Ever had that situation where you’ve run out of sugar/eggs/rum/light bulbs and the local shops are closed
The next best thing is to pop round to your friendly neighbour and ask if you can borrow some of theirs, right?
The thing is, the good old days when everyone knew everyone and we all spent our days chatting to our neighbours over the garden fence have long gone (in fact, we think those days might be a myth).
Unless you’re very lucky, very gregarious, or very nosey, you’re unlikely to be bosom buddies with your neighbours. My mum may still know Maureen from four doors up is, as well as the names of all her grandchildren, but I couldn’t even tell you if my next door neighbour has grandchildren.
But, as with so many modern social ills, the internet wants to provide a solution…
Streetbank is the brain child of three guys, Ryan, Nick and Sam, who decided to expand on the idea of borrowing and lending from your neighbours.
Co-founder, Sam, discovered that asking to borrow things from the people in his community meant he got to know them better. And the better he got to know them, the more he started to like them.
After much discussion, the boys decided to utilise the internet to create an easy way for people to share things, skills and services in their community. Like a mutual Freecycle. They pooled their resources together, and Streetbank was born. Essentially, it’s an online community to help you to get to know your real life community.
Share, lend, give and teach
I’ve been a member of Streetbank for a while now, and I’ve seen it grow from just one person in my community (erm, me) to 10 or 11. I can borrow everything from a pick axe to a box set of Six Feet Under (Not from the same person though. That would be creepy.) I could also pick up two armchairs, and learn how to tap dance — all for free.
The site really comes into its own in big cities like London though, where a bigger selection of people sign up so the products and services on often are more varied.
It’s really simple to sign-up , and there’s no requirement to offer anything big — a ladder or a DVD will do.
If you’re a new start up trying out a free service, there’s a potential here to build up a good name in the community. You don’t have to give it away for free either.
The concept is sustainable, fun and interesting — which makes Streetbank a pretty good online community.
Will you be lending your Buffy boxset to your local community?