TRUSTEDONLINECOMMUNITIES:Chronos & BlaBlaCarDecember 5th 2012SIGNSOF A BRIGHTERFUTURE
Trusted online communities. BlaBlaCar & Chronos. 5thDecember 2012“ Trust.The superpowerin us all ”Trust is among the most constructiveattitudes we can have towards fellow citizens,containing the infinite possibilityof collaboration and co-operation,to the benefit of all.To embody this hope, we decided that weneeded a superhero: Trustman was born(follow him on Twitter @betrustman). Thesource of his superpower is, of course, trustprofiles on peer-to-peer websites of all types,from co-working to crowdsourcing. The sameprofiles have allowed car sharing to becomea new, people-powered transport network init’s own right, efficiently connecting cities allover Europe. The same profiles are making itpossible for people connected everywhere tobuy, sell, swap, share and collaborate, to befree to enrich their lives, creating value forthemselves and for society.We hope this new study will contribute to anincreased understanding of the evolution oftrust in online communities, and we invite youto share our vision of a collaborative future,built on ever-stronger community trust.Frédéric Mazzella,Founder of BlaBlaCarBlaBlaCar now matches over 500,000 travellersa month across Europe. A phenomenon. Butthe question remains, how are these peopleable to trust one another enough to share theirjourneys?Building trust in our community, whichnow numbers over 2.5 million members, isour single most important mission. EveryBlaBlaCar member introduces themselfto the community through an online trustprofile, with verified contact information, aphoto, a description, and a number of in-carpreferences about things like smoking, petsand music. Members even indicate their chatpreference, choosing whether they are Bla, BlaBla, or Bla Bla Bla, hence the name BlaBlaCar.And then, after every car share, travellersleave member-to-member ratings. Thesepeer-reviews allow the community to sharethe relationships they’ve built and the trustcreated.We have commissioned a survey on thissubject, a subject at the very heart ofour activity: online trust. The results areoverwhelmingly positive, indicating thatmembers with a complete online profile aretrusted more than a neighbour, and almost asmuch as a friend or a family member! In fact,the results are inspiring. In many ways theyhold the promise of a better future for us all...
Trusted online communities. BlaBlaCar & Chronos. 5thDecember 2012The striking success of BlaBlaCar, first inFrance, and now in 9 countries across Europe,is attested to by numbers: the communitynow counts over 2.5 million members. But theemergence of a trusted third party is, perhaps,an even more meaningful measure of success.Trust is the prerequisite to any shared service,even more so for one in which members meetvia intermediation. The author, Bruno Marzloff,and Frédéric Mazzella, founder of BlaBlaCar,share the hypothesis that trust is thefoundation of any collective enterprise,so we explored what the members of theBlaBlaCar community thought, seeking todiscover what creates trust in the community.631 answers were collected from aquestionnaire accessible on the homepage ofthe website. The profile of the respondents isclose to the average BlaBlaCar member: thegreat majority below 35 years (72%), slightlymore male than female (54%). But regardlessof the respondent’s profile, the answers arehighly convergent.Bruno Marzloff,Sociologist, founder of ChronosIntroduction A member profile on BlaBlaCar
Trusted online communities. BlaBlaCar & Chronos. 5thDecember 2012In order to create a relative context, we firstasked participants to rate the degree of trustgiven to close friends and family on one hand,and strangers on the other.As expected, close friends and family are mosttrusted, with an indicator of 4.7 on a scale of 0to 5. On the other end of the spectrum,a stranger online is given 1.9, whilst strangersin the street are placed at 2.2 (seeing a facehelps, no doubt).The contextof trustSeeing a faceheightens trustDegree of trust givenFrom 0 (“do not trust”) to 5 (“trust a lot”)
Trusted online communities. BlaBlaCar & Chronos. 5thDecember 2012Next, our survey sought to find out to what leveltrust is present in the BlaBlaCar community.As suggested by previous results, having aphoto (“seeing” a face), increases trust levelsto 2.5. Verified contact information has an evenlarger impact on trust levels, pushing them upto 3.2. However, positive ratings are the factorwith the most impact on trust levels, causingan increase in the degree of trust given to amember to 3.4.Finally, we looked at the trust given to amember with a complete profile (including allof the above)... With a photo, a verified numberand positive reviews, trust levels are at 4.2—very close to that of a friend (4.7)! By allowingmembers to provide detailed informationand peer reviews, BlaBlaCar has effectivelyrecreated the conditions of trust.Trustin an onlinecommunityMembers with completeprofiles are trusted almostas much as friendsDegree of trust given to a BlaBlaCar memberFrom 0 (“do not trust”) to 5 (“trust a lot”)
Trusted online communities. BlaBlaCar & Chronos. 5thDecember 2012But what are the ingredients of trust in anonline community such as BlaBlaCar? Whatservices define BlaBlaCar’s role? Threeout of four respondents (75%) say that, forthem, BlaBlaCar’s role is regulation of thecommunity—as a trusted third party. Justunder half (46%) believe that the role ofBlaBlaCar is to be a platform for shared values.Indeed, the website is both the embodimentand the manager of trust in the community.Where doestrustcome from?Third party regulationof online communitiesenables trustThe role of BlaBlaCarPercentage of members that identify BlaBlaCar’s role as...
