BrightNeighbor is a piece of social networking software that helps communities share resources. For example, you might list that you know how to fix small appliances, knit, and that you have a grain mill you could share with your neighbors. Peak Oil Hausfrau did a nice write-up of it – see her post for details.

What do you think of this idea? It sounds good, but I wonder if making use of existing free tools might end up being more effective? For example, it’s easy to make a map of publicly-accessible fruit trees with GoogleMaps.

Would anyone in the Ann Arbor/Ypsi area be interested in this? Do you think it would be worth $5000 to set up? (Don’t worry just yet where the money might come from.) Is it redundant? What would it take to really get it up to a self-sustaining critical mass?



  1. Melissa said,

    October 13, 2008 at 7:06 am

    I think there might be other websites out there that do the same thing. I’ve got to find them again but I think one is FreeEconomy which allows you to share resources.

    I would love to create a map in Westland of trees. I just identified free sources of blackberries, mulberries and apples this year. This is similar to the California tree maps website.

    I’m willing to show others how to can and would love to be able to exchange fruits / vegetables or take zuchinni off peoples hands 🙂

  2. Melissa said,

    October 13, 2008 at 7:31 am

    The website is
    It doesn’t have the tree maps.

    I did go to Peak Oil and read the post. The system looks great!

  3. Emily said,

    October 13, 2008 at 9:16 am


    Thank you! These are excellent resources, and without the $5000 price tag. The fruit map is very easy – just go to Google Maps and click “My Maps.” You’ll need a free Google account. You can then put placemarkers on a map and save it, either just for you or to share around. A Google Earth account ($20/year) would be even more powerful…and all these things could be linked together.


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