Streetbank News

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Your BIG questions

Thanks so much for so many great thoughts. A few themes seem to be emerging here:

1/ A lot of you have said that you would like to browse what is on offer by neighbours that live beyond a mile away. You would be able to see more stuff, it would be great for people living in rural areas or places where Streetbank was yet to take off and it would be an easy change for us to make.

There are two issues. Firstly, do you want to lend over bigger distances. Perhaps if you knew that you might be asked to lend something to someone 10 miles away you would put less valuable things up. Secondly, does someone who lives further away stop being your neighbour? Some will say that any one in need is our neighbour. But Streetbank is about connecting with local people because we think more meaningful relationships develop that way. In fact, for really busy Streetbank areas we would like to connect you with people just living within 250 yards. Alternatively, we could change it so it to show you only the things and skills of, say the first150 people closest to you… That would work for rural areas and for people living in densely populated areas.

2/ Some of you have suggested a mapping function. We LOVE the idea of this. We tested it out on a couple of our more cautious friends and they were a bit worried of the big brother/ compromise of sensitive information aspect. We’re holding back on this one for the moment.

3/ Some of you have suggested places to put messages up about Streetbank. Thanks this is really, really helpful. We will put things up in due course but if you beat us to it we’ll only be seriously pleased and grateful.

4/ We are working on the Requests page. It is a bit rough and ready but should be improved soon!



on October 30 2010 Kirsty R said:

I like the ‘first 150’ idea and also the idea of selecting a distance. Mapping doesn’t particularly appeal to me.

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on October 27 2010 Kester Dampney said:

A suggestion: add a timestamp to blog entries :)

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on October 7 2010 astroact said:

I know full well if I placed my two items (lloyd loom and tables) on “freecycle” they would be snapped up within minutes. Limiting these offers to my neighbours is self-defeating; none of my neighbours would need/want/fetch either of them unless to distribute elsewhere. So much as I like the idea of “Streetbank” maybe its usefulness is more in line to swopping skills or information?

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on October 3 2010 diana b said:

I do think the local issue is vital – but physical geography can mean that a few hundred metres in one direction is a lot harder to access than 1 1/2 miles in another (canals/ ring roads etc). So mapping could be good (post code tags don’t give addresses away as anyone who relies on one to find a previously unvisited but known address would tell you!). Plus some flexibility for rural areas – nearest 50 members.
But basically StreetBank is amazing – really keen for more people to join round here, so have the info cards and car stickers to give out and am plugging it on a community website (very local – 350 households within about 200m radius)

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on September 29 2010 Tessa said:

hi i was wondering if anyone has used Street bank as a way to get to know people in their area. Having moved to London in March and knowing no one in the area i was wondering if I suggested that anyone who would like to meet should go to a certain place at a certain time might be a way of folk getting the chance to say Hi. I have also started welcoming new comers into our street. No one came near us when we moved in but a cake and a welcome seems to be going down well and gradually that way one get’s to know people in the street….. and I can pass on information about Street Bank!!!!

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on September 29 2010 M&S said:

Don’t extend the area for cities! I really think that the ‘local’ community/neighbour aspect is very important. Getting to know your neighbours has a lot of value, and that is what SB is all about. Making it ‘only’ local makes the site about much more than just about getting things for free. It creates community outside the web, and this is what we need! It will also make it less easy for people to grab free things to sell them on, if they know it comes from their neighbour. This is also what will set streetbank apart from freecycle. Please keep it to one mile for urban areas. There are currently only two people within a mile of my home, but I’m happy to wait for a while until there are more. If things are within a mile I don’t find a map essential.

I agree that for rural areas, it would good to extend the distance. Can you work with post code areas for that?

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on September 28 2010 jessica Froud-Powell said:

Hi, just found out about Street Bank and can’t wait to tell everyone about it! I live in Central Cardiff and 4 people so far within my area. I think it will take off much faster if the site lists closest 150 – 200 people rather than restricting to 1 mile. It will keep the local aspect, while ensuring its useful straight away in areas still growing. Map idea is great too!

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on September 22 2010 Erl Bisset said:

Why not let the member set the distance for what they wish – eg 1 mile for a lend, 10 for assistance etc?

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on September 21 2010 Sara Nathan said:

I agree with James – the google map only gets you to within a few houses and doesn’t pinpoint your location. The similar site – pointed out on the facebook page – does it and it is interesting to see who lives nearby…but you certainly couldn’t troll up to their front door on that basis….even if weird enough to want to.


on September 18 2010 Christine Mendelsohn said:

I think that if you are offering a service like tutoring, Pc repair, etc. you should be able to reach a larger area than just the one mile radius. I am willing to drive to help others.

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on September 4 2010 susan said:

think the biggest strength is its local aspect. people can use freecycle if they want to spread their net wider which is also great but doesnt have the local feel and for those without a car then a few hundred yards is better.

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on September 3 2010 James C said:

I had a thought regarding point 2 above. There is a way that you could have both i.e. a good mapping functionality and also maintain a level of privacy. I’ve always liked the mapping used on the website as it has this really good system of pins (courtesy of google Maps) that pinpoints the location to a decent level of detail i.e. roughly where it is on the street, but does not divulge the actual address. A good compromise, yes??

