Airbnb is growing, but it’s complicated

This week Planetizen published my deep dive into the data on Airbnb listings.  There was so much rancor about the short-term-rental service, and so little data, I wanted to make a contribution.

Since the focus in public discussion was the idea that short-term-rentals might be talking long-term-rentals out of market availability, I focused on the longevity of Airbnb listings.  What I found was that tons of people try hosting, but not many stick with it….

graph showing Airbnb growth in nine cities

graph showing that only about half of airbnb listings last a year

Check out the full piece, including my interpretation for planners, here.

A free elementary school science fair packet

When I decided to volunteer for my son’s elementary school science fair, I was disappointed to find that most materials available on the Internet — for students, and for parent volunteers — were quite bad.   I decided to write my own science fair packet, so my son’s school could have something good to work with.

cartoon drawing of kids and science junk
illustration by Scout [public domain]
I’ve been pleased with the response to the packet — over three or four fairs, I’ve seen participation increase, and the quality of projects increase as well.

Now I’m releasing that packet to you, parents and teachers.   You can alter it and use it as you like, under this Creative Commons license.  Here are the links:

  • A PDF version so you can see what the layout and the drawings are supposed to look like.  The kid-style research plans with the drawings are key!
  • A read-only version on Google Docs, where the document was created.  You could “Select All” and copy this into a new doc, though the formatting is likely to be messed up somehow.
  • An editable version on Google Docs.  I will keep this up as long as it doesn’t get too screwed up. 🙂   Instead of editing it directly, I would suggest doing “Make a copy” and then editing the copy as you like.