Coding and De-coding Online Landscape of Food Sharing: Building an Exploratory Database
Food sharing is one of the oldest forms of collaborative behaviour, with a long history of analysis within the anthropological, evolutionary and behavioural sciences. With the help of ICT technologies and increased web connectivity (e.g. webpages, social media, apps, and online maps and networks), food sharing activities are experiencing a resurgence. Yet, in contrast to other sectors of the sharing economy, such as peer to peer accommodation and finance, car sharing, video streaming and online staffing, scant attention has been paid to food sharing in contemporary scholarship. In response, this paper outlines the multidisciplinary architecture, both analytical and methodological, underpinning the development of a database mapping the location, form and focus of ICT-enabled food sharing activities in 100 cities across six continents; the SHARECITY 100 Database. In particular, the collaborative and recursive processes of coding, mapping, and decoding as a means of fleshing out and testing typologies of ifood sharing are critically explored. This collaborative process has prompted discussions about the conceptual boundaries of ICT, food, and sharing and the sharing economy itself. Ultimately, the SHARECITY 100 Database provides an important foundational snapshot of emergent ifood sharing landscapes from which to identify broad patterns for further in-depth and contextualised analysis.
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