Documantation and Analysis: Ridekicks

19 نوفمبر
2010

How it works

Ridekicks functions:

By using elements of social gaming and reward mechanics to change the way people operate in, around, and with cars.

Through linking to favorite social networks such as: Facebook, Twitter, Friendster, etc…

And educate children, bring mathematical, logical and networking aspects to life for adults and…make ridesharing cool?

To promote environmentally friendliness, socially acceptable car sharing

Begin with:

1.)    Uploading coming journeys and advertise for social buddies on the same route.

For and as passenger.

2.)    Start your own community groups for companies, schools, universities and neighborhood teams.

-Compete with and within the team

Continue by:

3.)    Search for spare seats and promote availability to the driver friends on their social networks.

4.)    Keeping track of miles driven and points shared.

Each mile shared is worth 1 point for both passenger and driver

5.)    Choosing whether to charge passengers for the ride

-Through the site with major currencies using PayPal’s Adaptive payments technology.

-5% of all transaction fees go directly towards Ridekicks

In the future:

6.) Aim for respective titles

-“King of the Road”: Highest scoring participant within the entire network

-“Captain Planet”: Player who travels most as passenger

-“Hometown Hero”: Highest participant from any given city

-Titles can only be kept through continual participation within the system

7.)    (For company reference) Solidify rewards system

– Hopes to partner with fuel companies and local government for reward methods

Reassessments and justification for categories

Green Design:

Ridekicks definitely fits the category of green design, because this website was formed to facilitate carpooling. It turns carpooling into a social game with rewards for environmentally-friendly driving. By connecting the people who can give rides to the people that need them, Ridekicks helps the environment by saving fossil fuels and reducing air pollution from car exhaust.

Social Design:

Co-founders Lee Marshall and Rohit Mistry explain Ridekicks as something that “helps you get to more places, share trips with current friends, and make new friends. We believe that social technology has the power to change the way that we use cars, and we believe it should be fun,” (Crunch Base Profile). By working through user’s personal networks, Ridekicks connects people with the people they already know, and also through the search bar on the website Ridekicks, connects people with others that have a common destination. Through the aspects of connecting people and people sharing resources with other people, this case is definitive of social design.

Communal Design:

Related to social design, Ridekicks can also be categorized as communal design. Cofounder Lee Marshall elaborates how the act of peer-to-peer philanthropy can creates bonds between people and grow into closer, larger local communities: “People spreading wealth among themselves to improve each other’s lives will become a huge part of modern society. As our digital footprints become ever larger and local communities are bought online, I think peer-to-peer lending will take off,” (Marshall). With these concepts in mind, we can see how Marshall and Mistry intended for Ridekicks to be as much about saving money and helping the environment, as building friendships and meeting new people.

Another way Ridekicks is definitive of Communal Design is how the design process of this website is similar to the open source, open innovation method of the $100 dollar lap top. People are welcome to put in their opinions and input about the website and how it works. On the Ridekicks Facebook page, we see the company reaching out to people with survey questions for design research.

Negotiation Analysis

*Intimacy vs. shared space

People who work all day and are with their families (potentially) when they are at home use their time driving to and from work as alone time and as a time to gather their thoughts.  When another person is introduced to this equation, one is forced to forgo this solace for petty discussion with another individual.  Of course, on some occasions they could enjoy their discussions, but assuming that the other individual is a stranger, more than likely conversation will resort back to common small talk.  When someone is in their car alone, it is their space and they can do things like play music loud without worrying about whether or not someone else cares what or how loud they are listening to that music.

Even before the ride itself, the social forum itself negotiates intimacy vs. a shared space.  The network itself is a shared space containing everyone’s information of their locations and schedules.  Exposing yourself online suggests a certain sense of exhibitionism, which then automatically makes you a little more vulnerable just taking into the consideration the vastness and openness of the internet.  Interestingly enough, the network can also act as an intimate setting.  It serves as a conduit for multifaceted conversation.  There is a casual quality in online conversation – it takes away the awkwardness  of what is polite to say and how is appropriate to react.  Because these social constrictions are then eliminated in the absence of eye-to-eye conversation, the subjects are more free to express their thoughts and act more naturally as their real selves.

In this end, this forces us to both re-think and re-contextualize the definition “intimacy” and “shared space” as well as consider the implications of both sides in the carpooling process itself.

