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Mobilising a sharing economy revolution

One of the most interesting things about so-called sharing economy companies is their mobilisation of users in defence of their political objectives. This is something which can prove uniquely urgent because of the sheer number of municipalities in which they operate, leaving them exposed to regulatory backlash particularly given their […]

Uber as a moral project

When the Uber co-founders recount the story of their project, they stress the importance of the consumer to it. This might seem like familiar rhetoric but I want to suggest it reflects a deep (and problematic) commitment. In The Upstarts, by Brad Stone, we see how the early idea for Uber […]

The monopoly bias in the sharing economy

This struck me as an interesting case that reveals a broader truth about the sharing economy. A description of the very early merger of two companies offering city wide access to unused capacity in fitness classes, from Sweat Equity, by Jason Kelly, loc 1343: “When you look at quality fitness inventory […]

The Politics of the Platform Society

This is a great talk by José van Dijck. I can’t wait for her new book: There are some excellent responses by Sonia Livingstone, suggesting we need to be critical of an emerging grand narrative of the platform society. It meshes nicely with the observation made by Adrian McKenzie that ‘algorithms’ […]

the grateful serfs of the sharing economy

One of the most interesting developments in the so-called sharing economy is the growing tendency for the largest of these companies to try and mobilise their users as lobbying and protest groups at the municipal level But when Airbnb’s executives look out at the world, they don’t see a fragmented […]