Share Some Sugar is one of those communities which combine online activities with real life meetings, and in this case, exchanging things. The purpose of this site is to help people find others who live near by and who can exchange useful things, such as ladders, garden equipment or other household objects, and at the same time, to strengthen the bonds between neighbors and help them create a real community.
The idea for this site popped into the mind of Keara Schwartz, when she moved to her own house and realized that she needs a number of appliances, tools and other household objects, she didn't have. She faced a choice - either to buy all those things, for a lot of money, just to use them from time to time, or, borrow from people who lived there longer. But still, she was a bit embarrassed to go from door to door and ask strangers if they could help her - so she created a site, which would make the search more efficient.
The principle of ShareSomeSugar is very simple - you can enter the name of the object you wish to either borrow, or lend, along with your zip-code, and wait for offers. Or, you can use the browser to see what objects are available, where and on what conditions. Some objects are there to borrow for free, while some owners require a small fee or a deposit.
At the moment the list is limited, but will probably expand if more users join.
Of course, the site serves its purpose only when there are groups of users who live near by, but what is the chance of actually finding a neighbor on an website based in a huge country? The users will most likely be scattered all over the place. The site creators have a couple of ideas which can help to build real life communities connected by ShareSomeSugar. One of those ideas is to print posters with the site's advertisement and hang them around the neighborhood, hoping that more neighbors will feel tempted to join and create a lively community.
The site welcomes visitors with a picture of a cute sugar bowl with eyes. The site's colors match the soft green and orange of the bowl, making it pleasant to look at. Users can post photos of the objects they want to lend, but so far, most things have default photos, so you don't see the actual thing.
Users can browse the catalog by the city name, zip-code, or neighborhood name, but a map, which would be very useful here, is not available.
The division of the objects is very clear and practical, and the user has no problems with checking if the things he needs are already on the list.
ShareSomeSugar is the response to the world in which we are no longer rooted in strong neighbor communities, but rather travel, move around and change the environment. On one hand, mobility is beneficial and interesting, on the other - we might find ourselves without a snow shovel or a rake. Internet might be of great help then, and might allow us to find those neighbors who are willing to lend things, without the awkwardness of asking somebody who is not.