Independence vs. dependence on another driver

When people have their own cars, they don’t have to worry about when they want to leave or stay, they can just leave when they want.  When someone is depending on another person both people have to wait till a time when they can leave together.  This may limit one or both people to waiting several minutes till they can leave, which might be viewed as an inconvenience.

Time vs. Money

Along with the previous negotiation, the time saved when not relying on another person is nice, but is the money spent driving a car alone worth that time saving.  Obviously, when you have multiple people sharing a car (and the driver opts to charge) both people save money (than if they were both paying for a separate journey’s worth of gas).

*Entrepreneurship vs. charity

When someone decides to charge for their rides, a certain tone for the ride is set.  For example, if someone decides to ferry people for free, people feel more like the person is doing something nice for them and therefore feel more at ease with the person.  This might result in new friends or other social gains.   When someone charges for the ride, it becomes more formal and the person paying might feel less obliged to talk to the person driving them since they are being paid.

Another interpretation of this includes analyzing the implications of “gaming.”  Any sort of gaming theme suggests a competitive nature-players want to beat their best and each others’ best to be number one.  This is good because it will elicit participation.  However, a major concern is the possibility that drivers will only drive or drive more to score more points.  This at a big scale poses a huge problem in that it then creates a reverse effect – because of competition, people are actually abusing their driving habits more in order to obtain and keep their titles.  It then places the company at a very risky position and poses the question:  where and how discernible is the line between gaming to encourage genuine participation in a good-will effort and gaming for the sake of competition and for personal gain.

References:

Corrall, Jo. “King Of the Road.” Weblog post. Green Thing Blog. 11 Nov. 2010. Web. 24 Nov. 2010. <http://www.dothegreenthing.com/blog?tag=Ridekicks>.

Facebook Screen Shot. Digital image. Facebook. Web. 24 Nov. 2010. <http://sphotos.ak.fbcdn.net/hphotos-ak-snc4/hs1199.snc4/155187_462897125457_562305457_6087596_5099423_n.jpg>.

Honestads. “Ridekicks.” Web log post. The Hydrogen Creative Beacon. 10 Sept. 2010. Web. 23 Nov. 2010. <http://honestads.wordpress.com/2010/09/10/ridekicks/>.

King of the Road. Digital image. Laser Autotags. Web. 24 Nov. 2010. <http://www.laserautotags.com/photos/king-of-the-road-black-silver.jpg>.

Monk, Richard. “Become King of the Road with Ridekicks.” Weblog post. 1985. 13 July 2010. Web. 24 Nov. 2010. <http://onenineeightfive.com/tag/ridekicks/>.

“Lee Marshall – Co-founder of Ridekicks.com.” IdeaMensch | Passionate People Bringing Ideas To Life. Web. 24 Nov. 2010. <http://ideamensch.com/lee-marshall/>

Phone with youtube. Miss Phones. Web. 24 Nov. 2010. < http://www.missphones.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/2009/03/archos_internet_media_tablet.jpg>.

Red car. Digital Image. Springwise. Web. 24 Nov. 2010. <http://www.springwise.com/pix/spotlight/ridekicks.jpg>.

Ridekicks. “Ridekicks (ridekicks) on Twitter.” Twitter. Web. 24 Nov. 2010. <http://twitter.com/ridekicks>.

“Ridekicks Limited | CrunchBase Profile.” CrunchBase, The Free Tech Company Database. Web. 24 Nov. 2010. <http://www.crunchbase.com/company/ridekicks-limited>.

“Ridekicks.com Turns Ride Sharing Into a Social Game – Startup Report (Press Release) | News for Entrepreneurs.” Startupreport.com | News for Entrepreneurs. 2 Nov. 2010. Web. 24 Nov. 2010. <http://startupreport.com/content/ridekickscom-turns-ride-sharing-social-game-startup-report-press-release>.

Smith, Paul. “Gaming For Good: Ridekicks | Triple Pundit: People, Planet, Profit.” Triple Pundit – Green Business News. 29 Oct. 2010. Web. 24 Nov. 2010. <http://www.triplepundit.com/2010/10/gaming-good-ridekicks/>.

19 تعليق to Documantation and Analysis: Ridekicks

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Blacki Li Rudi Migliozzi

ديسمبر 11th, 2010 at 10:10 م

Again you went above and beyond my expectations. Excellent work, you have treated the subject matter very seriously. Your walk through is very clear and your reassessment is wel thought out.

