Introduction to Zumbara

  • 1. Why such a platform?

    Because we are all familiar with the phrases below. We need each other.

    • “I am preparing for the PHD exam. If I could talk to a person who took this exam before, I could learn about his/her experiences and I could study more effectively.”
    • “There are moments where I can’t catch up with the things that needs to be done. Days are very short and I need to do a lot of stuff.”
    • “I want to have a hobby but it could be great if I could try different hobbies to decide which one to continue.”

    But it is hard to ask for help

    • “I need help most of the time. But everybody is very busy. From whom I can ask for help?”
    • “Generally I decide not to ask for help as I cannot pay anything in exchange.”

    We love to help but we don’t know how

    • “I love to helping people. The feeling of being needed is really satisfying.”
    • “I am not sure how I can help to others. If I could have the chance to see their needs, for sure there would be something I could do.”

    We need a platform where the people who need help and who want to help can meet and which mamkes “paying” for the help we receive easier.

  • 2. What does Zumbara offer as a solution?

    • An innovative sharing platform in which time is used instead of money.
    • Zumbara = Time Bank + Social Network
    1. a. Time Bank:

      A system which enables exchanging services. More flexible and free than a service barter. It works with the principle 1=1:

      • Help to someone for 1 hour
      • Earn 1 hour
      • With this 1 hour that you have earned, you get 1 hour help from someone in the community.
    2. b. Social Network:

      It uses the power of the internet. Concepts of joining, sharing, contributing are facilitated by the internet.

  • 3. How it works?

    • After signing up to the web page with the invitation code that you receive, tell us about yourself, the services that you need and you can give.
    • Find the person to make the service exchange and contact with him/her.
    • After agreeing on the details begin to share.
    • Earn time instead of money.
    • Join to the community and get connected to the social network.
  • 4. What are the rules of the game?

    • When you enter for the first time to the web page, you have 5 time credits.
    • Each time you provide a service you earn time.
    • Each time you receive a service you lose time.
    • Everybody’s time has the equal value.
    • You can use your time whenever you want.
    • You don’t need to give a service to the same person that you received a service.
    • Once you reach to -5 limits, you cannot continue to receive services. You need to increase your time credit by giving some services.

The Exchange Unit Used in Zumbara

  • 5. Can I use Money in this system?

    No, you cannot use Money in this system. The Exchange unit of Zumbara is only time.

  • 6. Why the exchange unit of the system is time?

    Because time is passing. If we do not use it, it’s just gone. And it is the only thing we really possess.

  • 7. How many hours do I have once I enter to the system?

    5 hours.

  • 8. How my time account changes in the system?

    Once you give a service, you earn the same amount of time as the duration of the service you give. And once you receive a service you lose the same amount of time as the duration of the service that you receive.

  • 9. What is the minimum time unit that I can use in the system?

    Minimum time is 1 hour. Multiples of 1 hour is used in the system.

  • 10. Is there a special name of this time unit?

    Yes, the name of the time unit in Zumbara is “zum”. So 1 hour = 1 zum.

  • 11. Do I need to use the hours earned immediately?

    You can use the time earned whenever you want. This is the difference of the system than the barter. Put the hours earned into your piggy bank and use them when you need.

Sharing in Zumbara

  • 12. Can I give anyone else the hours I earned?

    Yes, the hours that you earned are yours. You can do whatever you want with them. Give them as a gift to your friends, to a group, to an NGO etc.

  • 13. What can I do with the time credits I earn in Zumbara and what should I do to earn them?

    The things you can do are limitless. Cooking, translating, taking care of your neighbor’s dog, giving a music class, a haircut, giving a professional consultancy, giving a yoga class etc. In Zumbara everybody has a talent to share with others. You just need some imagination.

  • 14. I like to help and don’t want anything in exchange, is it ok if I don’t ask for any help?

    Zumbara is a system with its own economy. In Zumbara it is important to receive a service as much as to give it. Otherwise, the balance of Zumbara would be lost. When you have a lot of time credits, give a present to yourself or to a friend. Attend a 2 hour yoga class or send 2 hours for your friend’s birthday.

  • 15. And how the talents are evaluated?

    All the talents are equally evaluated. 1 hour of guitar class, 1 hour of cooking, 1 hour of repairing a computer, they all have the same value. Because in a time of necessity everything we can do have the same value.

  • 16. Can I ask for help before giving any?

    Before giving any help you can receive services up to 5 hours, but with the condition to pay it afterwards. Don’t forget, this system is existing with the good intentions of its users.

  • 17. What should I do after receiving the help?

    You need to pay as many hours as the duration of the service to the service provider through Zumbara web page.

  • 18. What should I do if they do not pay me in Exchange of my help?

    If the payment is not done in 3 days period, from the time account page by clicking on the button: ask payment you can send an automatic warning e-mail to the user who received the service. As these warnings will be published on the wall of both, the users need to be careful to not to receive any of them. If the payment is still not done after the warning it is also possible to report abuse from time account page.

  • 19. Is there any determined day/hour to receive/give a service?

    No, this is a flexible system. You can help whenever you want. You don’t need to limit yourself to some hours and days.

  • 20. To receive a service do we need to meet physically or can we do it through internet?

    This depends on the service and to the people who will share. For a guitar class the users need to meet in a place but maybe to prepare a presentation about a topic you can do it through internet as well. The person who gives the service can decide on how many hours he will need to provide the service and if the person who will receive the service agrees, they can exchange the service without meeting as well.

  • 21. If there are any costs to provide a service what do I need to do?

    In case that there are material costs, they are all the time paid by the service receiver. For example in case of decoration you might need some materials (paint, brush, sandpaper etc.), as in the case of cooking and in transportation as well. It is important that both parties are aware of these costs before beginning to share to prevent any kind of conflict.


  • 22. Is this system is being used in anywhere else?

    Yes, Time Banking System is being used in neighborhoods and communities in 33 countries. This is an internationally used social change movement. For more information: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Time_Banking

  • 23. What is the difference that Zumbara creates?

    İnsanların katkıda bulunmasını sağlar ve evet herkesin katkıda bulunacağı bir şeyler vardır

    • It emphasizes that everybody’s time has the same value at a moment of necessity. It is an egalitarian system.
    • It reminds us that in life there are things which are more important than money, and the only thing that we really own is our time.
    • It makes us experience that our differences enrich us and we need each other.
    • It provides confidence, reciprocity and participation (social capital).