This morning, we woke up to this...
Facebook may soon allow group administrators to start charging their members to be in certain groups. The company announced in a blogpost today that specifically home, parenting and cooking groups will be the first ones to be able to test out this new feature.
Our response to this is that while it is important that dedicated administrators, who manage their communities, should benefit from their efforts. However, as a member of a group, you deserve to be rewarded for your contributions and shouldn’t have to pay to get that chance. Belonging to a community can be one of the most valuable and rewarding experiences of our lives, one that should be free because we all so deeply need and depend on it. So, why do you have to pay to get support, be inspired or help others by sharing in a group?
At Sharood (Shar(ef)ood), we want to create opportunities for people to connect with others in their local communities through food, without having to pay the price. Instead of a subscription-based model, we strongly believe in a contribute-and-be-rewarded version of interacting with your community.
But what does this mean? The members contributing to our community will always get a free experience and earn points by cooking meals and inviting others. These points allow them to then freely join the meals that other members are sharing in the group. People who are interested in participating but for whatever reason are not able to contribute, can buy points to participate instead. This makes communities a free resource for everyone who contributes or participates, and allows everyone to share food moments with everyone while being rewarded for their contributions.
Sharing should be free, contributing should be rewarded, and interacting should be encouraged.
What’s even better is that we don’t believe in exclusivity. Anyone can join a group and start a food revolution. Even at this very moment Sharood groups are creating “meet ’n eats” and “book ’n don’t cooks” in a diverse communities across Amsterdam, Barcelona, Melbourne, and even Berlin.
Kathrie, one of our users in Berlin spoke of her first time using Sharood: “When I first moved here, I needed a place to swap the extra sourdough bread that I always have and to meet new people. So I created two Sharood groups. My first contribution to those groups was sharing my leftover bread with two other users, Kathy and Simon. And I was surprised what happened. I made two new real-life friends, found a room to rent and got rid of the extra food I was making. I’m actually catching up with them tomorrow.“
De Veí a Veí, a social services NGO that aims to create a community feeling in Sant Antoni, one of the densest neighborhoods in Barcelona, created a group on Sharood so that neighbors could share meals with each other.
David, a user in Barcelona, was surprised by the experience of picking up food from a neighbor: "I still can't wrap my head around that I trusted someone I did not know", and mentions: "I'm blown away that I can so easily interact with the people who live in my area". After he had joined a meal, when asked what the magic of the experience was, he replied: “What's the most beautiful and mysterious thing about it is that I’m eating food from people that I did not know before, but lived right next to me. Now, it's a familiar feeling for me here, and the other day in the market I bumped into Rafa, with whom I met at the meal I picked up two weeks ago".
You will never have to pay to share or interact. Instead, you can earn money if you contribute to the community by sharing. That’s how we can turn every moment you think about food into an opportunity to share and have a life-changing experience in return.