Well, they've finally finished it! Our traditional community sharing and cooperative methods have finally been made super easy online.
As I described in previous posts, the traditional route to organizing neighborhood projects or purchases is difficult and few communities do it. Many try, but few succeed in finding or rallying their neighbors. Traditionally, organizing neighbors largely consisted of posting fliers and knocking on doors. Or one can build a community center or a physical co-op and let people come to you. In our case, we were already attending neighborhood meetings due to an unrelated neighborhood crisis. The topic of collaborative efforts to reduce expenses was raised at these meetings and the collaborative mindset evolved very slowly from there.
My husband was the one who suggested to a friend that a web service be created to simplify this process of combining effort and expenses on group projects and purchases. They liked the idea and created SplitStuff. Of course I have some pride in SplitStuff and helped to test it and helped find other testers. After lots of rounds of feedback, new features and improvements, SplitStuff is now open to the public. I'm so excited that now people far and wide can cooperate very easily with their friends and neighbors, even those they haven't met yet.
The thing I love about SplitStuff is that you can sit at your computer and find people near you who share your interests in local projects, bulk purchases or sharing of items. You can organize anything! And it's completely FREE! It's just so easy - compared to what we had to do to find a small number of like-minded neighbors (and then continue to communicate and agree on logistics). The barriers are now gone.
Now there's really no excuse any more to buying anything retail, or buying the cheapest, lowest quality stuff just to save money. There's no excuse for buying equipment that you rarely use, that all of your neighbors also bought, that they rarely use too! The same goes for trucks, jewelry, sporting or educational goods, etc. There's no excuse for buying stuff in bulk and letting it clutter up your house and letting it spoil, go stale or rancid. There's no excuse for not buying local farm fresh organic produce or dairy for your kids. There's no excuse for not having a neighborhood composting system, or farm, or parade, or other event. There's no excuse for tolerating potholes or other problems that a group of unified local voices could help solve.
So sign up, get your friends, neighbors and co-workers signed up, and start splitting stuff!!! I volunteered to help promote SplitStuff. Now that I've gotten the hang of Facebook, blogs and forums, etc. I plan to spend some time every day to spread the word. I have no financial interest in SplitStuff. If you have any questions about it or need any help getting started please let me know - I'm happy to help.