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Community Collaboration Rules Proposal .1

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Now that we have a working site. It's time to make sure we're all on the same page when it comes to rules before we launch. I'm proposing a set of rules that are VERY VERY relaxed. Even if you don't agree with me that Bazaar is better than Cathedral, I think this more relaxed model still holds water because we have so few users. In other words, if it ain't broke, don't fix it, in this case, don't confuse people with complicated rules. My ideas on rules are very much influenced by "The Cathedral and the Bazaar", Wikipedia, and Drupal (a DoOcracy), and Self-Determination Theory (a macro theory of human motivation and personality, concerning people's inherent growth tendencies and their innate psychological needs). I'm really busy getting the beta ready for launch so I've provided some links to help summarize what influences my ideas on rules for collaboration. I will be working on summarizing these influences in possibly two posts titled "Why we share" and "Open Source is more than just free lunch."

  • The Cathedral and the Bazaar, an essay by Eric S. Raymond In Raymond's essay, he contrasts the top down approach (Cathedral) versus the bottom up approach (Bazaar). Why we choose to work together in a bazaar as opposed to a closed source cathedral: "Given a large enough beta-tester and co-developer base, almost every problem will be characterized quickly and the fix obvious to someone." "The next best thing to having good ideas is recognizing good ideas from your users. Sometimes the latter is better." "Treating your users as co-developers is your least-hassle route to rapid code improvement and effective debugging." "Provided the development coordinator has a communications medium at least as good as the Internet, and knows how to lead without coercion, many heads are inevitably better than one." http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Cathedral_and_the_Bazaar

  • Self-determination theory Drive: The surprising truth about what motivates us -> 11 minute video http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=u6XAPnuFjJc http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Self-determination_theory#Motivations

  • Wikipedia The History of Wikipedia (in two minutes) http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oVFPW0r4jWk en.wikipedia.org/wiki/What_wp_is_not "The Hive" Story of Wikipedia's evolution -> http://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/print/2006/09/the-hive/5118/

  • DoOcracy http://www.communitywiki.org/DoOcracy

Community Collaboration Rules Proposal .1
  1. Anyone can add a new tool but everyone may also flag a tool for removal. If a tool is flagged for removal, then a community vote is taken.

  2. Anyone can edit the wiki but if there is a disagreement on an edit, then a community vote is taken to determine which edit should remain.

  3. Anyone can post a new forum thread.

  4. Anyone can post replies to forum threads.

  5. Be decent. No personal attacks.

Louis's picture

I can easily think of a dozen potential problems with so few rules, however, I fully agree the idea we shouldn't fix it until it's broken. I think that I'm just used to building things and trying to anticipate everything that can go wrong; I don't think the method works when building community.

R.J. Steinert's picture

Haha, ya, we're definitely going to have to expand/modify those rules. If anyone wants to keep the ball rolling feel free to post a new forum topic called "Community Collaboration Rules Proposal .1". After a few iterations and some discussion we can vote on one. We could do a vote right now though, an "is this good enough to launch with?" vote.

R.J. Steinert's picture

Sorry, I meant a new forum topic titled "Community Collaboration Rules Proposal .2".