Today: Apr 23, 2024

New website allows New Haven community to share goods

REBECCA BAINERGeneral Assignment Reporter

In an attempt to bring communities together and recycle products, a group of Yale students came up with a website called Giftflow. New Haven is the first community they’re choosing to target. 

Hans Schoenburg started the website and said it is comparable to CouchSurfing; it is an online community where posts are made to exchange goods and services between neighbors. 

“Our marketing focus is only on New Haven,” said Schoenburg, “because we want people to meet each other. We don’t want them shipping things: we want them meeting, connecting, talking and giving to one another.”

Schoenburg said users post what they need or what they are giving away on the website, giving others the opportunity to look through actual goods, such as gardening equipment or services, charity volunteers and more, said Hans. 

“It’s what’s called a circular gift economy, so there’s no actual direct exchange or paying for things,” said Schoenburg. “When you give to somebody you don’t get anything back from them, you get a thank you note. Now that you have that thank you note you can turn to somebody who does have what you need.”

Schoenburg said because of the site’s rating system it is safe to interact with others and meet them face to face to make exchanges, making Giftflow safer than other websites. 

“When you use Craigslist you don’t know anything about the person you’re interacting with,” said Schoenburg, “It’s totally anonymous, which is much more dangerous.”

Schoenburg said the website started in 2009 but only took off about a month ago. 

“The community has definitely responded pretty positively,” said Schoenburg, “they’ve been posting lots of cool stuff, we have lots of new members joining.”

Schoenburg said the website is easy to use and anyone can set up an account, although it works better if a number of people in one area are using the site. 

“The system is built to work anywhere in the world; we’ve had users all over the place,” said Schoenburg. “It’s only valuable if there’s a lot of people in the area using the website. That’s why we’re going to start with New Haven and get New Haven going strong.”

Jarus Singh, a senior economics and mathematics major at Yale, is one of the people helping to get the website going strong. Singh said he works with non-profit businesses to get them to sign up and use the site. 

“We all come at it from different perspectives,” said Signh, whose title with the site is institutional liaison, “That’s why I developed the role that I did with the group. I’ve been involved in non-profits in the community since freshman year at Yale.”

Singh said he believes the site is a great way to bring communities together and hopes he can expand the involvement of community members and develop areas of the site tailored to their needs. 

“The website’s a great tool to get people to interact with each other who ordinarily wouldn’t,” said Singh, “such as people who live in the same neighborhood.”

Schoenburg said in addition to bringing people together, the site also works as a good recycling tool. 

“It will help the people of New Haven reduce waste,” said Schoenburg.  “Instead of throwing something away they’re going to find someone online who can make use of it instead.”

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

Latest from Blog

Don't Miss

EEE Mosquitos are a real threat to Connecticut

Ellie Sherry — Reporter Every year, one million people are killed by

Obama School construction halts grand opening

Jackson LaMar — News Writer On Farnham Ave., right across from the