A community of one’s own

Community is where the magic resides. Where relationships are born and nurtured. In fact, a community is in a very real sense an intricate patterns of relationships. 

A strong community provides us with real security, a safe haven and a sense of belonging. A community is an extended family. A community is a context within which we can discover ourselves through others. A community supports our identity. A community is a place we can call home.

Humans evolved in small tribes. Evolution did not design us as lone hunters able to thrive as lonely wanderers. Only together can we accomplish anything of any lasting note. The solo voice is always backed up by the choir. Whatever we build as individuals is built upon the skills and knowledge and contribution of that larger context that is humanity. It takes a village.

As so much of our daily life is filtered through the world of screens, and soon deeper into worlds of augmented and virtual reality, so do our communities. What is our ratio of face to face relationships versus the ones we nurture though messages, video chats and likes on social posts? It is not a bad thing at all that we can have deep and meaningful relationships through the internet with other people we might never meet in person. To the contrary, it is an unprecedented way to make new connections, spark new ideas and further that collective evolution we have been participating in since the beginning of time.

Online community is another thing though. Curating multiple interconnected relationships comes with  challenges of an entirely different magnitude. We muddle on best we can, using bulletin boards, group messaging and social platforms that, frankly, were never designed to support community. If we are to build strong and useful online communities that can serve our local traditional communities, we need an entirely new community toolbox to play with.

Alone we can do so little, together we can do so much. “

Hellen Keller

What to fill such a toolbox with is something we must figure out together, but we’d like to at least offer a starter kit for the community builder. Nothing too fancy for now, but something that will offer you a number of useful tools without demanding your data or your attention in return. And more importantly, each community on Crowdpol serves as a custodian of the information created by the greater network, a guarantor of its quality. The process is quite simple, if an individual wants to post content that will reach beyond their individual profile page and contact list, they must post in a community. If the community deems the post to be sufficiently well crafted and meet the other criteria, the post will then become part of the data that is accessible to everyone through the mapping interface.

In other words, the individual community acts as quality control for the entire network. So though creating a community is a simple thing, it should not be taken lightly. Because as the steward or administrator of a community, you will be responsible for everything that happens in your community. It is a role you can share with the entire community if you like, something that will be made easier with such features as delegation, but it is a role that someone must shoulder. With complete autonomy follows complete responsibility.

Once the community function is fully operational, you will have a number of useful tools to help you design the kind of community you want. As the administrator, you will be able to set your own rules of conduct, define what criteria members must meet in order to join, pick unique categories to sort posts in a way that is appropriate for your needs as well as decide which particular posting tools you want members to use in your community. If you want additional profile data that is unique for your community, this will be possible, and you will be able to install third-party tools, should the toolset we supply prove inadequate. You can even charge your members a separate fee to join.* 

Naturally, this will all come with a price tag, we are not in the data mining, behaviour manipulating or attention peddling business after all, but the price will reflect data and administration costs. However, hosting a community on Crowdpol will most likely cost less than having your own homepage. And any surplus raised through these fees will be returned to your community through the Altruistic Wallet ecosystem.

Should you require even more autonomy, you will be welcome to set up your own independent community and link it to the network. The goal of Crowdpol is to provide a completely open source platform that anyone can host and improve on. If you’d like to dive deeper into the philosophy and structure supporting this network of communities, check out this Medium article on the topic.

*You will be able to set any fee you like, but a minimum of ten per cent of anything you charge will go to the Altruistic Wallet ecosystem to help fund the network and its projects. Including yours.

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