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«Katie Finley Photo: Welcome: Sholeh Johnston Centre for Cultural Policy Studies Trust in the Sharing Economy: An Exploratory Study MA Global Media ...»

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A.1 Sharing economy growth trajectory overview The sharing economy is a relatively new social phenomenon, having only recently developed from a niche market to a movement with mainstream traction. To further build out an understanding of the current state of the sharing economy, it is valuable to consider the trajectory of its growth, both through the lens of contemporary media and social discourse and in academic literature. These two concomitant chronologies are presented below.

CONTEMPORARY DISCOURSE (2009 - 2013) 2009 Shareable Magazine A nonprofit news, action, and connection hub for the sharing transformation launched in 2009; has generated and curated millions of sharing-related stories.

2010 “The case for collaborative consumption” Pioneering advocate Rachel Botsman brought the sharing economy into the global spotlight in 2010 during her wellknown TedX Sydney speech about collaborative consumption’s power to change the way we live.

What’s Mine is Yours Botsman and co-author Roo Rogers released their groundbreaking book about the potential for technology-based peer communities to transform the traditional economic and social landscape in September of that same year.

The Mesh Lisa Gansky published her seminal work The Mesh: Why the Future of Business is Sharing around the same time, advocating a new and increasingly dominant model – “the mesh” – in which consumers have more choices, tools, information, and power.

The Collaborative Fund Angel investor and entrepreneur Craig Shapiro launched the Collaborative Fund in 2010, a seed fund looking to invest in collaborative consumption-oriented startups. The fund has invested in wellknown sharing startups such as Getaround, TaskRabbit, and Skillshare.

CollaborativeConsumption.com Founded by Rachel Botsman in 2010, CollaborativeConsumption.com is a comprehensive online resource for collaborative consumption worldwide. The website has a team of Global Curators that curates and produce content relevant to sharing as well as a searchable database of sharing companies from every sector.

2011 “10 Ideas That Will Change the World” In March 2011, the sharing economy was named one of TIME’s 10 Ideas That Will Change the World, and soon thereafter began to garner mainstream press and attention from a diverse portfolio of major publications including The Economist, The Wall Street Journal, and the New York Times, and from major technology blogs around the world.

2012 OuiShare Online collaborative magazine and nonprofit organization OuiShare, geared toward supporting and expanding sharing through technology, was founded in January 2012. Offline, OuiShare connects and builds local networks to foster collaboration and sharing in over 20 European cities.

2013 LeWeb London LeWeb, Europe’s leading Internet conference on innovation and entrepreneurship, announced a program centered around the sharing economy for the 2013 iteration of the conference in London. The program featured key speakers from leading sharing startups Airbnb, Etsy, ZipCar, TaskRabbit, and LendingClub, as well as both demos from new companies discussions regarding funding in the sharing sector.





Peers.org Peers.org, a global coalition supporting the growth of the sharing economy, functions as a grassroots platform allowing people to self-organize and have their voices heard.

Having recently launched in 2013, the establishment of such an organization further symbolizing the attainment of widespread traction for the global sharing economy.

ACADEMIC LITERATURE (2010 - 2013) See References for complete citations.

2010 “Airbnb.” In 2010, Harvard Business School authors Lassiter and Richardson published a two-part case study on Airbnb.

2012 “Sharing Economy.” Marketing agency Campbell-Mithun declared the sharing economy mainstream after conducting a national survey of 383 American participants in January 2012, as 60 percent of respondents found sharing services appealing and a full 71 percent of respondents already using these services expected to continue.

“The legal landscape of the sharing economy.” Kassan and Orsi investigated the various legalities of the sharing economy in 2012.

Legal issues in various American states have proved an obstacle for many sharing economy startups in the past year, especially with regard to P2P ride-sharing.

2013 “Beyond sharing: Cultivating cooperative transportation systems through geographic information science.” Miller investigated transportation sharing in 2013, citing unprecedented challenges for transportation in the coming years and advocating sharing, cooperating, and acting collectively as a viable solution.

“The collaborative economy.” Owyang recently published “The collaborative economy,” a market definition report on behalf of Altimeter Research Group, and presented it at LeWeb London 2013.

“My house is yours.” The University of Bergamo published the first in-depth worldwide quantitative study regarding the motivations and travel habits of 7,000 HomeExchange users in June 2013.

A.2 Sample interview question guide

1. How many times have you used Airbnb, and in what capacity (as a guest or host)?

2. Why do you use Airbnb as opposed to traditional accommodation?

3. Are there certain Airbnb standard practices or policies that increase your trust in Airbnb?

4. Are there certain features of the Airbnb community as whole that, to you, make it more trustworthy?

5. Why do you use Airbnb over other peer-to-peer accommodation websites?

6. Do you have any concerns about using Airbnb as opposed to traditional accommodation?

7. What do you perceive as the greatest risks involved in peer-to-peer accommodation sharing?

8. As a guest, please describe your usual process that you go through in looking for a place to stay. What sorts of things in host profiles do you look for or read through before sending a reservation request to a host?

