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Sunday, January 01, 2006

 

Koiné - Time Shared Self Sustaining Social Systems

In the previous post I wrote about TAGs, small temporary proof-of-concept experiments.
Now I would like to elaborate on another concept that interests me: medium-long term communities that can survive even without the full-time contribution of any of their members. This is almost the opposite of a TAG, that totally relies on the enthusiasm of a very specific cabal of people.

I initially called this initiative Time Shared Self Sustaining Social Systems, but then I settled for Koiné, which means "common", as in "of the community".

A Koiné tries to answer to the question: how can I fruitfully organize in a scalable way the limited efforts of a large number of participants? Suppose that you would like to help a certain cause that you care about, but you would like to devote it only a couple of hours, sometimes. Or maybe you would like to devote a week of your holidays to some activity, but a week is just enough time to waste the 'serious' workers time without contributing anything to the community.

How can you design a self sustaining social system that works using bits of time from volunteers? How can you design a system that has roles and memories and attitudes and action plans for those roles? How can it be so simple that people can become immediately effective within that system? How do you build a peer-to-peer occasional community that can be effective in the 'real' world too?

How do you do it?

How would you design, let's say, a company that operates 24/24 hours but only between 8pm and 10pm on every time-zone? How would you design a phase-nation that exists only on saturday afternoons?

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