AskShareGive is an online community where people share their time, skills, transport, and old or unused goods.
It's free to join and no money changes hands on the site.
You can list things you have to give; things you don’t need anymore, your time, sharing a car trip or lending your old ladder. People respond and you can choose who to give your stuff away to.
If there is anything you need you can list that too, and people can see if they can help you out.
With AskShareGive you can choose who to give to. Before you give something, you can check the member’s profile to make sure they need it and see how other members have rated them.
You can also see if a member shares or gives via the site. This encourages people to share and give, because they are more likely to get things they need if they are helping the community in some way!
If you haven’t already watched the quick presentation, watch it now to find out more.
How did AskShareGive come about?
One early spring morning we opened up the garage for spring cleaning and suddenly realised how much stuff we’d accumulated over the years – stuff that was probably never going to be used again. Snowboards, suitcases, musical instruments, stereos and computers – you name it.
Well we could have sold it all online but then we figured it would be more effort than the money we’d get back and we thought ‘Hey, why not give it to someone that might really need it!”.
We looked online and found sites that let you list stuff. We even gave stuff away on there.
The problem was that we were never sure who we were giving things away to. Did they really need it or were they on-selling it online? Worse even, some people were unreliable and didn’t turn up to pick up the things.
We didn’t mind giving our things to people that needed them or to people that would help others out. But there was no site where we could list our things and get an idea of people’s profiles – are they helping others out too?
We realised that while we have things to give away, but are time-poor, other people don’t have much to give, but have valuable skills that can help others in the community. But we couldn’t find a site that recognised all the ways that someone can give and share.
So we created AskShareGive.
We didn’t design AskShareGive to make money. We created it to see if it would make a better society.
Thanks heaps to Tom Hall from Boolean Operations who designed and coded the back end and wrestled with an endless stream of changes and tweaks; “Make it like this”, “No, don’t listen to me - change it back”. Patient and dedicated. And thanks heaps to Adam Wright from Big Back Yard for the design work. It looks awesome and everyone loves it!
And thanks Tanya - she is the AskShareGive Administrator. She tirelessly answers emails, visits community groups and helps people out.
What we’ve learned as we created AskShareGive
We found some interesting research when we came up the concepts behind AskShareGive.
For most of human history people have lived in smaller communities and naturally needed to give, help and share to get along and prosper. People and communities are still like that. With friends and family for example we’ll often do things to help without expecting an immediate return.
And in communities like in the pacific islands that’s still how people live. They’ll gather together help build a house or repair a roof in the expectation that if they need something in the future they’ll get the help they need.
But of course as cities have got larger we’ve had to turn to money as a way to get by. People often won’t do anything unless they get paid. After all, who wants to share and give when someone on the receiving end just takes? Money is a way to keep track.
There’s a name for a community that asks, gives and shares without looking for an immediate return on their investment – it’s called a Gift Economy. You can read about it here on Wikipedia.
There are lots of other examples. Wikipedia and open source software are examples of a gift economy. People create and give without expectation of an immediate return.
We’re hoping AskShareGive will help create a community where people want to Ask, Share and Give.