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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Trust, Security and Safety on ManyShip

Prasad talked about ManyShip at SIPACON 2013 conference on November 9 in San Jose, CA. SIPACON is an all day event for technology professionals, business leaders and entrepreneurs to connect with over 300 people and learn from industry leaders.

Prasad pitching ManyShip at conference

Prasad Pitching ManyShip at SIPACON 2013

Audience loved the concept of ManyShipa social shipping and delivery platform connecting people who need things sent with those traveling who have extra space. The result: senders get expedited shipping for less, and travelers are rewarded for their help. However, audience wondered how ManyShip makes the platform safe for the members.

We have taken several measures to build trust and security. ManyShip uses the proven and reliable industry practice of utilizing Facebook, LinkedIn and other social networks, and further works to educate users to build a safe and trustworthy community:

Registration and log in

  • ManyShip requires that our users register using our secure log in process before using our services. In addition we allow members to log in using Facebook which helps to build and maintain trust.

Secure Payments

  • When an order is accepted, senders are charged but payment is held until confirmation of delivery. Travelers are paid upon confirmation of delivery by the sender.

Private name, email and phone

  • We do not share names with other users and only collect them for payment purposes. Phone numbers and email addresses are also kept private until an order has been accepted.

Reviews and Feedback

  • We encourage members to leave a feedback and write a review after each transaction. This helps to create a safe and trustworthy community.

Private messaging

  • Our private messaging system allows members to perform all communications, information and file exchanges within the messaging system without ever sharing the email addresses and phone numbers.

In addition, we educate members through out the order process:

  • Members are encouraged to perform transactions within their network of friends and family. We provide various tools to members to get acquainted with each other and form the trust before accepting to carry or send goods.
  • Traveling members are obligated to open the sender’s package and re-pack them into their bags.
  • Traveling members are not obligated in any manner to carry the goods of the sender.
  • Traveling members are encouraged to answer the questions at the airport truthfully and completely.

We built our platform with safety as a core value, and have a number of great tools specifically aimed at ensuring thisManyShip strives to create a safe and trusted community for shipping and delivery.

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.