Wanted to repost this comment that got lost in the shuffle last week. From user baniak:
In Portland, OR ~5 years ago I remember an "Anarchist Post Office" - a DIY bike messenger service that would deliver packages within the city of Portland for free. I moved shortly after that, so I don't know if anything became of it. (And I cannot find any mention of it online.)
The idea stuck with me, and when I stumbled on DIYCity a few days ago, I instantly thought of how technology could make this idea more feasible, and even expand it. Here is a proposal:
A very basic method would be to create a Twitter user for our Open Source Post Office (i.e. OpenPostOffice) service. Users post to @OpenPostOffice with a start zip code, an end zip code, a brief description (size/shape, not contents) of what they want delivered and when they want it delivered:
@OpenPostOffice 60610 to 60660 20 lb. box 12/5/2008
People who read the tweet who will be travelling a similar route (in this example near or through zip code 60610 to or through 60660) can respond with "I will be willing to deliver your package"
Details can be worked out by the two parties outside of Twitter.
(Read baniak's full proposal here).
This idea seems really interesting, though difficult to make work. Seems like it might work best in a small town somewhere with a college campus, like Santa Cruz CA or Eugene OR.
Also, does it need to be bikes? What about just an "I'll pick up your stuff if I'm going your way" service?
If you can coordinate the people who are already in transit along a route with the goods that need to move along that route, you save everyone time and energy.
Possible? Or impossible?
What is the most amazing DIYcity idea you've got? The thing you've been thinking about building for years, or something just off the top of your head right now. Let's have it.