I'm not new to the fediverse, but here's an #introduction focusing on just one project:
http://Ora.Network aims to create a global digital #skillsharing network based on the principles of time banking, #libre software, and the #commons. A #mutualcredit currency where 1 ora is added to your balance for every hour you contribute to a qualified libre/commons project. You can then transfer your ora to someone else in exchange for their help working on your own (non-qualified) project.
I hope it can help techies and other digital workers gain temporal autonomy to contribute to the commons, and encourage more collaboration, with no money in the picture.
If it sounds like an interesting approach to you, I'd love to collaborate! It's a non-profit project, and you can earn ora for your contributions to it ;)
@mayel I think this is an interesting approach and I already signed up a while ago but never got any email feedback.
@mayel To clarify my understanding of the platform economics:
- For contributions to qualified projects new ora are "mined", means the total ora in circulation reflect the number of hours contributed to the commons.
- Once in the network, ora can be traded indefinitely with other people but never expire and cannot be exchanged (at least in-network) for anything other than an hour of digital work.
Is that correct?
@mayel This looks potentially very interesting. I had a similar idea a few years ago but no wherewithal to get anything off the ground. I release most of my choral sheet music under CC by-SA so it would suit me down to the ground; while it's difficult to track exactly the hours I work on any given project, I'm already trying to keep track a bit.
@artsyhonker yeah it's somehow always easier to track work done by a contributor than by a project initiator... would love to find some creative ways to help with this
@mayel It isn't that that's the issue, it's how to track the creative work. Sometimes no amount of staring at the page* helps but I'll go for a walk and when I come back I know what to write. Sometimes I'm sitting on the Tube picking at things in my head. It's hard to estimate that time.
*Yes, I still use actual pencil and paper for first drafts, and often for second drafts too. I'm old school like that.
@mayel @artsyhonker I'm trying to better understand the context. The case in which there's no demand for a work to be done can't be fit into a currency trading scenario.
There must be someone needing for something and willing to offer something to obtain it.
A collective of people demanding for libre projects to foster (the demand) could evaluate or be asked to evaluate the work needed on others' projects (the offering). That'd fall under the classic currency-trading scenario.
Yes, that's how I'm thinking about it for now: a federated system where organisations/collectives (think Mozilla, Wikimedia, Framasoft, but also much smaller ones) can have balances with unlimited credit (this is mutual credit, not transferable token currency) and assign it to projects/contributors/tasks (possibly in the way you describe, or with a bounty system). Any federation member found by other members to be abusive can have their credit not be accepted.
"Mutual credit is not minted or printed, it has no physical form and no fixed quantity."
"In a mutual credit system, units of currency are issued when a participant extends credit to another user in a standard spending transaction. You start with a ledger of participants, with all accounts having a zero balance. The first transaction could look like this: Alice pays Bob 20 credits for a haircut. Alice’s account now has -20, and Bob’s has +20."
^ With that basic explanation of mutual credit, what's unique with Ora is that only libre/commons projects get to have negative balances, and they are never expected to pay their "debts".
So essentially, value is created and accounted for when work is done for the commons, which then can be used a medium of exchange.
@mayel @olistik I don't know what the validation path is going to look like, but if it relies too much on peer validation then you'll disadvantage some artists (and maybe accidentally set up a secondary market in peer validations!?), and a lot of us are genuinely terrible at tracking hours we work on a project.
@mayel Then I have to do the work of finding someone willing to be in a "collective" with me, which frankly I would have done already if I'd found a good fit.
@mayel And you can still have someone say "no way did that take 10 hours of work" even though it did.
@mayel I'm just trying to understand the process from the artist's side. I write some music, I put the sheet music online under CC by-SA at CPDL as usual, then I go to your site and say "I did this thing and it took me 10 hours". Then what?
@artsyhonker just now discovering CPDL, but looks like they'd be a good candidate to be a member of the Ora Network, and to help figure this out, along with their contributors, what do you think?
@mayel But what if they don't want to buy in? I also put my music on my website, it's still CC by-SA, why make me even more dependent on CPDL?
That is not my intention.
What's your situation today? Do you just release for free, and hope for people to support you on Patreon? I assume you also sell your work directly to clients?
@mayel I release for free, have some support per-work through Patreon and some monthly subscribers through PayPal, and now two patrons on Liberapay. I take commissions, but I get maybe 1/year. I'm also doing a PhD.
@mayel Having access to tech/admin help based on the hours I put in rather than an arbitrary market amount would be seriously useful to me, but...well, one of the reasons I didn't build this system already is that I couldn't figure out all of how it would work.
So wouldn't you say that your backers are a de-facto vetting collective?
@mayel If I then have to wait for someone else to decide whether it counts in some way, that's a really crappy experience for me and I probably won't bother; but individually vetting all applications in a centralised way will not scale. Some kind of referrals system? And there will need to be some way to deal with clear abuse, so that needs to be defined. (If maintaining an open-source bot that creates art, is the not eligible to collect ora? Or is only human labour allowed?)
@mayel smart as hell, added my dartar into the form
@mayel a major thing I can see this helping with is not so much finding other devs to help with dev things, but finding _everyone else_ to do the _everything else_ things, like commissioning an open source icon for your open source project, or finding translators to contribute.
@piecritic exactly! FLOSS projects could do with much more design, UX, copywriting, etc :)
@mayel This is a fantastic idea! I plan on signing up.
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