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free-sharing network

edited February 20 in general - experiment
A web-based tool is being developed by Colin Turner to make free sharing easy and intuitive:

This appears to me to be the best way to realise the transition - we have an abundance of skills, stuff and knowledge which goes to waste just to satisfy the "economy". If we could rally a number of people to give these freely to each other, these people would feel the mutual benefits, realise it's a better way, and bring more people. We would be building a new economy, rendering the market obsolete. As Colin himself explains in a facebook post:
As some of you know I'm building the new Freeworlder free sharing site at the moment to try kickstart the open economy in a small way. My idea is that people will begin sharing small items and services unconditionally. If the site become successful - as in many people start using it - then I think trust and confidence will grow until maybe we will start to see larger and more 'valuable' items being offered and received.

This is really a proof of concept for what I have been saying for years with The Free World Charter. So much so, that I believe this site will (and should) take precedence over the Charter site. The Charter site has been embattled on two fronts:

1. Our reliance on social media to promote an essentially abstract concept has left us high and dry. We did well in the initial upsurge of Facebook and moneyless concepts being bandied around a few years ago, but that day has gone. Our hook (as it is) is not strong enough to bring people in from the fringes of free social content.

2. I think that those who follow and ascribe to these kinds of ideas have grown tired of seeing nothing happening, and want something concrete.

And I agree. I'm tired of seeing nothing happening too - especially in the face of the more and more farcical media circus which is consuming people in its nonsensical, pointless hubbub. Brexit, Trump, fake news, The Wall, UKIP, immigration, etc etc. It just never stops pumping shit into people's heads.

I see a system truly desperate to perpetuate itself - and it's working very very well! There is undoubtedly MASSIVE psy-ops going on all the time - and people are falling for it. Our incumbent system has a massive marketing department working tirelessly to keep the belief going.

So what's my point?

Well I've two points. The first is this. The only realistic way of breaking the spell and getting people to change is, I believe, to offer them a superior alternative. When people's logic comes down to 'why buy it when I can it easily for free?' THEN we are winning.

For that to happen, sites like have to reach what I call a 'threshold of usefulness', where there are enough people and things being offered that there's a good chance that you'll find the thing you need when you go to the site.

Now, in all honesty, the odds of this Freeworlder sharing platform succeeding in its ambitions are OVERWHELMINGLY stacked against us. Social viral marketing is over. It's owned. We need a different approach. Before we can hope to make any dents in people's beliefs, we have to reach that threshold of usefulness. I would put that at, say, 10,000 active users a month, but that's probably conservative. For it to be truly useful to people, it would need to be more, but 10k is a good start.

My second point is this. I don't believe many people who follow these ideas realise how important is their role in making it happen. Sometimes I feel like people are waiting for me or others like me to bring all this about. I know that's not fair to many people here, but from where I'm looking, it's real, and that shit's not going to work. A tiny minority of a tiny minority? No.

I truly believe that a strong free sharing network is the single greatest thing we can do to bring about a tradeless, compassionate world. Ideologies are too abstract for busy, brainwashed people. Building high-tech prototype cities is too difficult and, without a sharing ethos at its core, will fail.

A sharing network is easy and cheap to build. It can be the proof of concept that is so lacking. I am building one. But if people don't use it AND promote it then it will fail.

Will you use it? Will you help promote it? Tell me I'm not wasting my time.


  • kudos it does look very promising. is one of the greatest landing pages i ever saw!! :smiley:
  • The free-sharing network is very exciting. It will be a way for people to go from just talking to taking immediate action!

    I grow vegetables and sell them at the farmers market. Part of the challenge of small scale farming is the cost of equipment. I own a tractor, rototillers, trailers, and lawnmowers just to name a few things. Most of my equipment only gets used a few days out of the year. I have to wonder how many farms similar to mine could be operated if I simply shared my equipment. If enough people do use the website we would drastically reduce the start up and operating cost of small farming. Perhaps sharing will be the edge we need to actually compete with factory farming and slave labour.

    I think in the early stages of the website sharing our skills and services has great potential even if there are only a few active members living close to one another. I build and renovate homes. I would be happy to renovate other members homes for free. The way I see it being an active member is the best way to promote the movement. We could post pictures, videos, and comments of the sharing experience on the website to inspire others.

    You are not wasting your time with this Colin. I will absolutely use the website. Well done! Thank you!
  • Yes Brad, that's exactly the right spirit! The tool Colin is developing is meant to facilitate sharing as much as possible. He put a lot of thought on making it simple, attractive and powerful, making it easy to find people who can help you or who would need your things etc. That's the pre-requisite, having a high-quality, nice, intuitive user interface (that currently doesn't exist). Then the more people participate, the easier and more useful it gets, which means that there is a crucial difficulty in the beginning that people trying it out won't find it very useful because there are too few users, and it never takes off. That's why it's so important to talk about it, especially encourage existing communities to use it. I am very much looking forward to testing this system and getting real-life experiences through it.

    Pre-registration is now opened (with true functionality expected in May):
  • The site is now online! It is not widely advertised yet, just slowly building up before "opening the floodgates", meaning soon a notification will be sent to the 55000 signatories of the Free World Charter (which you already can see on the map, that's pretty cool) to invite them to use it.
  • The website is amazing. I love it!!

    As we get closer and closer to "opening the flood gates" I must say I have an interesting mix of feelings given the almost unimaginable positive change that we all hope will come from this.
  • Latest update by Colin on facebook:

    I'm not going to lie to you. Posting a listing on today is almost pointless. More than likely you won't get a response and your listing may not even be seen by anyone. So why bother?

    Just because engagement and response times are slow does not mean we are doing something wrong. In fact, if engagement was high I'd almost be wondering what we were doing wrong - because what we're attempting is so utterly counter-intuitive to everything we know:

    "Give away free stuff to strangers for no reason."

    ^^ but that little heretical statement of counter-culture is exactly what we mean when we are talking about a money-free world. We are not just going to skip down some yellow brick road into a moneyless paradise. It's going to take time, self-sacrifice and thankless effort. You can't get one without the other, and anyone who thinks so is living in cloud cuckoo land. (Or perhaps a nearby planet!)

    We have to get our hands dirty. We are planting the seeds here for something that's really important, and, maybe we won't get to sit under the shade of those trees (or however that proverb runs), but if we don't plant them, who will?
  • I feel like we need to do something BIG in order to demonstrate the potential of the network and inspire people to engage. I’ve been talking to Colin about starting a group to build a house and give it away on the network. We would likely need to crowdfund to purchase a lot, pay for permits and materials. We would have to find a way to determine who gets the house. Perhaps a competition or accept applications and nominations to find a deserving family. It would be an ambitious project, but if we can pull it off think of the 'marketing’ potential.
  • Hello Phil, Brad. I was looking at the site again and was very happy to see some people in my area, but no skills or items offered :neutral: . so i'll look in my house to see if there's anything i don't need so i could offer it and check out the responses.
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