meetup for a 2 person exchange, add something physical, a car? = ZipCar. Sharing your life, or less-used belongings, with complete strangers…“friends” you have connected with online.

Why not share the extra bedroom in your house with a stranger if it’s available? Didn’t it seem so easy in The Holiday? Or on sites like Air BnB? As of last month Air BnB leads in the growth of Collaborative consumption!

As much as I love social, and evolving with it as it changes, I have to say that I am one of those many people out there that are not necessarily comfortable sharing my home, and/or my car with just anyone offline. This was one of the topics discussed on the panel regarding getting people over the hump of sharing and creation.

A guest in the audience compared it to online dating… what’s the difference really? If you trust an online profile enough to go with someone on a date, why not be just as comfortable lending them something you aren’t using?

I mean LOOK at how Meetup Groups are growing! People must trust the network to go out, participate, and keep these Meetups breathing right?

Collaborative consumption, how do you feel about it? Should creative’s even bother designing new models for consumer communication and engagement if you aren’t ready to SHARE your life with strangers? Twitter followers? Blog subscribers?

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