Enspiral Tales
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Enspiral Tales

Tarragona Concurs Castells taken by calafellvalo, on Flickr. Used under a Creative Commons license.

Doing more together, together: seeding a Collaborative Technology Alliance

A handful of the attendees, from left to right: Ben Knight (Loomio), Silvia Zuur (Chalkle), Connor Turland (Metamaps), Alanna Krause (Loomio), Edward West (Hylo), Mix Irving (Enspiral), Chelsea Robinson (Loomio), David Hofstatter (Refugio Resource), Derek Razo (CoBudget), Chloe Waretini (Enspiral, Hylo)

Why an interoperable ecosystem of collaborative software tools matters.

The emerging of the collaborative social web

The challenges of building software for groups

The current state of affairs

Universal Construction Kit — a 3D printable set of hybrid pieces that allows you to connect Legos with Tinkertoys, Lincoln Logs and more. Each toy “system” is a fixed set of possibilities or paradigms, but with these hybrid connectors, you can create anything you can imagine using pieces from half a dozen different systems.

An ecosystem of tools that interoperate will allow communities to choose the tools that are right for them, and leave aside those that aren’t. It will allow experimentation and uncommon use cases, and will enable individual tools to specialize — focusing on building the best user experience for specific user actions.

The Key to Interoperability — User Experience

The seed of an alliance

Key functions of an ecosystem of collaborative software tools:

  • Notifications Dashboard: aggregated notifications of activity that is sourced from activity from tools in the ecosystem
  • Chat and Direct Messaging: one-to-one and one-to-many messaging, with tunable privacy as appropriate to communication goals
  • Representation of Group Membership and Group Auth: a tool that stores who is a member of which group, who can see the data that the group contains, and can invoke single-purpose tools through “group authentication”
  • Representation of which groups are using which tools: this enables the community to understand which tools are part of the set of tools in use in a given environment
  • Intent-casting + Collaborative discovery: discovery of aligned intentions + matching of available requests and offers. Can include bounties/price tags in a variety of currencies.
  • Collaborative ideation & brainstorming: allows decentralized groups to ideate and brainstorm together
  • Collaborative decision making: allows decentralized groups to come to decisions together
  • Collaborative budgeting: allows decentralized groups to allocate common-pool resources
  • Network visualization: allows users to interact with different types of visual representations of shared data and membership
  • Reputation: allows users to assess the past actions of network participants based on user tunable, context aware preferences
  • Identity: allows users to be aware of the identity of other users over time tied to reputation
  • Mutual Credit: allows users to create and track mutual credit exchanges
  • Task management: allows users to assign and track completion of tasks
  • Dues collection: allows users to pool resources
  • Common Resource Pool Management: allows users to pool resources that can be invested collectively
  • Crowdfunding: allows users to gather small contributions from large numbers of people
  • Cryptoequity: allows users to share equity in each other’s projects and work with outside financing
  • Smart Contracts: allows users to create contracts with each other that are machine-executable
  • Personal data management and export tools: allow users to manage access to and export their private data

Next Steps



Stories from a bold experiment - creating a collaborative network that helps people do meaningful work.

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Edward West

Founder of Hylo, Hub Oakland, Mission Motors. I apply principles of evolution+complexity to culture+commerce for a more just conscious loving sustainable world.