In Once Sentence
Imagine Couchsurfing meets Ridesharing, but instant:location-aware mobile phones connect riders & drivers going the same way to share rides real-time.
In More Depth
There are always people driving where other people would like to go. If those drivers could happily be matched up with those riders real-time and instantly, the world would save billions of car-miles a year, billions of gallons of fuel, billions of dollars, untold tons of CO2. The world would be a cleaner, happier, more social, less-trafficky place.
Why don't we do it? In the end, lack of information, really.
If you were driving to the market and your friend who lives along the way needed to go there, you'd happily give him a ride. However, if that friend were a stranger instead, and more so, you didn't know he wanted to go to the market, you wouldn't be giving him a ride.
The problem is lack of information. Couchsurfing.com proves clearly that strangers are happy to help each other out - even let them sleep in their houses - we just want some way to first check each other out a bit.
Your mobile phone knows where you are. Imagine you told it where you want to go and a back-end ride sharing system checked all drivers driving in your area to find which ones were statistically most likely to be passing you and going your way. You and those drivers would get pinged with each others' profiles, you could call each other, the driver could pick you up, and you'd share the ride.
The system would note the distance you traveled together and transfer some gas money to the driver to help him cover his costs - and it would be quite safe as the system would always know exactly who traveled with whom, when.
You got a ride, the driver got some gas money, a connection was made, gas was saved, traffic was reduced, our environment got a bit cleaner.
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Chris Abraham, President and COO of Abraham Harrison LLC, is an Internet analyst and Web strategy specialist with expertise in Web 2.0 technologies, including content syndication, online collaboration, blogging, and consumer generated media.
Prior to starting Abraham Harrison, Chris was a member of the Interactive Team at Edelman Public Affairs in Washington, D.C, where he worked with clients such as Wal-Mart, Shell, and GE on blogger and social media strategy. Before Edelman, Chris was a Technology Strategist for New Media Strategies, a pioneer in online brand promotion and protection with clients including Sci-Fi Channel, Buena Vista, TomTom, Paramount Pictures, Coca-Cola, McDonalds, Disney, Reebok, EA, RCA, and NBC.
Chris has had an influential web presence since 1993 and started blogging in 1999, focusing on community, connection, innovation, and brand extension. Today, Chris blogs for AdAge's DigitalNext, JD Lasica's Socialmedia.biz, and Bob Garfield's Chaos Scenario blog as well as Abraham Harrison's Marketing Conversation and on his own blog, Because the Medium is the Message.
Chris has taught blogging courses for the Writer's Center of Bethesda; has been a guest lecturer on public affairs blogging at Columbia University's School of International and Public Affairs and at American University’s School of Communication; and is the Emergent Technologies Advisor to the Urban Institute's Communications Advisory Board. Additionally, he is the go-to expert on social media, citizen journalism, technology, and the Internet for BBC World Service, CNN Radio, and CNet's BNet.
Chris received his BA in American Literature from The George Washington University, studied American Literature at the University of East Anglia in Norwich, England, and studied French at the University of Hawaii. He splits his time between residences in Berlin, Germany, and Washington, D.C.
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