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studio tye dye

ديسمبر 13th, 2010 at 12:50 م

Out of all of the concepts posted on this blog, I feel as though this is the one that could/should really take off. The idea of using a social network as a means of carpooling is an idea that is advantageous to the environment while being fun for the user. It kind of plays on the idea of fun theory, where if a task is made “fun,” more people will do it and continue to do it. Usually finding a carpool is a hassle, but if I had more motivation, I know I would do it a lot more. Looking through your negotiations, I do agree that there is a line between the competition of Ride for Kicks and the favor being done by carpooling. What I am not so sure about is are the rides open for anybody in the area or is it just people that on your network, people that you are friends with? Maybe I missed that in your post, but I think that this concept would only be effective (and safer) if rides were only within the network.

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studio tye dye

ديسمبر 13th, 2010 at 12:51 م

^ Pavan Iyer

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jessiesarahjessie

ديسمبر 13th, 2010 at 7:44 م

I love this idea. You guys have really put thought and effort into it. It, like any other idea out there, needs some work. One thing that I kept thinking of while we were discussing this in class is that wouldn’t this idea defeat the purpose of the HOV lane? I always love when I have someone with me because I get to ride in the HOV lane and its awesome because it goes faster than the other lanes. If everyone suddenly carpooled, the HOV lane would be pointless. Then, in order to fix it, all highways that have the current HOV lane would have to be expanded, costing millions of dollars and hours of traffic back up. Also, there is the creeper aspect. What if I, as a teenage girl, get in the car with 3 middle aged men? That would scare me. One other thing is that I love my alone time in the car when I go home. It is a time for me to reflect and sing my heart out and just be quiet for a while. If I partake in ridekicks, then that is gone.

Sorry to seem like such a debbie downer, but all those thoughts were in my mind when we were discussing in class, so I had to get them out now.

Your group did a VERY good job with the research of Ridekicks. You guys are very professional and know your stuff.

Sarah Banks

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TechTacular

ديسمبر 14th, 2010 at 8:57 م

I do agree with the point Sarah made above about possible “creepers.” That is a possible dangerous factor when dealing with the anonymity of the internet. However, overall the research that was done by the your group was very thorough, yet laid out in simple and important points. The work was really well done. I thought the final negotiation about the issue of excessive competition was really interesting. It’s strange how a solution to a problem could potentially lead back to the problem itself. Although assuming that extreme competition does not occur, this is a really great and original idea that could easily take off.

Sarah Brand

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TeamWill

ديسمبر 15th, 2010 at 8:04 م

This idea has the potential to really take off and impact people’s lives because of its simplicity. Watching the introduction video to Ridekicks, I was surprised at how easy the process was on users. To set up a trip, you only had to enter in the basic details. Designers – and companies in general – could learn a lot from this user-friendly interface. Often companies try to include a vast amount of options that seem potentially appealing, but end up confusing and overwhelming the customer. Part of this simplicity also comes from the harnessing of popular social networks. As most of the target population would be active in at least one of the social networks, individuals would look at Ridekicks as an easy way to connect to more people and save on gas money. There are so many appealing traits about Ridekicks and companies in all industries should find ways to utilize the simplicity and friendliness behind Ridekicks. The one criticism I have, just as Sarah Brand and Sarah Banks have said, is that Ridekicks is too trusting of people. There should be at least a minimal screening process or a passenger/driver rating system so that users can feel secure about their decision. Overall, though, this idea has merit, and we will probably see it grow in popularity in the near future.

Will McCollum

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Aprils Twenty

ديسمبر 16th, 2010 at 1:10 ص

This is an excellent idea. The fact that is free attracts new customers with the economy being as it is. I like that it is made into a game that I could easily see becoming a downloadable application for Facebook and the like. I always see notifications on my Facebook about a virtual game that someone is playing. Advertisement would not be too detrimental because the application along with websites such as Twitter and Facebook would be advertisement enough. It is also a great way to coordinate and cover costs of carpooling with a safe and trusted payment method.

-Alexa

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Old Skool

ديسمبر 16th, 2010 at 3:42 م

I agree with the above comments. This could really take off and become a big thing. The research, negotiations, and taxonomies that the group came up with are excellent. You were very thorough and put a lot of effort into coming up with valid points. My only concern is the safety aspect. This could attract “Creepers” and add a certain risk to the program. Other than that it is a good idea. I do not know if I necessarily see the competition aspect and something that could become abused. As long as the rewards are moderately monitored this should be eliminated. I also thought it was awesome how social networking was included in this design. I think that by including this into the design it increases the success of this idea greatly. Also, the fact this is environmentally beneficial is a huge factor. Becoming environmentally friendly is a growing concern in the world today .This is another great addition to the idea which will help to increase the success.

