Community Progress Update 003

By MATHEW MYTKA

Another community update coming at ya. The past month has been interesting with lot’s of indicators of progress.

  1. Here are the highlights (TLDR;)
    We’ve done some work on the public facing website and how we are communicating what the platform is all about.
  2. We changed the signup process and member onboarding. This now reflects the decision to have a pay for what you value model.
  3. We’ve been having lots of conversations with orgs we’d like to collaborate with and/or formally partner with.
  4. We announced a community fund that is connected to the value model. Aligning to our intention to transform the platform to one that is community governed.
  5. We are beginning to sketch out a transition to a different legal entity structure. One that reflects our values and greater aligns to the vision.
  6. We launched the first iteration of directory of tooling to support ethical decision making.
  7. Our work with Hilary Sutcliffe from SocietyInside on an intro course to understanding trust and trustworthiness is coming together. Aiming to be live in early May.

Website refresh
We’ve done some work on the public facing website and how we are communicating what the platform is all about. This included changes to navigation, new information architecture and organisation of public pages and some tweaks to the style. One thing we are really trying to refine is the platform and community proposition. The recent changes reflect everything from the value model and vision to our funding and impact focus. There is lot’s of room for improvement so any feedback is welcome.

The value model
We changed the signup process and member onboarding to reflect the decision to have a pay for what you value model. One thing we grappled with was wanting to make the community and platform available to people that don’t have much money, particularly students. A freemium model was just not going to work with membership. So we decided to take a risk and shift to a trust first approach. Making the changes was a major stream of work considering our team size and that we are self-funding. I was cracking away at designs, our wordpress infrastructure, data structures and code. Even dreaming about it some nights. It’s all an experiment that we hope to learn from and with you. We are going to be devoting more time on the membership value proposition so input from existing and potential community members is really crucial.

Ecosystem partnerships
We’re having lots of conversations with orgs we’d like to collaborate with and/or formally partner with. These include people working on related areas at World Economic Forum, Engineers Without Borders, International Association of Privacy Professionals, Universities and many others. While collaborating with large orgs is time consuming and has lots of opportunity cost associated it is a MUST HAVE to realise the vision. This might be informal collaborations to integrate with a decentralised social networking protocol like ActivityPub and start infusing this type of tech in the wordpress ecosystem. It might be partnering with an org to bring rigour to the ethics tools directory and create a powerful ecosystem resource. There are many areas of focus but we’ll surface these in more detail as discussions bring more clarity.

Community fund
We announced a community fund that is connected to the value model. Aligning to our intention to transform the platform to one that is community governed. The premise was covered in the last update and a forum discussion has been started. This is something we absolutely need your input on. While there is zero dollars in there right now how the whole approach works must be designed with the community. So please share your ideas, questions, criticisms etc early, no matter how rough or candid.

Changing entity structure
We are sketching out a transition to a more aligned legal entity structure. One that reflects our values and greater aligns to the vision. As we’ve mentioned many times, our intention is to progressively evolve the tech stack, governance model and entity structure. This will be done with your involvement as a community member. There are a few reasons for this doing this sooner rather than later. Our current incorporation structure brings skepticism about our intentions. A different structure can also begin opening up alternative pathways to funding and grants. Importantly it aligns to making this platform based around community governance. While there are many details to work through we aim to do this in collaboration with you as a community member.

Ethics Tools Directory
We launched the first iteration of a directory of tools to support ethical decision making. This directory can be curated by a community of practice and support the broader emerging movements of ethics in tech and responsible innovation. It’s a small but crucial piece of the platform puzzle coming to life. Right now the functionality is basic. You can filter a listing of tools, learn more about them, comment on the listing and review them if you have used them in your work. It’s a seedling that will need some tending to. We’ll be adding more tools to this and finding the best way to have it all open source. The placeholder video in directory page gives some context to what functionality is coming.

Intro to trust course
Our work with Hilary from SocietyInside on an intro course to understanding trust and trustworthiness is coming together. This course brings to life some of the key insights from the research in this area. All with the context from decades of experience in the field from Hilary. This will be the second free course for members with more in the works. This one will be available for enrolment in Early May. It’s part of a broader push to make it easier for people to create learning experiences and actual courses. So if you have ideas about a course or even a cool story and character driven learning experience join this new group and share your ideas.

What’s next?
The seeding is growing and we’ll be tending as much as we can. But we also need your help to see in blossom.

We will be sharing what we are working on more frequently. Particularly some of the work I’m doing when designing new aspects of the platform. This might be me just sharing some short updates in the forums, or even live-streaming my work twitch style via jitsi. Maybe even a Jam room where people can jump in and talk to me real-time and share their thoughts and ideas while doing some visual collaboration in a Mural. A big reason for this is to diversify the channels to participate as we co-design this platform.

The first version of the course creator canvas is coming to guide people through some of the instructional design side of things. This will form the basis of a practical course that will have people publishing their first course as a primary outcome. If you are interested in being involved early join the community course creators group.

We have the community challenges concept of format session this week. So we anticipate the first version of this to be coming together through May and June. What it evolves into will be partly up to you. Get involved in the forum discussion here.

The mobile app is going through some of the basic branding and setup by the support team at BuddyBoss. There are lots of little considerations to work through before it goes live. But we’ll keep updating everyone as it progresses and will have some screenshots and demo videos coming next month.

There is a heap more we are working through in the background. Improving security and site performance, more learning activities and courses, the quest activity for the ‘Making Better, Together’ course and more.

Got any questions, ideas or suggestions. Reply here 🙂 – if you’re not a community member yet, get signed up now

Responses