Thursday Buzz: Sharing the Road—in More Ways Than One
Uber and Lyft get into the carpooling game … at exactly the same time. So, who's on first? Also: Some tips on getting those disengaged members interested in volunteer leadership.
Uber and Lyft get into the carpooling game … at exactly the same time. So, who’s on first? Also: Some tips on getting those disengaged members interested in volunteer leadership.
No matter who made the announcement first, it’s probably good news for consumers.
This week, both Uber and Lyft announced new services that could help ride-sharers save cash by allowing them to carpool.
Lyft Line, unveiled Wednesday, makes it possible for riders going to the same place to share the same vehicle—something that might come in handy if, for example, you’re at a conference and headed to the same hotel. Pretty cool, right?
Well, the story’s a lot more interesting than just that. Lyft’s initial announcement was left at the gate when Uber announced its UberPool service Tuesday afternoon with a blog post and a beta sign-up page. Lyft, meanwhile, actually had a working service ready to go in San Francisco on Wednesday.
And the competition sounds downright brutal: UberPool promises a 40 percent discount on normal fares, while Lyft Line cuts prices by a reported 60 percent.
“These dueling launches are the latest in self-disruption: the act of competing—in these cases, on price—with one’s own existing services,” Inc.com contributor Christine Lagorio-Chafkin smartly points out.
New York Times blogger Farhad Manjoo says that Uber may have heard about its competitor’s plan and jumped on it:
So does everyone agree that what happened was that Uber got wind of Lyft Line’s announcement and decided to preempt with a blog post?— Farhad Manjoo (@fmanjoo) August 6, 2014
Uber’s tactic kind of worked, too; I’ve seen some people say that Lyft’s service—which is actually working today—is a me-too idea.— Farhad Manjoo (@fmanjoo) August 6, 2014
So which one would you use?
Unearth New Leadership
Finding the next generation of leaders within an association isn’t easy—especially when your members aren’t necessarily engaged in helping at the committee level—or even interested in doing so.
But all’s not lost, according to Votenet CEO Michael Tuteur, who suggests a number of techniques to nudge these disengaged members. A lot of the efforts involve making the engagement easier to swallow.
“Make it easy for those who are looking into involvement,” he writes in one example. “Publicize committee meeting times, locations and agendas on your website. Publicly encourage members to attend a meeting if they’re interested. Take the mystery out of governance. People won’t accept your call to volunteering if there’s any uncertainty about the next step and beyond.”
Other Links of Note
Putting out content that your readers really want can be tough on a day-to-day basis, but the Pulmonary Hypertension Association’s Diane Greenhalgh has a few ideas—and all of them center on a solid editorial calendar.
Maggie McGary of Strategic Communications Group is ready for the Google Plus deathwatch.
The tech advocacy group Public Knowledge is not cool with mobile operators throttling data speeds.
(Lyft handout photo)