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Old Skool

ديسمبر 16th, 2010 at 3:42 م

^^^^^^^ Chris Sovchen from Old School

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thechrishenryexperiment

ديسمبر 16th, 2010 at 3:45 م

This is a really cool idea that I think it very applicable all over the world. Even in places like Atlanta (with the “High Occupancy Vehicle” –HOV lane), cities are doing their small part to increase carpooling in the area to reduce carbon emissions. Anyone who has lived in a big city knows how difficult dealing with traffic can be and having a place to go to look for someone to share the ride with is very convenient, but your group has come up with some very important negotiations. In my opinion, Independence vs. dependence on another driver is one of the most important things to consider when looking at this option. Yes, people like their space and alone-time in the car, but when I go somewhere, I want to be able to go on my own time and not have to rely on someone to be ready to leave when I am. Also, how do you know you can trust the person you’ve agreed to drive or ride with? And is making this a gaming competition really a good idea? You’re right that there is a fine line between gaming to increase participation and gaming that will defeat the whole purpose of the program by increasing the number of drivers. It’s a good idea in theory, but I think the execution could be a little better. Good job!

-Natalie Souther

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Reservoir Jackets

ديسمبر 16th, 2010 at 4:31 م

I think that this is a very progressive and a very charity focused idea. For me the largest gain to be made by this is that it has the potential to completely privatize the the public transit system. This is a great thing for people who rely on the system. Right not the transit in Atlanta has no competition, people who do not have a car basically have three options, they can carpool, walk/bike, or take MARTA. With no real competition MARTA has little to no reason to improve their transit. They are, as any company with no competition, focused on making it as cheep as they can for themselves. This model of carpooling shows that the people will have another option. What is to stop someone who lives in a very populated area from buying his own bus/van, and using this social network to form his own bus rout, that would be potentially fast, and cheaper than a MARTA bus. This is a system that truly is focused on the consumer, something that is missing from the public transit system.

-Taylor

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jessiesarahjessie

ديسمبر 16th, 2010 at 4:39 م

I think that this idea of a multi-impact design scheme such as this one is incredibly useful. Not only does Ridekicks cater to the individual in terms of reducing their gas expenditures, but it also benefits the community as a whole with reduced traffic, which then, in turn, benefits the world with fewer pollutants being released into the air. I think that if more designers take into account the domino-like effect their solutions will have then the solutions they produce will be that much stronger. However, with the concept of Ridekicks we have to ask ourselves “Will the community really participate in this as actively as they need to?”, an issue raised by the negotiation that exists between private and shared spaces. With so much riding on community involvement, I think that different cultural values must also be taken into account. Would this concept work better in one country over another?

– Jessie Hassett

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FantasticFour

ديسمبر 16th, 2010 at 5:11 م

Overall, Ridekicks is an excellent concept. Reducing carbon emissions and lifting the pressure of our pocketbooks is a great thing to do, especially in our current financial situation. However, as your group has pointed out, there are several flaws with the Ridekicks design. If a social network was set up for carpooling purposes, how reliable would the information be given by the users? Even though I’m sure a strong majority of users would be working-class, respectable people, it is impossible to make sure an undesirable person does not join the network.
Intimacy vs. Shared Space is an interesting negotiation to me in this pitch. If a system similar to Ridekicks was developed, a majority of carpoolers would probably have a strictly personal relationship. In your text, you viewed this mostly as negative, as if most people would view losing their intimacy as negative. In short, users would be having mostly awkward and silent car rides to and from work. However, some longstanding friendships could come out of a concept like this. So when discussing Intimacy vs. Shared Space, I think it is essential to look at it as a possible positive for people to share space with another person.

_JJ Anderson

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Savoir Faire

ديسمبر 16th, 2010 at 6:06 م

This concept is extremely interesting to me, and I find myself argueing in my own head of reasons why it would and wouldn’t work. The idea is awesome because it finds a fun and effective way to connect people who could carpool with one another, and helps reduce pollution in the air. However the security issue, and the individual motivation for participating are somewhat lacking I feel. I think that if this idea were to be used in individual companies, where employees participated with each other for a reward from the company, many more people would be inclined to participate. Not only would you feel more comfortable with the people carpooling with you, because you know they work for your company, but status in the company is a big motivation to participate. Companies could pair up together to give people a wider network of people to choose from. This is an extremely intersting idea, but it definitely has some problems to work out.

