Community Call Notes 2014-07-24: On LOTE4 tickets

Together with @Matthias and @Natalia Skoczylas we have thought about a process for registering to Lote4. Note: tickets are not for free, yet they can’t be bought, only earned by completing tasks and collaborating with others in the next months. Our major focus was on: what would it take for a participant to go from task assignment and completion to conference ticket and how can we support integration with Makerfox?

How does the barter deal work on Makerfox?

The user starts by signaling that they want to buy a ticket that is listed. Then they should be sent to a page where all the tasks are listed (named Services on makerfox), and he can offer a number of them (example where all listings will be). For a deal to be made, the value of the ticket purchased needs to equal the total value of the services offered.

Once a deal is made you get a notification on makerfox in the top right of the platform and by email, saying that Lote4 will send instructions on how to do the service/task. There will be a message thread for each sale with the current states of deals. [got prtscr to insert here Matt?]

*Community management required on! when people offer to do services for the lote4 user, the Lote4 user needs to buy the service and make sure they send instructions and keep up to date, so we need to check the account daily

What happens after the deal is made and tickets are earned?

We should think of a way to send the ticket, give it a shape - either a simulation of a usual ticket in .pdf or a public listing somewhere so every participant knows his work is acknowledged and participation confirmed. It could be an overview & monitoring page on Edgeryders with everyone who ordered a ticket and what the state of the deal is.

Lote4 ticket cost

The value is currently set at 1000$, which we all think is way too much because of several reasons, one of which is that is only gives you access to the event, it doesn’t pay for your trip or covers additional costs you may have to participate. But the most important one has to do with realistic value and achievement of tasks. A better pricing would be 200$ because this could easily correspond with a task’s worth (eg a post on Edgeryders, a newsletter, a poster design etc). Ideally most tasks will be worth the exact ticket value to keep the algorythm simple and make sure that anyone who offers to do a task gets a deal from makerfox. The more different values of the different tasks, the higher the chances to not get a deal immediately, which only overcomplicates the process for someone who, after all, may only want to register for an event!

Where will information be available on Edgeryders for people joining Lote4?

TICKETS page -> overview of process -> Start here: Join a team

JOIN A TEAM page -> TEAM page with overview -> Start here: links to all tasks available on makerfox + video tutorial explaining how to buy a ticket and offer services in exchange

Where will information be available on

Lote tickets listed as Products available to BUY

Tasks listed as Services available to SELL

(each service on Makerfox has a link to the corresponding team on Edgeryders where users can report back or ask for advice or do the work etc)

Status for each exchange will be visible for each user under My Purchases [got prtscr Matt?]


  • Noemi to set up call for MakerFox beta test event: \#Lote4 early ticket bids! Thursday 11am cet at the next community call. This is a chance to run a test within a small group of soon-to-be MakerFox users and see if we can go ahead and formalize this process.
  • Natalia to get Lote4 makerfox account password and update the user profile; set Tickets number to 30; then from the same account order the tasks uploaded as Services
  • Matthias to remove shipping costs from LOTE4 tickets (which skew the value to +3-5$ and make it difficult for algorithm to find a deal + ordering by shipping means users need to introduce their residence addresses, which is an extra load)
  • Matthias to upload tasks below on makerfox & link to each team where these tasks belong.  

We need help to complete a core list of tasks needed for Lote4!

TASKS FOR countonme social media team

  1. [Join] [CountOnMe]: Subscribe to CountOnMe mailing list to spread 3 headlines a day from your social media accounts. Tell us how long it took you.
  • Required resources:
  • Value of task: 1/3 Ticket

2. [Build][Countonme]: prepare and send 3 headlines a day for 1 week ahead of LOTE4. Tell us how long it took you.

  • Required resources:
  • Value of task: 1/3 ticket
  1. [Research][Countonme]: reach out to someone in the team, ask them what they’re working on at the moment and what would be their own headlines? Tell us how long it took you.
  • Required resources:
  • Value of task: 1/3 ticket
  1. []Twitterstorm: craft tweets for the twitter press conference mid September
  • Twitterstorm: put together press release for the twitter press conference mid September
  • Twitterstorm: build database with journalists, organisations, individuals to invite at the twitter press conference
  • Twitterstorm: design the event poster
  • Newsletter: prepare and pack Lote4 event updates to send to entire list of participants

add more  tasks here

add more  tasks here

TASKS FOR Storytelling and documenting Lote4

  • Interview someone about an initiative in the Basilicata region:

The challenge is “How to tell the story of the LOTE4 in Matera and the Region in a way that appeals to the interests and needs of those groups?”. More specifically, how to get Materani and people in Basilicata to present their initiatives, the story of what they are doing and why. An interview guide

What is your project about?

