Using computer and communication applications to improve the rate and ease at which we work is something we write about often at Worldchanging (see more stories here, here and here). Applications like Twitter and Facebook not only help us stay connected within our networks; they are also beginning to help us harness the power of collective thought and action to re-imagine our world.
The collaborative platform DIYcity is encouraging people all over the world to improve and create applications that could change the way we use current systems and infrastructure. To help generate more efficiency in our communities and activities, DIYcity is challenging applications creators and others to build and implement real solutions to problems like waste, transportation and traffic.
Each week, DIYcity issues a development challenge to their readers to transform urban space and rebuild cities using tools like Twitter bots, aggregators, social software and mobile apps. Their first challenge, for example, asked people to innovate solutions to traffic using Twitter bots. Their first user-submitted app is Traffictweet, a Twitter bot from Andy Weissman that lets people broadcast current traffic conditions to others who are listening. It's pretty general, but works well, says DIYcity, just "subscribe to it, broadcast messages about traffic, and receive messages sent by others."
Their second challenge, issued earlier this week, asks participants to "conceive of a grassroots ridesharing system that can overcome the problems inherent in ridesharing and achieve critical mass." (Find a refresher on the idea of ridesharing here.)
You can build an application, but what DIYcity is really looking for in this challenge is a concise proposal. The more proposals, the juicier the collaboration will be! So submit your visions and ideas for improving rideshare applications to firstname.lastname@example.org today!
Collaborative platforms such as DIYcity help us come together to create the tools that we need to make our daily tasks a little easier, and to help us play a role in building the communities we want to live in. These tools give us the ability to imagine efficiencies for our cities that, in the long run, will make the places we live and the things we do more sustainable.
Image credit: Sonicribbon for DIYcity
This is a great challenge. I suggest entrants search the term Smart Jitney to get ideas. Ridesharing is the one alternative to the single occupancy vehicle that can be rolled out quickly without major changes in technology or infrastructure. We already have the vehicles, the communication system and the roads. And the vehicles start everywhere and go everywhere. And they are 75% empty! There are a lot of new ridesharing schemes popping up. As a matter of fact, the number of new systems may become a barrier for any one system reaching critical mass. Maybe what someone needs to do is to figure out how various rideshare programs could integrate their user bases to make finding a match more likely.
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