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Savoir Faire

ديسمبر 16th, 2010 at 6:06 م

^^Brooke Colson

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Roark Design

ديسمبر 16th, 2010 at 6:53 م

The point you guys made about the HOV lane goes as such: Ridekicks started in London and has not yet spread to areas outside the greater London metropolis (even though it has started to garner popularity worldwide). Countries in Europe generally do not have an HOV lane because of the lack of traffic in comparison to big US cities. In this article: http://green.autoblog.com/2008/03/21/u-k-opens-their-first-hov-lane/ , we can see that the first HOV lane in the UK opened only two years ago. Even with this, the lane runs only 1.7 miles, which in comparison to the entirety of the London metro area, is almost insignificant to facilitate any kind of traffic. This is just to clear up the status of the HOV when the company first started. However, I completely agree with everybody that should Ridekicks achieve great success and expand globally (more specifically, to the United States) they would have to find a way to deal with this.
It’s interesting to note that the success of a project could generate many obstacles. As of yet we don’t know how Ridekicks will go about solving this potential problem. Nevertheless, everybody makes a great point that I don’t think we really explored when putting together this project.
As far as the trust factor goes, Ridekicks has both the same benefits and drawbacks as any other online network. Even though it’s safe for the most part, there is always an element of unpredictability when you’re dealing with anything or anyone that’s not tangible. Again, should the company expand, this might become a much bigger issue. I think Ridekicks sees this in the future and I predict that the company will develop a very efficient and reliable user screening/rating system in due time.

Shaowen Zhang

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teamAWESOME

ديسمبر 16th, 2010 at 7:07 م

I think your group did a very good job of going in depth with the research, negotiations, and taxonomies, giving each assessing each from multiple angles. I think the concept of Ridekicks is wonderful; however, like most of us leaving comments, there are concerns with parts of the design.
To respond to Sarah Banks comment from jessiesarahjessie, there is an obvious solution to the HOV line becoming overcrowded that you didn’t think of: If more and more people are carpooling, there will be a decrease in the total number of cars on the streets. Though this would increase the number of cars accessing the HOV lanes, all of the other lanes would become less crowded. A simple solution would be to just convert some of the other lanes to more HOV lanes. I doubt that more lanes would be added to highways if there are fewer cars.
I would also be concerned about “creepers” on this website. There is always the growing risk of internet abusers on any networking site. I would propose an optional background check/screening process for a minimal charge. Those that take part could be placed at the top of the lists for assured safety and reliability and have priority when compiling carpools. Also, there is the simple solution of using common sense. If people are smart they would fully look into carpooling partners and contact them by other means before deciding to actually carpool.
I also don’t think that the issue behind entrepreneurship vs. charity as related to gaming puts companies in risky positions. This website is designed to be profitable for the planet in total; whether that is only reducing the number of cars and gas used by participants who don’t pay or are simply in it for the titles, or the additional profit of those who also give for charity and contribute their 5% from fees. The companies and social network needn’t be concerned why their users participate, only that their participation helps either way. The reason behind the means shouldn’t concern companies.

-Elizabeth Slagel

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problems2solutions

ديسمبر 16th, 2010 at 9:34 م

I love this idea in theory, but I still am having an issue with actually thinking it would work in such a large scale place like the United States. I definitely think people would use a service like this because who doesn’t want to save money or the environment? My only issue would be with who was able to ride with you. I feel like they would need to do some sort of security screening on the individuals using the program and make sure they actually belong in the network they are in. Also i think it would be a good idea if the driver could receive the requests and either accept or deny it, kind of like a friend request on Facebook. This might make the whole thing safer, which would increase actual participation.
-Rebecca Ramia

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FantasticFour

ديسمبر 16th, 2010 at 10:37 م

I think that this website idea spans both social networks and social change, which I definitely can admire. Facebook and Twitter have yet to physically alter our environment (nor were they designed to, but that’s another story). I feel that there are many negotiations involving safety with carpooling, with random strangers driving you, things could easily go wrong. There’s different negotiations between different road systems as well, (as posted above, there’s a lack of HOV lanes in European countries – with this website starting in London – not benefitting the users because of a lack of a higher speed lane), with different users benefitting from different things. There is also a level of scale in this social system, how will things move around the rest of London and to larger areas like the United States? Perhaps there are multiple unknown negotiations occurring just like the One Laptop Per Child design, which could lead to greater safety and social issues than perceived in the future.

-Blake Carson

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