Please let me know your thoughts…

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on September 2 2010 ursula glass said:

I also discovered streetbank in the Big Issue. I am a member of a Transition Town group and we have been wanting to get a skill swap going locally. Streetbank could be the way to go so I’m trying to get locals to join up. the more local the better. ursula

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on August 30 2010 Sue said:

I discovered streetbank through the Big Issue article. I have passed on my first item and discovered (a) that people living within one mile of me can include those the other side of the river Thames and (b) that the river need not be a barrier! Many thanks

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on August 27 2010 Elaine said:

Hi, just found out about streetbank. I hope it takes off really well. I too would like the search to be expanded either by other suggestions of first 150 people of within a 1 mile radius say. I look forward to seeing if this works in my area. Best of luck to the team who put this together.

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on August 25 2010 Sheelagh said:

I live in London and I would also like to see the area extended because there are very few members in my area and it isn’t that hard to get to places within say 5 miles.
I like Ann’s suggestion of the nearest 150 people – that is kind of tribal – though I can see that being harder to programme.

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on August 19 2010 grace ahmed said:

A search would be very helpful for when more items are posted.


on August 9 2010 Ann Akers said:

I too live in a rural area. So I would be delighted if it could include the closest 150 people…

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on August 1 2010 Sara Nathan said:

thanks for the publicity cards – will distribute locally when we next have a stall and at the coffee shop frequented by the Acton cognoscenti!

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on July 29 2010 Alicia W said:

hi is there any way of leaving feedback on this site… to ensure non-abuse, like with e-bay… so that if you lend something valuable you have some idea you’re going to get it back because the person has always returned spades, ladders, etc without any problem?

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on July 28 2010 Dina said:

I have just found out about your site via Daily Candy and just want to say that i am blown away. What a fantastic idea and about damn time! I have lived in my area for nearly 9 years and know no one… can you believe it? Its not due to lack of trying its just London lifestyle living….know what i mean. Anway congratulations and i wish you guys all the best!

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on July 27 2010 tom said:

I really like the idea of keeping it local. Knowing people in your area is, I think, what this is about. It’s about building a real neighbourhood. Love it.

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on July 26 2010 Sevim Olgun said:

Hi, I’m new to streetbank and have found only 1 other ‘neighbour’ in my area so would absolutely agree with the suggestion to show the first 150 people closest to me. Is this on the cards?
thanks very much, great initiative

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on June 22 2010 julie schofield said:

We are thinking of running a big lunch in our street, and it would be a great opportunity to talk and give out leaflets to advertise streetbank, any chance that an A5 downloadable flyer could be produced asap and used for this event?

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on June 17 2010 Juliet Foxwell said:

I think streetbank works just fine in non rural areas. When I signed up there was only the person who suggested it to me in my area, but i posted about it on another forum, and now there are 6 just a few days later. If everyone who joins makes the effort to spread the word, it will be bigger than you can imagine in no time!

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on June 11 2010 Betty Friend said:

I too saw streetbank advertised in Christianity magazine,but it’s not exactly mainstream. Word of mouth is good
but it needs to be more widely known.

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on June 10 2010 Gizzie said:

I think this idea is brilliant. I really hope it takes off. Regards, Gizzie

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on June 8 2010 June Love said:

Hi,I have just joined streetbank following an article in Christianity magazine. I live in a VERY rural area and therefore there are no other contacts for me yet. The idea of the 150 closest people to me is a very very good one – then I use my own common sense as to whether its a workable distance or not. Also i love the idea that as streetbank grows, the circle will naturally contract. Brilliant idea for those of us who live out in the sticks. Thanks

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on May 25 2010 Nicholas Johnson said:

Hi Sara, the cutting out is on the list to fix. In fact we have a patch for it, we’re just making sure all the improvements are thoroughly tested before we release them…

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on May 22 2010 Sara Nathan said:

why does posting keep cutting out after a line and a half? I thought it was me being inept – obviously not so!


on May 21 2010 Hugh Nelson said:

As someone living in a rural area and as part of a group of 6 village parishes, which are 6-7 miles apart, I would love to be able to use Street bank across a wider area. I take your point about this being a community building tool and like your suggestio

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on May 21 2010 Holker said:

Elisabeth – I saw the letter yo u wrote in the local paper – and this is how I found out about Streetbank – so thank you!

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on May 20 2010 Elisabeth said:

That’s a very good idea Ann!

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on May 20 2010 Sheelagh said:

recommending a tradesperson would be really helpful as would a page for apparent ‘scams’. Last year I had a lot of callers offering to patch up my wall covering for free ‘because they were in the area’ – no business cards and no telephone numbers and in o


on May 20 2010 Ann Rosenberg said:

Got interrupted….categories continued…. such PLUMBING, ELECTRICAL,HANDYMAN,CAR MECHANIC etc.


on May 20 2010 Ann Rosenberg said:

How about having a special page for people to recommend a tradesperson. Word of mouth is the best way to find a plumber or car mechanic and handymen are really important to attend to small jobs. You can set up categories such as DECORATING, GARDENING, P

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on May 16 2010 Sara Nathan said:

sorry – got interrupted or maybe it just didn’t post – Hammersmith are really close by and accessible…so why not include a few more people – at least till you achieve lift off.

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on May 15 2010 Sara Nathan said:

I think the idea of gradating the contacts so you see the top 150 is a very good one – so the circle would contract as it got busier – which is fine.
There are only 28 people within a mile of me – in the throbbing heart of Acton…but Shepherd’s Bush and

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on May 14 2010 Elisabeth said:

who don’t have a car, just my case! Have a great weekend everyone!

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on May 14 2010 Elisabeth said:

Streebank is a fantastic idea, a special thank you to the great people I met here, Sara Jane Johnson, Kelly Henderson, Rachel Duncombe Anderson and Becky! I do agree that including the mapping function would be intrusive. The mile rule is fine for people