How do we value collectively created knowledge? [FULL] Hacking Attribution [1 of 3]
Hacking Academia [2 of 3]
I met Arthur Brock of the MetaCurrency Project at SOCAP '11 at the suggestion of the dynamic Jerry Michaelski, whose work uncovering the relationship economy informs and enriches this topic. Arthur explained the MetaCurrency framework and its aim to build tools and capacities that enable one to see the currents of value flowing through a system. The MetaCurrency Collabathon in Oct 2011 was the perfect place to propose this topic with others curious and interested in this topic. For the openspace, I proposed the topic:
How do we value collectively created knowledge?
For example, a group of 6 people decide to undertake a research project together. They brainstorm a shared framework, methodology and then each takes those materials and researches a specific area to complete the study. Each person writes a chapter pertaining to the research at their institutions, but how does the core material- the framework and methods- get attributed? Do the 6 people create a group name? Is the instigator the primary author? The person who writes that chapter? The person who contributes 'the most' (is that measured by time, value, attention)
Two other topics proposed included:
How do we value collectively curated knowledge that benefits the commons? proposed by lovely, insightful Michel Bauwens of the P2P Foundation. Michel and others co-curate one of the most comprehensive web-based resources on the P2P movement. Michel and I had already touched on these topics in June when we met at Gathering '11 and the challenge that the curators of the commons face is how to support their livelihood while creating "commons."
How do we recognize the value and build personal currencies? proposed by enthusiastic polymath Mark Frazier. Mark was championing the potential for personal currency tools, such as Eli Gothill's #punkmoney, a twitter-based currency that enables people to make gifting transparent as a way to build a basis for community amongst strangers. (Apologies Eli if I've botched that). It's a brilliant tool that's fun to use, issue some #punkmoney today!
All three topics joined together in a session that opened the day and drew a majority of the Collab participants!
A few themes that struck me from our discussion include:
- Clarity on the basic unit of attribution (individual or collective) is a critical and distinguishing feature of the system
- Collectively curated knowledge and collectively generated knowledge have similarities in the challenges they face for reflecting value in a way that strengthens and maintains the collective.
- Collectively curated knowledge and personal currencies can work together because the unit of curator can be tracked and contributions monitored; thus, their work can function like a personal currency.
- Personal currencies, which rely on the unit of reward/recognition valued at the individual level may conflict with the underlying ethos of collectively generated knowledge.
- Who will fund the development of new commons, "the future in the present" remains an open question (also raised by Ecosystem Diplomat post)
- Attribution has many reasons that include: Recognition for one's work (value provided); recognition for reputation (future work/compensation/pride); recognition for self (feels good to be acknowledged); heuristic for value that can be translated into revenue (present/future livelihood); honor the evolution of an idea and contributions of others to the idea (integrity in systems).
- .... others may resurface on further reflection... if you were there, what struck you?
Thought Contributors** Michel Bauwens, Eli Gothill, Edward Harran, Alban Leveau-Vallier, Jay Standish, Jerry Michaelski, Arthur Brock , Eric Harris Braun, Jean Russell, Seb Paquet, Simon Huber, Elleke Landeweer, Graham Leicester, Dominik Wind, Shard Jain, Helene Finidori, Mark Frazier, Mushin Schilling, Daniel Hires, Bobby Fishkin, Lauren Higgins, David Hodgson, Jessica Margolin, participants of the MetaCurrency Collab session, participants of the Breakthrough to Cures game, and I am missing a few people, so pls ping me if I missed you! This topic jumped to the front of the loopback queue due to a tag on a FB thread that semi-relates to this topic.
*March blogging sprint: #b03 Day 4: I am participating in a pledge to blog daily during March initiated by Steve Hopkins of the Squiggly Line blog. Follow the daily work of all participants on twitter under #b03
**Thought Contributors have participated in the evolution of the ideas expressed in this post. I am prototyping a new method of attributing collectively crafted ideas. To learn more, see the post on Hacking Attribution: Thought Contributors.