September 5, 2012, by Fraser

Pass it on! Nottingham students build communities for sharing with new app

The idea of the brand new app is simple: to bring together people who want something and those who have it.

And, unlike websites such as Freecycle and Freegle, the app uses existing social networks – such as Facebook – so that you can share with your friends.

The app is called Neehoy and will launch in October. Neehoy, which is already an award-winner, is the brainchild of Nottingham PhD students John Harvey, Julian Rosser and Tim Pearce.

Missing an opportunity…

“Gifting websites like Freecycle focus on giving stuff away and we think there’s a missed opportunity,” says John. “Many of the things in our daily lives, we take for granted – you have probably got a room at home with books and dvds that you’re not necessarily using all of the time. We see that as a kind of dormancy and potential – wouldn’t it be great if you could see all of your friends’ bookshelves at the same time? And when you need something, rather than buying it, you could actually see it online and borrow it from your friend.”

The idea is to have a platform that includes both giving and sharing in a bid to reduce waste. And the creators feel like their app offers something that Freecycle and Freegle lack.

Sharing with friends

John said: “Most of the websites that encourage this type of behaviour tend to build new communities. And while it’s based in the locality, and there’s thousands of people on there using it, it’s a community which is largely anonymous. So despite everyone sharing a similar location, it’s a new community – and we thought they were missing a trick. Because the relationships we have online and on social networks, quite closely match those we have offline.

“The average person has a couple of hundred Facebook friends, and we thought ‘wouldn’t it be great if you could see everyone’s bookshelf or what your friends are giving away?’ – and for more trust to be there.”

Neehoy is launching October and you can find out more about the app on the Neehoy website.

Posted in Students