I'm not new to the fediverse, but here's an #introduction focusing on just one project:

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.

@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.

@artsyhonker @mayel

An idea:

A: "I need X to be done, I estimate it requires Y hours of work"

Someone can either accept or ask to re-negotiate the estimate.

During the work, a re-negotiation can be asked but it can't be forced on both sides of the contract.

@olistik @artsyhonker

Yeah something like this works great when one person is contributing to another person's project, but what about the work you do on a libre/commons project you started yourself?

@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.

@olistik @artsyhonker

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.

@mayel @olistik That sounds great for tech projects but terrible for art, tbh. If someone doesn't like my music, can they can say "no way that took her 10 hours to write" and discredit me?

@mayel @olistik If you want artists who are providing commons work to participate, there has to be a clear pathway from doing the work to gaining credits. Relying on market demand structures is no good when those are why I already can't publish my scores with traditional publishers.

@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.

@artsyhonker @olistik

I guess you could create a collective of fellow artists, and agree amongst yourselves how to evaluate your work (*not* the market value of your "product", but the labour that went into it, which I figure should me much simpler in comparison?) IDK just brainstorming here...


@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 Maybe -- but there's no evidence for the PayPal ones, and what about artists who start out without a presence on e.g. Patreon, which I don't consider a very stable system?


I mean the people themselves, not their intermediated platform avatars

@mayel Also if people are already *giving me money* then it's not particularly good to ask them to take on some additional verification task, though I suspect many would.

@mayel And the actual money I get, despite crowdfunding my composing for nearly 4 years now, works out at far, far below minimum wage for the hours I put in on most pieces.

@mayel That's mostly because my work is fairly niche. There probably isn't a good way to design a system so that the "popular kids" don't have an advantage, though.

@mayel Anyway -- I get that this is all in early stages! But I'm very interested and also very willing to talk about what I would like, as an end user, to see.


Thank you! That would be great, the discussion has been very valuable so far. I'm coming to this as a programmer, so it helps having an insight into other niches!

@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?)

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