9. What are the most important elements of a profile that you look for before sending a reservation request to a host (for example, a photo, a bio, connected social media pages, etc.)? Which are essential? Why?

–  –  –

11. Do you make any decisions to send reservation requests based on second-degree Facebook connections? For example, if you and the host have mutual friends, or if one of your Facebook friends has reviewed the host, would that impact your decision to send a reservation request to the host? In what way?

12. Would you stay with a host who has not yet been reviewed by other guests? Why or why not? What other elements of the host’s profile might mitigate the lack of reviews?

–  –  –

14. Is it essential that the host has a verified email OR telephone number before you send the reservation request? If not, how important is it? Why?

15. Is it essential that the host has a verified offline (government-issued) ID before you send a reservation request? If not, how important is it? Why?

16. Are there any other considerations you might have before sending a reservation request that you haven’t mentioned?

17. Has your experience with Airbnb changed the way you evaluate potential accommodations?

A.3 Sample interview transcript

1. How many times have you used Airbnb, and in what capacity (as a guest or host)?

Let’s see – I’ve used it at this point – five times, in various capacities – the first time I used it was for 2 nights for a quick trip to Paris, the second time I used it I stayed for almost three months in Paris, so it was a very long stay, and then, the third time I had planned to come back for 6 months to Paris before my visa got denied. So I actually have a lot of experience with various facets of the business because of that, because I had already put down a lot of money for an apartment, had to go back and say my visa got denied, and there’s no way I can come, I’m not even allowed in the country, and had to work with customer support in various things like that to sort of organize the whole process. Time number four I went back to Paris most recently to pick up all my luggage that I had left in the country, and that was just for a couple days, and then I stayed for two nights in New York, when I was there recently, and used Airbnb. Like I really, really like the service a lot, and I feel very comfortable when I go somewhere now where I haven’t been – I prefer to do this instead of stay in a hotel.

2. Why do you use Airbnb as opposed to traditional accommodation?

I feel like with traditional accommodation like hotels and things, you really miss out on a cultural aspect, and um, I feel comfortable enough with all of the information provided by Airbnb that I’m not worried, that I’ll end up in some crazy person’s apartment. I really like the opportunity to converse with somebody who actually lives in the city, um, and experience more of it in that way.

3. Are there certain Airbnb standard practices or policies that increase your trust in Airbnb?

Yes – certainly. I really like how responsive the team is – how they have the Instant Chat option. I’ve used that a couple of times, especially when I was handling the visa situation and cancelling everything. It was really great to like talk to a real person, instantaneously, and then have – if I remember correctly – the guy then emailed a copy of the transcript of the conversation we had, which I really found awesome, you know it’s a great way to keep it for my own records, and have a way to reference back to something, so I really liked that. I like how much information you can share about yourself and your apartment, and all the amenities and things like that that you can list, it’s just – the cliché phrase is knowledge is power, right – the more that I know about a person and their place, the more confident I feel staying there. As well as how it lists how frequently people respond to messages, like hosts respond to messages, I think that’s great, because if I see someone that responds you know, within a couple of hours, 98% of the time, or something, I feel very comfortable sending them a message because I’ll receive a response quickly. In that same turn, I think the messaging system is designed very well, in that all the hosts with whom I’ve spoken and things like that, they’ve been wonderful, but it’s been great to see how it syncs to my cell phone, so I know as soon as I have a message, that it’s there. Those are some of the major points.

4. Why do you use Airbnb over other peer-to-peer accommodation websites?

I think CouchSurfing is really the only other one I’ve heard of – I honestly didn’t come upon Airbnb by myself – a friend recommended it to me when she heard I was going to Paris – um, so that’s how I got introduced to the system. So I wasn’t a person who was already using peer-to-peer services and just sort of found this one and like it best, this is my only experience with peer-to-peer services. So I think I wouldn’t choose another one because I’ve never used them and I’m really happy with Airbnb.

5. Do you have any concerns about using Airbnb as opposed to traditional accommodation?

Not at all, actually. I can see where there would have been potential risk, but I think Airbnb has handled that really well – there’s so much information provided, the checkand-balance system I think is really well-designed. Like I never felt at risk or concerned about my security – whether it be online, like my information, or myself in person, at all.

6. As a guest, please describe your usual process that you go through in looking for a place to stay. What sorts of things in host profiles do you look for or read through before sending a reservation request to a host?



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