While I generally like the idea of “re-use” and swapping and freestore and all that, I can’t see how this company Zunafish.com will work out. Basically you have to trade items one for one with other users, and the items must be of the same category. So I have a dvd… “When We Were Soldiers” let’s say. You watched it, and once was enough, so you think, let me put it up for trade along with these other 20 war and Mel Gibson DVDs I will never watch again. Some one sees my list of movies and figures I are a war movie buff, and they have “Saving Private Ryan” so they offer to trade… But I am a war movie buff, I already saw “Saving Private Ryan”.
I don’t see how you are going to get many one to one direct swaps of stuff you really want. And further more, for the privilege of swapping you have to pay shipping AND a dollar to Zunafish. After a few unsuccessful swaps, I am never going to use Zinafish again. I’ll just sell my stuff locally, or on craigslist or ebay or amazon. Or I will give it to my friends to build social capital so they will give me stuff too (Like in “The Economy for Giving Everything Away”).
Which leads me to my idea for a great site/service I have been thinking about for a while (and now I have a name for it):
Zalmon will let you start your own DVD / CD / Book / Audio Book lending library. As you buy new items, or decide to let go of them, you put the ISBN or UPC code in and it looks up all the information, you say whether you are willing to give it away, sell it, trade it or loan it out (and if you will mail it, or drop it off, or only let others pick it up). You can also review the title for your friends. You get your friends to join your lending library and they do the same (social networking). This allows you to build your own community lending library (because we all know the government is cutting funding for public ones).
You can set a wish list of titles and will get notified when someone in your network enters it into the system, you can also search and browse. Zalmon also has an identity system and user ratings so you can see who the freeloaders are, who doesn’t return stuff. You can rank your friends based upon similar taste (how much you trust their recommendations and reviews) and furthermore Zalmon learns from your attention stream. If you are always getting loaners from me and rating them highly, it learns that you and I have a tight bond in this social network.
You can even organize events (swap meets) where everyone can get together to trade items and have fun. The site will also let you print labels AND postage to send items to your friends.
How does it make a profit? Advertising, Google AdSense, Amazon affiliate merchant fees (someone might just rather buy the book after reading your review, because they want their own, or maybe use amazon to suggest other similar books). Maybe there is a subscription service, or a small membership fee.
(I guess I just gave the idea away, but remember, this is all Creative Commons SAttribution Share Alike, so I want a big fat credit on the site!)