Teapot Partners with ManyShip to Build Greater Trust in Peer to Peer Shipping

by Pranav Dandekar, Creator of Teapot

ManyShip enables its members to send things with people like them going that way

ManyShip enables its members to send things with people like them going that way

Teapot is a Stanford University research project where our mission is to enable trusted transactions on the web. We at Teapot are excited to partner with ManyShip to help make it the most trusted service for peer to peer shipping in the world.

How Teapot works

Teapot fosters trust between shippers and carriers on ManyShip using their social networks. When you view a trip or a need posted by a ManyShip user, like Michael Bennett, ManyShip allows you to “See how you’re connected” to Michael.

Traveler Profile with Teapot Integration on ManyShip

Teapot enables ManyShip users to “See how you’re connected”

Teapot will show you a trust score between you and Michael when both you and him have signed on to Teapot in your ManyShip account using the Facebook log on. The trust score is based on your shared connections, social interactions and common background.

Photo: Trust score between Manyship user Dan Denizen and Michael Bennett, powered by Teapot.

Trust Score between Sender and Traveler on ManyShip

Teapot enables ManyShip users to see a Trust Score, Degrees of Separation, and Which of your Friends are Connected to other users

This score leverages cutting-edge algorithms developed by researchers at Stanford University. These algorithms take into account a number of things about your social network and interactions: which friends of yours are connected to Michael, how well do you know them, and how well do they know Michael. The trust score captures the idea of transitivity of trust:  if you trust someone and they trust Michael, then you should probably trust Michael too. Additionally, the algorithms also take into account if you and Michael have a common background (e.g., you both went to the same high school, or worked at the same company, or are part of the volunteer organization).

In addition to simply showing you an opaque score, Teapot and Manyship also provide you more information about how you are connected (how many degrees you are separated by, which friends of yours are connected to the other user), so you can better understand this score. Like ManyShip, Teapot believes that knowing these shared connections and common background brings us closer, and creates greater trust in a transaction.

Your Privacy: We understand that if we are going to be in the trust-building business, we must first earn your trust. We promise that we will not share your data with a third party that you have not explicitly approved. Moreover, we give you total control over your data: if you sign in to Teapot, and click “Forget Me”, we will delete every single piece of information Teapot has about you. That’s one-click privacy brought to you by Teapot!

We look forward to helping ManyShip users build greater trust and enable a world class experience for senders and travelers alike. Get started building trust with Teapot by visiting ManyShip today.


Pranav DandekarPranav Dandekar is the creator of Teapot and a research scientist at Stanford University.  He has been thinking about trust, reputation and incentives in online marketplaces and social networks for more than 7 years. Previously he worked at industry leading technology companies including Google and Amazon.

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ManyShip Helps You Find Travel Companions for Elderly

Find Travel Companions with ManyShip

Photo courtesy pixabay.com

Janvi is a 30 year old woman from the U.S. who has recently come across a problem. She tried to help her parents travel from India to the United States. Her father is 66 years old and her mother is 60. They needed help during the trip since there were issues with getting through security checkpoints, with carrying heavy luggage, and other emergencies that cropped up. Janvi tried four different ways to assist her parents in their journey.

Family and Friends
The first method Janvi tried was enlisting the help of her family and friends. She did this by planning their trip 2 months early. Janvi tried to find family and friends from the same area who were going to travel at the same time. That way they could book tickets together and travel at the same time. If this had worked, it would’ve been a great way to help her elderly parents feel comfortable in their trip and get by the various problems associated with travel. The problem was that she couldn’t find anyone who was planning on a similar trip at the same time.

Social Networks
Another method Janvi attempted was finding people in her social networks that could travel with her parents. After all, if you can’t find any friends or family members to help, the next best thing is an acquaintance, or even a friend of a friend. This turned up a few more leads, but still there was no one who quite worked out.

ManyShip
The next method Janvi attempted was using the ManyShip site. She searched for people who were planning on making a similar trip through the search function on the site. This initially resulted in very few matches. So, instead Janvi used the feature on the site to request whether other members on the site could help her parents with travel.

Wheelchair Service
Janvi also took the step of calling the customer service line for the airline a few weeks before the travel was going to take place. She asked for wheel chair service so her elderly parents would have an easier time moving around. The idea was that this step would at least help her parents move through the gates and get their bags taken care of.

So in the end, Janvi failed to get any help from her family, her friends, or her social network. Manyship didn’t pan out either, and she used wheel chair service to at least get her parents through the gate, but failed completely to guide her parents beyond that. Janvi is someone who understands just how important a travel companion to accompany parents in need really is. She is now determined to help out a member of ManyShip find a travel companion for her parents.
Easily find travel companions on ManyShip.com

Disclaimer: Names of people in this article have been changed to protect their privacy.

7 tips for a pleasant road trip

Most of us will be on the road driving to a location for the upcoming long weekend. Here are 7 tips that will help make your road trip better.

1) Rent a vehicle: Renting a vehicle seems like a better choice for multiple reasons. First, rental vehicles are up to date on their service schedule, clean, and newer (most rental car companies rent out newer models with very low miles). Second, you have a choice to rent a bigger and spacious vehicle, which gives you extra comfort on a long drive. Third, renting a vehicle over a long weekend is not very expensive either. Thus for a small price you can save on the wear and tear of your own vehicle.

A spacious car is comfy and better on the road.