What is stewardship to you? How does your project relate to it

Who is crucial to stewardship with respect to your work and in Matera in general

Who is doing the most work to address challenges in Matera?"

What questions or problems do you have to ask the other participants from Matera… how about the ones coming from abroad?

What are you expecting/contributing to LOTE?

  • Contribute a case study in the global collection we are building to increase our knowledge of stewardship: how it started, what changed during or after the project begun?
  • Translate into your language an invitation to Lote4 and post it online
  • Pick a Lote4 session & offer to document it online while it takes place at the event

add more  tasks here

add more  tasks here

TASKS FOR Agenda builders

  • Contribute a project proposal for the hackathon October 15-23
  • Global Stewardship book: contribute an idea or a stub for a chapter.

TASKS FOR Travel and accommodation team

add tasks here

TASKS FOR Web dev team

add tasks here

1.[Design]: Cleaning up the visuals on the website- Design new CSS for Tell us how long it took you.

  • Required resources:
  • Value of task: 1 ticket

2. [Programming] (Drupal): Inject new CSS code into Tell us how long it took you.

  • Required resources:
  • Value of task: 1 ticket
  1. [Storytelling] Map and visualise your Edgeryders User Journey. Tell us how long it took you.
  • Required resources: That you have been an active part of the community for a while. This is not just about where to click for what, but how you become an active participant and what is in it for you.
  • Value of task: 1 ticket

4. [Information architecture]: Go though the user stories and adapt site information architecture so it works for each of them. Tell us how long it took you.

  • Required resources:
  • Value of task: 1 ticket
  1. [Information design][Copywriting]: Pick a page and improve its contents. Replace older, more wordy content with shorter more concise copy. Make it work for you. Tell us how long it took you.
  • Required resources:
  • Value of task: 1 ticket
  1. [Design]: Propose a small number of icons to choose from for different kinds of groups to keep Projects page easy to navigate and visually clean. Tell us how long it took you.
  • Required resources:
  • Value of task: 1 ticket

TASKS FOR Coordination in Matera

add tasks here

Checking before moving forward with this approach

@Ben, does this make any sense to you? ignore the details, some of them have to do with user journey which we can improve once we have our steps clear.

The gist is we wanna test run the ticket buying and task asignment at the next community call on Thursday - according to Matthias, we need about 6 of us to get a proper testing.

@Natalia Skoczylas did you get hold of the Lote4 user on Makerfox ?

Tickets are actually worth more than 1000 usd,

  1. Please let us not devalue this work we do.

'bit too experimental, even for me

Between a free conference and providing an exchange value of 1350 USD is a big difference in terms of how things work socially – so big tat we can’t test waters, as we could if it were 200-300 USD. Also using Makerfox for it is itself an experimental approach on top of that … that adds up to a bit too much experimentation for my taste, probably endangering the conference success? Any way to solve it while keeping you price maybe?

Why not call it exeactly that. An experiment.

Explain your reasoning to me a bit more? I am not sure I follow…

Mixing with the Makerfox value network

I guess the most important difference is this: if the collaboration is priced high it is more difficult for the Makerfox algorithm to do a network barter involving, say, my broken phone, because it takes 20 phones to balance one ticket.

Other than that, Matt, it’s just inflation: the ticket costs 1000 EUR, but day of work from a person in the community comes down to 500. It still comes down to “you have to put down two full days of work to access the conference”.

Experiment is fine if we may fail

Of course a risky experiment may also go extremely well. If not, we learn. Which is ok if organizing LOTE4 with it is allowed to fail completely. Is it?

The reason it may fail is IMHO: we know that about 50-70 people finally got around to show up for free LOTE3, paying their own accomodation and travel. Out of 140 who had registered. So how many will show up if it requires 2-3 days of full-time work on top of travel & accomodation?

@Alberto is right about the inflation aspect though: LOTE4 related offers and orders will not or nearly not mix with the rest of the Makerfox value network, as it is a set of direct barter exchanges. In this situation, “inflationary” pricing is ok and does not break anything: only the LOTE4 user will order translation jobs or similar for 500 EUR a day. This would normally make it difficult for the algorithm to find matches at all (since direct barter is improbable, and we lack a critical mass of people as well), but in this case we can solve it with an idea from @Noemi of introducing a limited number of price steps for users’ offers for LOTE4: like, for quarter, half, three quarters and full amount of the ticket price.

So, for the software it should work. I’m wondering about the social side, but I guess we will find and settle this discussion by just trying …

How about setting value retroctively?

I think the money fiction is part of the problem. Actually it makes little sense to say tickets are worth x or x in monetary value. Because they simply cannot be bought for money. This is true on several levels. There is no way a commercial events company could produce something like lote because what goes into it is a magic mix of knowledge, skills, passion and well…wierdness.

