What are your favorite Shareable articles? We asked our editorial board to select their favorite Shareable.net pieces– the ones that made this list received at least two nominations. Interestingly, only two of these pieces overlap with the list of most popular articles I posted earlier today; most of our popular pieces weren’t even nominated by our editors.
The differences? Our readers liked rich narratives about people and about transportation — you folks are thinking a lot about cars and bikes! The members of our editorial board, on the other hand, were mostly interested in big ideas and (paradoxically?) how-to pieces — and they also tended to pick pieces written by their fellow board members. This might sound like a form of nepotism, but I think there’s something else going on: our little group of journalists and social entrepreneurs are part of the Shareable.net community because they’re intensely interested in similar ideas and projects. In some ways, this list is a glimpse in the collective mind of the incipient sharing movement:
- “How to Throw a Community Swap Meet,” by Shira Golding: This is a wonderfully useful case study in city-wide sharing and countercultural community building, of which we have many. Why did this one stick in our editors’ minds? I’m not sure, but I do tend to use it as an example of an archetypical Shareable DIY piece, when asked for one.
- “Is Sharing Contagious?” by Rachel Botsman: This is a very solid piece that combines big ideas with a personal story, of a fellow in California who started a tool-lending library. Rachel’s piece “The Stranger Exchange” is much more popular, but this one goes much deeper. Taken together, Rachel’s work for this site adds up to a fascinating inquiry into what she calls “collaborative consumption.”
- “How to Share a Chicken (or Two)” and “How to Share a Waffle,” both by Abby Quillen: Regular contributor Abby Quillen has been mapping the shareable activities of her community in Oregon, and there’s something in her approach that draws the admiration of other writers. She has a keen eye for quotes and images that makes sharing seem like a viable, desirable lifestyle…which of course it is!
- “How to Share Time,” by Mira Luna: I suspect this one got nominated because time exchanges and alternative currencies are so intriguing to Shareable stalwarts–this is Stephanie Smith’s “third economy” in practice…
- “The Third Economy,” by Allison Arieff: Well, isn’t this cosy? Our editorial board picks one of their members (Arieff) interviewing another member, architect Stephanie Smith. I have a feeling this one received multiple nominations because Stephanie’s ideas about economics and architecture are so influential among her peers. They might influence you, too!
- “Four Degrees of Sharing,” by Janelle Orsi: Another example of the editorial board picking a piece by one of their fellow members, Sharing Solution co-author Janelle Orsi. I nominated this one myself; this piece is absolutely essential to understanding Shareable’s perspective, and to understanding sharing in the twenty-first century. Strongly recommended.
- “How to Stop Foreclosure Through Homesharing,” by Janelle Orsi: A second hit for Janelle, who has produced writing about alternatives to the housing crisis that is both thought-provoking and very usefully concrete. Personally, I’d like to see Janelle run for Congress some day and turn some of her ideas into policy.
- “The Evolution will Not be Individualized,” by Me: OK, yeah, I wrote this one. More nepotism. This is a thinking-aloud blog entry, not a polished essay, and it’s kind of messy and sprawling. I have a feeling that two of my colleagues nominated it for this list because they liked the very substantial discussion it provoked, which covers many of this site’s core themes from unusual angles.
- “The Exterminator’s Want-Ad,” by Bruce Sterling: This is one of two pieces that overlaps with our “most popular” list. I almost didn’t publish this dark little tale by science fiction legend and design theorist Bruce Sterling–his satire cuts both ways, into the society we live in today and into the better society we might live in tomorrow. I worried that his story might contribute to cynicism, and indeed I’ve noticed that many commentators have chosen to read it in a way that reinforces a pessimistic worldview. But Bruce is on our side and he’s on a mission to strengthen our understanding of ourselves as people, even as we try to forge a better world. That’s one of the functions of fiction–not to propagandize, but to raise fundamental doubts that might make us less arrogant, more wise.
- “Would You Share Your Car with a Stranger?” by Kimberly Gaskins: Here’s the other popular piece that our editors picked. I suspect it’s popular because the topic has a built-in audience, in the form of the car-sharing industry; it’s important to our editors because this trend is absolutely critical to moving from a society based on ownership to one based on sharing.
Our team of editorial advisors consists of Punsri Abeywickrema, Astri von Arbin Ahlander, Allison Arieff, Michel Bauwens, Rachel Bostman, Yelizavetta Kofman, Janelle Orsi, Jonah Sachs, Stephanie Smith, Jay Walljasper, and Bernice Yueng. Publisher Neal Gorenflo also kicked in some suggestions!
Have your own favorites? Tell us in a comment!