Can I Crash?

I met Henriette Weber Andersen at Reboot in June. When I say “met,” I mean “we ate dinner in the same restaurant the closing night of the conference and were briefly introduced.” But I’ve been reading her blog ever since.

Henriette recently launched a genius project called Can I Crash?, subtitled “a service that lets you lend your sofa to travelling bloggers.”

The idea is that if you’re a blogger on the road, you look up your destination and find a helpful blog-friendly host with a free couch or room or cabin or small place on the floor willing to put you up.

It’s like a blog-specific version of a similar service offered by The Globetrotters Club, which publishes a member directory wherein each member can indicate whether they’re willing to offer advice, guiding and/or accommodations for their local area.

The interesting thing about Henriette’s project is that it’s based around the idea that “if you have a blog, you probably won’t kill me in my sleep.”

In other words “writing = trust”.

One’s blog, then, becomes a sort of extended narrative resumé, and the “authenticity” of the writing (to say nothing of its Technorati ranking) establishes ones credentials.

And so as we collect mojo points on eBay, we now collect “humanity juice” by blogging.

It’s just this sort of juice that politicians — like our own Shawn Murphy — are looking for when they set up campaign blogs.

Vote for me and I’ll build a big building” and “vote for me and I’ll make sure you have a job” don’t cut it any longer with early adopter voters: we want a window into the soul.

And while “Earlier in the morning I had a workout at the Spa” [ref] isn’t exactly that, it’s certainly a wider window than “I am proud of the unparalleled investment our government has committed to Charlottetown and across the province.” [ref].

Because I live in a place where trust is established largely on the basis of social and family networks — if I know your father or your aunt, and I trust them, I’m pretty sure I can trust you — it’s going to be fascinating to see how this new sort of credentials plays out locally.

In the meantime, I’m going to follow Can I Crash? closely. My favourite offer of a crashpad to date comes from my friend Olle in Copenhagen: “Couch in kitchen, in central Nørrebro. (When we get up, you get up.) Vegan food. No pets. Slow WLAN.”