So I would suggest that with the exception of the most trivial tasks (e.g. join a mailing list), that each task completed is worth a ticket. But we ask each person who has completed a task to tell us how long it took and what difficulties they faced in doing it. This gives us two things. The first is valuable knowledge about which tasks take how much time. The second is that it is fair: you get a ticket when a task is done. If you are fast it is probably because you are skilled which is probably because you have put in your 10,000 hours to get there. If it takes you more time it is an opportunity to learn/ develop your skills supported by peers.

Either way the “price” of a ticket is not an obstacle and the focus is kept on things getting done. So my suggestion is drop the money value of a ticket all together.


Can work like that - we have to decide

Admittedly the fictional, oversimplifying idea of “abstract value with a numeral” (money) creates problem if LOTE4 is meant to be a directly collaboratively built event, where tickets are not up for being traded … because trade is the tool for indirect collaboration among strangers, also called economy. Like, somebody getting their LOTE ticket in exchange for trading repaired phones …

Here are my two ideas how to organize the ticket thing when attributing no upfront price tag to tasks:

  • Without Makerfox. In this case, just let people assign tasks on to themselves, and send them a ticket when they completed the task. A ticket would be a nice-looking PDF file with an username and a six-digit random alphanumeric access code that we can check at the LOTE4 entrance.
  • With Makerfox Transfer. In this case, tasks will be put only on as well, not offered on Makerfox. However, LOTE4 tickets are offered on Makerfox, in different variants if we want (with / without accomodation etc.). Tickets would have a price tag, but tasks would be paid with the full ticket price each (with the Makerfox Transfer feature), or alternatively according to reported worktime and an hourly rate that is the same for everyone (egalitarian "all time paid equal"). When people have enough incoming Makerfox Transfer ("Makercoins" as people started calling it) for the ticket, a trade is found and they get their ticket. Example process:
    1. User Alice signs up on Makerfox, orders a LOTE4 ticket of their choice (standard ticket for 1350 USD).
    2. User Alice signs up for a task on to do an interview, completes it and marks it as done (putting "5 hours worktime" in the closing comment, and their Makerfox username).
    3. LOTE4 user sends 1350 USD via Makerfox Transfer to the user. (Or alternatively 5 hours * 50 USD = 250 USD so she can save up with subsequent tasks, but that would bring in the money logic again.)
    4. Makerfox finds a deal: Makerfox Transfer payment is settled against theLOTE4 ticket.
    5. Makerfox sends e-mail to Alice automatically: you got your LOTE4 ticket.
    6. LOTE4 user sends PDF with the ticket code to Alice.

Could you and @Noemi please decide (at latest tomorrow) if we want any of these alternatives, so that we know what process to use in teh test run on Thursday.

I vote for the Makerfox

As for the “political” issue of what values to set, I would start from pricing work.

  1. Select a daily rate for people's work. Let's say a day of work is going to be worth 4-500 Makerbucks – it translates well into EUR.
  2. Now decide how many days people are supposed to work against a ticket. For example, 3: if you run a session, that session takes you 1.5 days to setup (including the preparatory work, putting the word out, interacting with people who sign up for it ahead of LOTE, etc.); 0.5 days to actually do; 1 day to collect the documentation and put it online.
  3. Multiply the first number by the second, and get the price of the ticket – here 1200-1500 Makerbucks.
  4. Create variations both on the supply and the demand side. Demand example: "I want to do Kung Fu morning sessions for health-conscious LOTErs." "Ok, Felice, that comes down at 2 days of work including preparation. Put in 3 hours of massage duty and you're good." Supply example: "Do 4 drives to Bari Airport and back and get 1 ticket"; or "Accommodate a LOTEr in your home and get 1 ticket" etc. 

It’s a bit labor-value, but there you go.

I agree with this

let’s go for Alberto’s proposal?

I also vote for MakerFox

The problem for me is 1. estimating the different price values of different kinds of work and 2. inserting this into any communication with a user/participant, which adds more hassle.

I thought what we want to show here is first that our events are valuable and truly #nospectators, and secondly, to take the opportunity to socialize Edgeryders with MakerFox.

I fully agree with @Nadia (before) that we should make it  1 task = 1 ticket, which is why I initially suggested a lower ticket price, say a rough estimate for a day of work. I submit that the value of the ticket should be symbolic - read the difference between “earning a ticket” and “buying a ticket”. As usual some people will put in more work hours than others, either because some tasks require more time or some are done slower, but in the end users choose a task over another.

