homeresources & publications › unequal time for unequal value: design implications of differing motivations for participation in timebanking.

TECHNICAL PUBLICATIONS:

Unequal time for unequal value: Design implications of differing motivations for participation in timebanking.

 
Timebanking is a service-based community currency, built on the principle that everyone’s time is valued equally. It has potential for community building and reenergizing neighborhoods, but it faces several adoption challenges. We report on an investigation of timebanking practices by analyzing a combination of service exchange records from the three largest hOurworld timebanks with over 3,500 members with 33,000 completed service exchanges, and a survey of 446 members of over 120 hOurworld timebanks. Our findings suggest that the ideal of ‘equal time, equal value’ that is at the foundation of timebanking is a source of tension between members with instrumental versus idealistic and altruistic motivations. We describe a common design framework for community currencies researchers and system developers. It suggests that future peer-to-peer systems must incorporate different rewards and incentives in order to accommodate users with different motivations.