What’s Mine is Yours (Botsman & Rogers, 2010)

What’s Mine is Yours: The rise of collaborative consumption by Rachel Botsman and Roo Rogers (2010)

“Unbeknownst to me, this was a book I was meant to read,” says Amy Martin.

The need and market for trading, sharing, and reusing stuff is growing. Landfill space and space for storage is outpacing our growth as a human race.

“Owning is dull, selfish, and backwards,” remarks the authors. Sharing is the new, fresh perspective in a society struggling to make sense of (and reuse) waste. Meanwhile, our culture trains us to buy new, to replace that which is not broken, and to purchase the best and most current items for our use.

Collaborative consumption encourages the self-interested consumer who could “trade up” to something “better” than she could buy under normal circumstances. After all, many of us believe that what we don’t have might be better than what we do have. And, as Martin points out, “It is actually okay to not have.”  For example, not having a washer and dryer creates the opportunity for social interaction and neighborhood gatherings at the local laundromat.

How does this relate to digital strategic communication? Social media is moving us from communicating with our friends toward communicating collaboratively. The consumer community becomes the brand. Shannon Hames notes, “This book is about sharing, building community. It’s about how all of our lives are changing in favor of community.”

  • Overall ResponseA must-read that will rock your (selfish) world.

About Digital Media Book Club: In the growing field of strategic communication, social media rockstars, academics, and digital thinkers are investing time and energy to share their learning with others. In my Digital Strategic Communication class, students in the Master of Arts in Organizational and Strategic Communication program at Queens University of Charlotte are sifting through a variety of texts to discover the embedded wisdom. These are their thoughts and reactions.


  1. Tonight, we revisited this book in another conversation. Katina Watkins offered more discussion about the relationship between branding and connections in community. The discussion surrounded the need for a response once the connections have been built. Responsibility to respond to the created community lies with the brand owner.

  2. Good guide. I just came across your site and had to say that I have really loved reading through your website. I have subscribed to your feed and I expect that you will write a new post again soon. I am curious if I need to subscribe to comments feed too. Any valuable conversations going on in comments to blog posts?

    • Hi Isabell, Thanks for subscribing! I’m finding that, for the time being, the conversation is happening on Twitter rather than in the blog comments. Some of the tweets are captured in blog comments here. You can find me on Twitter @JAMcArthur.

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