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For the love of shopping

I'm doing some work in Sin­ga­pore right now, and I've quick­ly noticed a cou­ple of things: Sin­ga­pore­an peo­ple love to shop, and they love deals. But they don't have access to cer­tain brands — Amer­i­can Appar­el, For­ev­er 21, Victoria's Secret, etc. To get stuff from these places, they have to order stuff over the Inter­net, and have it shipped across the world. And this can be real­ly expen­sive.

LiveJournal spree community

A com­mu­ni­ty of prac­tice. The prac­tice of find­ing deals.So, some indus­tri­ous, deal-seek­ing shop­pers have cre­at­ed Live­Jour­nal com­mu­ni­ties in which shop­pers can band togeth­er to save ship­ping costs from online retail­ers. These so-called "sprees" usu­al­ly cor­re­spond to glob­al ship­ping deals offered by a retail­er, and they're avail­able until cer­tain cri­te­ria are met — min­i­mum amounts for the ship­ping deal, or when­ev­er the spree-launch­er decides to take care of the order.In the above exam­ple, the spree is for a retail­er called "Appar­el," it's open, and there are 35 "com­ments," many of which are actu­al­ly "orders." That's right, you sub­mit your order in a pub­lic space, so that oth­ers can see how close the spree is to being filled.In order to build trust among their users, the com­mu­ni­ty above pro­vides a way to give feed­back; they've cre­at­ed a sep­a­rate com­mu­ni­ty called "spreefeed­back" where users leave com­ments about the trust­wor­thi­ness of the users who launch the sprees. Hacky, but appar­ent­ly effec­tive. Pret­ty cool, huh?On relat­ed notes, Jane Ful­ton Suri's Thought­less Acts?: Obser­va­tions on Intu­itive Design is filled with intrigu­ing exam­ples of every­day hacks in the phys­i­cal world.