If we go with @Alberto’s option, which only needs a bit more thinking and tweaking:

  • Are we assigning each task a value after the work has been done and reported and based on time invested? (then tasks would need to be hosted on Edgeryders)

  • If we need to assign value before the work happens, I suggest we do set up a Makerfox list of services.

Ok then, mapping this to tech terms

Integrated proposal how to organize this, roughly along the lines of Alberto’s proposal but keeping the greater simplicity of interactions in Noemi’s proposal:

  1. We set a ticket price and daily rate. 1000 Makerbucks (USD parity) for the ticket and 500 for the daily rate is my last idea: round numbers are "symbolic" and simple ("2 days of work"), and allow good matching in Makerfox since we can create tasks for full, half, quarter etc. ticket value.
  2. We set up a LOTE4 services catalogue on Makerfox and order what people offer from it. Easiest thing in cooperation terms, since it is formalized: no needed for long communications threads if somebody wants to earn their ticket by providing the "standard services" for LOTE. In the catalogue, we also tell people the max. price that LOTE will accept for people's offers, based on the daily rate and (for things like hosting etc.) our gut feeling.
  3. We also set up one task on in the LOTE4 group, linked back and forth with a corresponding Makerfox catalogue entry. In this task, people can discuss publicly about the service (needed, since Makerfox has no public discussion space).
  4. We encourage people to create their own tasks in the LOTE4 group if they want (offers from the "ticket demand side" as Alberto proposed). In the task, we will negotiate a daily rate based price tag with them. For the transaction, we have two options:
    1. Using Makerfox Products: Let the users create a corresponding Makerfox custom product (!) offer, get to know the link in the task thread, then order it on Makerfox with the LOTE4 user.
    2. Using Makerfox Transfer: Once agreeing on a price in the task, the LOTE4 user will just wire the Makerbucks to them with the Makerfox Transfer feature. I propose to go this way, as it avoids the redundant effort of creating a product offer on Makerfox, the confusion because it's not really a public offer but just meant for the LOTE4 user, and the communication overhead of having to post the offer link back on the task thread. Deals that include the ticket are still found automatically.

So the principle would be: cooperation happens in tasks, trading / accounting on Makerfox, and both are linked with URLs. Task prices would be agreed on before based on worktime estimates – not what Nadia wanted initially, but it makes things simpler in cases where the task is done right at the conference, and allows to use the Makerfox platform for trading. (Such estimates are not really a danger for those offering, since miscalculating an offer in the range of 2-3 days will mean just a few more hours of working.)

Further simplifications welcome, else I’d propose to use this setup.

1 Like

Seems great!

If we’re using MakerFox transfer there’s no need to create a services catalogue right?

We only need to ask people to create user accounts and order a ticket, that’s it from their side.

1 Like

No services catalogue needed.

You’re right, there is technically no need for a services catalogue, since we can handle every task with Makerfox Transfer, just as I proposed above for custom tasks only. As you repeatedly proved to have a hand for simplifying things, let’s do as you propose and not create a services catalogue.

We will simply write into each standard task’s description on how much the task is worth for LOTE4, and wire that amount via Makerfox Transfer when the task is done. This uses just a tiny bit of Makerfox features, but of course people are invited to try the rest. As a funny side effect, Makerfox Transfer allows overachievers to “save up”: their more-than-required LOTE4 contributions could translate into a part of a LOTE5 ticket or other offer by the LOTE4 user in the future …


I am in the account today, I cannot change the number of tickets - the limit is 20, there’s nothing above.

Also, I need some more information about this task: then from the same account order the tasks uploaded as Services.


Hey Natalia, don’t worry about the max. 20 tickets … not all users will get theirs at the same day, so we can simply go into the LOTE4 account at times, edit the product and “restock” tickets there :slight_smile:

About the other task: In “Buy → Find Services” you see the service catalog, each service consisting of a title, intro sentence and detailed description (after clicking the title). Could you create such service descriptions for what the LOTE4 users wants to buy on Makerfox for conference preparation, in exchange for handing out the tickets? Just send these texts to me … I will then create corresponding service catalogue entries in the admin backend. And then, afterwards, users will click to offer these services in “Sell → Offer a Service”, and after that, the LOTE4 user will click to order these services from them in “Buy → Find Services”. That’s what the text you quoted is about. It is a task that is only possible once users start offering something in return for the ticket, and has to be done repeatedly (every other day going in with the LOTE4 user and ordering what people offer that is useful for LOTE4 organizing).

Tell me if you have any questions left.

Who sets the price?

Hi all,

So I notice when services are listed from the Admin - example - they have no price.

The when users offer those services they attach the price they are offering it for.

Does this mean we’ll need to instruct users how much they should price the service? Maybe put it down in the description. eg: “We are buying this for 335 $ (1/3 of the Lote4 ticket)”