A new website where you can grow stuff in your garden and sell it to your neighbours. A bit like Etsy for plants.
I feel a bit sorry for these guys – I’ve been there so many times… set up a site that depends on people joining… then wait… then wait… try some desperate marketing measure to get attention… then wait… all your hopes pinned on some “next big thing”…
Maybe it’ll work – I don’t think so though… and the reason why I don’t think so goes to the heart of currency… or more specifically, currency being a byproduct of the size of social-sphere… or economy or whatever.
Which is to say, you get a LOT more from giving stuff to your neighbours than selling it. People pay neighbourhood kids to mow lawns or collect lemons or whatever because they’re doing it for the kids, so they can have pocket money – and because accepting neighbours kids like this helps tie a community together.
The level that adults operate at is a little different – the community-level glue-of-giving being more direct. The Unspoken Social Contract that Clay Shirkey was on about.
Personally I can’t imagine selling vegetables to the people next door. It would… put a wall between us. We would only participate in this if it meant that we were buying things from other people who were retired or unemployed or whatever.
But um… I guess this site caters to a wider geography than that… so um… what do I know.
I hope it works out to be honest – if it could take the pressure off people having to find a proper grown-up’s job.
And it could work the other way – when I was living in the UK I didn’t even know what the other people in my building looked like, let alone… know them as people. Maybe flogging stuff to them would be an excuse to get to know them… but you’d be so much better of giving it away. I mean if you give people stuff, they like you. If you could sell “people will like you” spray – that actually worked – as well as giving them tomatoes that you’ve grown, how much would it be worth? A fuck of a lot more than the tomatoes, I bet.
But getting back to some sort of point… I’ve got this nagging sense (that I can’t quite put my finger on) that the key to alternative currency is to do with face-to-face community. It’s more than networks of trust… it’s networks of dependency? Networks of gut-level responsibility?
I think television has been a disaster.