A spacious car is comfy and better on the road.

2)  Start in the AM: People tend to start their long weekend around 3 PM on a given day. As a result, most of the drivers are on the road around the same time. No wonder the roads get clogged and result in huge delays. Unless traffic jams don’t bother you that much, slightly modify the start time of your trip. Instead of starting on a Friday (or Thursday), you may choose to start at a different day and time. For example, you may start around 5 AM on the next day.

Early AM for a ride

Early in the morning is a perfect time to start your trip.

3. Drink coffee: Starting early in the morning around 5 AM, means a quick stop at the gas station to pick up coffee. It’s a great way to start your trip. First, sipping coffee as the sun is still trying to break out is simply fun. Second, the caffeine will try to fight your sleep. Moreover, you can use this opportunity to fill up your gas tank.

A nice coffee is wonderful

Wonder why coffee is so wonderful early in the morning? Umm… never mind.. Just enjoy..

4. Use rest areas: Map the rest areas on your way. Rest areas are not only scenic, but they provide you with quick access to the facilities. You don’t want to be wandering in the gas stations and waiting long lines for the restroom.

Rest areas live up to their names

Rest areas, mostly situated in scenic locations, give you the much needed quick break.

5. Listen to music: Be sure to have your favorite music CDs handy. Don’t rely on the radio or on the smart phone. Radio may be unavailable due to loss of signal, while your smart phone might be out of juice! Music is fun on the road.

Listen to good music

Music helps break the monotony of driving.

6. Take a quick lunch: If you start early around 5 AM, take the needed breaks for coffee, rest at scenic areas, etc, then you would be very close to your destination by noon. You may choose to stop for a quick lunch at a fast food place. Fast food is not only quick, but also lighter than a full course meal. You save time and money!

Great tasting food

Pick the healthy fast food place. You will love the rest of the ride!

7. Check in at a hotel after noon: Perhaps by 1 PM or so you should be able to check in at a hotel, leave your luggage, and start your memorable vacation. This way you can save a day’s worth of hotel costs.

Follow these 7 tips to receive the following benefits:

  • Avoid the most dreaded traffic congestion.
  • Save money on your hotel charges. (You might think you could start your vacation earlier by traveling on a Friday, but in reality you would reach the destination late in the night (thanks to all the traffic jams), wake up late and, start late the next day.)
  • Enjoy the early morning ride and the nature on the way.
Beach and sun are real fun

Waste no more time. Crash into your vacation.

Hope you will have a safe and fun trip. Enjoy the long weekend!

ManyShip is an online venue that connects people who need to send something somewhere with people going that way. It’s a smart and cheap way of shipping stuff. If you are traveling then it’s a simple way to start earning money. You can offset some of your travel costs. Sign up now at ManyShip.

Mine and Yours

At ManyShip, we believe in sharing. It can be in any form – qualitative or quantitative. Whether it be sharing ideas, sharing time, sharing happiness, or sharing personal things, sharing is a wonderful thing and results in immense happiness.

When we share, what is mine is not just mine.
MineImage

Similarly, what is yours is not just yours.
YoursImage

ManyShip enables travelers to share their travel space and ship goods for other people. Travelers share the space in their car trunk, luggage, or a backpack and transport goods. Senders (or shippers) on the other hand, get expedited shipping for less. It’s a win win for both travelers and shippers. Sign up is free and takes only 30 seconds at ManyShip.com. Check it out and experience the new form of sharing (and shipping).

Cryptocurrencies and VLab BitCoin conference

According to Wiki CryptoCurrency (or virtual currency) is a type of digital currency that relies on cryptography, is peer-to-peer, and decentralized.

Though it is hard for us to imagine using a peer-to-peer type of currency, cryptocurrencies such as BitCoin are becoming main stream.

At one of the conferences organized by MIT-Stanford Venture Lab (VLAB) on June 18, a group of panelists (pictured below) shed light on why virtual currencies can be a game changer and how they can create a plain field in the e-commerce industry allowing buyers from various geographies to buy things from anywhere in the world.

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From left to right – Fred Ehrsam (Co-Founder of Coinbase, a digital Bitcoin wallet), Wendy Cheung (Director of Compliance and BSA Officer, Silicon Valley Bank), Cameron Winklevoss (Principal Investor at Winklevoss Capital) and Tyler Winklevoss (Principal Investor at Winklevoss Capital)

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From left to right – Chris Larsen (CEO and Co-Founder, OpenCoin, the company developing the Ripple protocol), Fred Ehrsam (Co-Founder of Coinbase, a digital Bitcoin wallet), Wendy Cheung (Director of Compliance and BSA Officer, Silicon Valley Bank), Cameron Winklevoss (Principal Investor at Winklevoss Capital)

Virtual currency is particularly interesting for us at ManyShip as we try to grow our platform to the various other countries of the world, such as India, China, Indonesia, countries in Europe, etc. Each of these countries have a different currency system, and dealing with various payment providers, merchant fees, cultural issues can be challenging. We would hope that virtual currencies become more popular and more businesses accept them so that users have more buying power. In addition users would be able to buy things that they previously couldn’t due to exchange or currency issues.

You can also read more about this BitCoin conference here.

ManyShip is a social shipping and delivery community that allows you to easily find travelers who are willing to carry your goods to places or find senders who need to ship goods to places you plan to travel. Check out more about ManyShip.