Trusted online communities. BlaBlaCar & Chronos. 5thDecember 2012Our survey also looked at a more generalanalysis of car sharing, asking members“what are the 3 words that best representcar sharing to you?”.“Savings” is the most commonly citedidea, at 85%, even more so amongstpassengers (92%) and under 25s (90%).This said, car sharing is also a socialactivity for our respondents: 52% answered“friendliness”, and 29%, “good company”.“The environment” (40%) and “sharing”(35%) are identified by over a third of peoplesurveyed, followed by “collaboration”and “common sense” for one in fiverespondents.Why dowe share?Top 3 motivations to share:economic, social, environmentalReasons for car sharing identified by membersPercentage of members that feel that BlaBlaCar represents...
Trusted online communities. BlaBlaCar & Chronos. 5thDecember 2012BlaBlaCar is part of a larger movement,namely the collaborative economy (also knownas the sharing economy or collaborativeconsumption), which includes different types ofcollaborative behaviour enabled by technologyand new online trust mechanisms. To concludeour study, we asked respondents to tell usabout their awareness, intent and practise offive other kinds of collaborative behaviour.A massive 76% of the BlaBlaCar communityuse second-hand marketplaces to buy andresell goods online and a further 10% intend todo so. 27% of respondents skillshare, and 31%intend to do so. Very similar results appear forHomestaying, with 25% who declare alreadydoing homestays and 33% who intend to do so.Less popular is crowdfunding: only 18% usecrowdfunding platforms, while 17% intend to doso. Lastly, P2P car rental is the least practisedof online collaborative behaviours, with only 3%of respondents declaring that they do it, and13% saying that they intend to.OnlinecollaborativebehaviourWe note that, even though car sharing is arecent activity for most, a good number ofrespondents (as many as 6%) began anothertype of online collaborative behaviour afterstarting to use BlaBlaCar, confirming our beliefthat car sharing is, for many, an easy first stepinto collaborative behaviour.These findings invite a longitudinal studyto trace the evolution of behaviour andattitudes over time. From our knowledge ofthe behaviour and growth of the BlaBlaCarcommunity over the last years, we expectawareness, intent and practise of othercollaborative online behaviours to continue togrow rapidly.Attitudes to online collaborative behaviour, other than car sharing
Trusted online communities. BlaBlaCar & Chronos. 5thDecember 2012ConclusionThe success of BlaBlaCar and the growth ofother collaborative communities point to theemergence of collaboration as a behaviour andvalue of renewed importance in todays society.However, the future of these new socio-economic behaviours clearly depends onthe degree to which community trust issuccessfully embodied and ensured by thirdparties such as BlaBlaCar.This survey was conducted in November 2012 on 631 members ofthe BlaBlaCar community.The survey was created on Google docs and made available on apage of the site Covoiturage.fr (the French name of BlaBlaCar).The results were analysed by Bruno Marzloff, sociologist, founderof Chronos, a consultancy and prospective agency whose workfocuses on four main themes: mobility, urban and territorialstudies, digital services and time. Contact Chronos:4, rue du Caire75002 PARIS0033 1 42 56 02 45contact @groupechronos.orgWe thank our memberswho answered thissurvey, helping us betterunderstand trust in theBlaBlaCar community.Contact BlaBlaCar:Vanina Schickvanina.email@example.com 203 664 6919