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Lessons From Airbnb

A screenshot of part of Airbnb

On my recent holiday, it was the first time, really, that I had a look at Airbnb. Two things struck me:

  • Its ease of use
  • Its standardisation

If you don’t know the site, you can put in dates, places, and options that you are looking for and end up staying anywhere from a room in someone’s home to a whole house. You can skim over a map and highlight prices and get simple summaries and images. The accommodation might still have its own website, but here, on Airbnb, there is a standard list of options and they are either shown as available or (see the image above) crossed out. You can book without needing to wait for a reply (clearly indicated by a lightning symbol, explained when you hover over it), or your host will get back to you quickly.

There’s honest feedback, and, regularly, there’s a response from the hosts to that feedback.

Imagine if church was as keen.

Imagine if a diocese had a website this well organised, where you could find out this easily and accurately when and where services happened and what you might be able to expect at a certain church community. Imagine you could skim over a map and get essential information this easily. Imagine a denomination, nationally, committing itself to such a project: NZ Anglicanism having a website that, wherever you are in the country, you can easily find a service appropriate for you. Imagine doing this ecumenically! Christians working together with a site of the quality of Airbnb so that people could easily find a service near them at a time that they could go! But, heck, Airbnb is just to help people make some extra pocket money, use a spare room, all the way to providing for people’s livelihood – have Christians got that level of energy for Christ’s Good News?!

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3 thoughts on “Lessons From Airbnb”

  1. Brilliant! But it would require honesty, courage, vulnerability, let alone cash and someone’s time and commitment.

  2. That would be a great idea. Most of the time, people simply google churches in the area. I know my local church receives a fair amount of traffic based on search engines.

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