[DESIGN]ating Purpose

I would not worry :slight_smile:

Don’t worry too much, [mishek]. People are trying to wrap their head around this thing. It is very unusual. My guess is that everyone is misunderstanding everyone else to a point.

It is one thing to say “we focus on enabling” and quite another to stop worrying that others will be more able to benefit from all this enabling than you. But if you don’t stop worrying about this, you are going to be focused on dis-abling others from running ahead in the race. On the other hand, if you did stop worrying already, you’ll claim there is no race, and different people are doing different things, and be upset by the worriers trying to wield veto power over the doers.

It’ll all sort itself out. People who are not comfortable with this proposed way of working will retreat to where they feel safe. If almost everybody does, the do-ocracy will die for lack of critical mass. Which  would be a shame for me personally, but evolution generally knows what it’s doing. Maybe I’m just wrong. :slight_smile:

1 Like

Edgeryders as Online Forum - Define each activity separately

I find the last posts of interest. Thanks.

I suggest with insistence that the different activities and approaches need to be called with different names, or at least a combination of names.

I personally feel this can be beneficial.

IMHO, from what I perceive, I feel that first and foremost, Edgeryders is the build up of a brand for a forum ( and technically speaking, an aggregator of attention and interaction )

I personally sense that the basic Edgeryders brand is about simply that : an online forum.

After that, several spin off brands can emerge, such as “Edgeryder Events”, or “Edgeryder Collectives” - though for now examples of such names / brands used for that seems to be Edgeryders Lote" and Edgeryders unMonasteryYet I also imagine that these complemetary brands can be used separately / not necessarily connected to the Edgeryders brand, if and when it is not initiated and organized using the Edgeryders forum, or that they can choose not to use the Edgeryders brand.

I want Edgeryders as a forum to discuss ways of incubating various other tools that can eventually be reified as other brands, and progressively use these to continue building and connecting shared networked infrastructure.

I see Edgeryders as a brand that , apparently, currently builds itself on existing networks of people and projects who are already invoved and highly empowered.  In other words, Edgeryders is not a brand describing each of these existing projects and networks.  Edgeryders only describes a more specifically defined online forum as tool , midst other online forums, that eventually leads to processes of convergence and mutual facilitation.  It does not generate what it feeds itself from.

IMHO, I do not want Edgeryders to become a brand used to describe me or my activities, simply because I interact using Edgeryders.  I am not an Edgeryder.  I am a user of Edgeryder - the forum.  And I am connected to a multiplicity of people and networks of people, including through the Edgeryders forum - many of which I have been connected to before Edgerders forum, and many with whom I interact with without being dependent on Edgeryders.

In that sense, it is not like a coworking space, and even less so like a company. It is also important to me that it is not used to describe a community or a culture.   Imho, from there on, some of the temporary communities can have the freedom to decide to describe themselves by adding Edgeryders as adjective, to describe the origins of their interactions, or the mutualised tools / infrastructure they may use, including the forum.

Also, the Edgeryders brand is not a culture It is , again, imho, a online forum, where eventually some communities may form temporarily. Yes, some of the individuals using the tool may convene on using or expressing ( self organized, meritocratic, etc ) cultures in their interactions.

Edgeryders is also not a verb ( some may say couchsurfing, for example, may be considered as a verb ).

From what I read, some people may want to define Edgeryders as a market ? Between consumers and producers ?  Personally I hope this is not what we use the attention that converges around the Edgeryders brand and tools for, but if that is what it is used for, then it should be called by a different combination of words, and not simply “Edgeryders”.

There can also be various other concepts using Edgeryders as attention and participation aggregator.  For example, a syndicate.    Yet the example of a syndicate may also require that we are willing to share the political risk of being connected to each other and mutually responsible for each other ( even if only in terms of public image ), if and when it is defined by including the term “Edgeryders”, with a specific social contract bonding people ? And personally this can only be done if and when there is sufficient trust, which for now is mostly superficial, despite the lovely interactions and lovely persons met through the aggregator.


Categorisation-focus while enjoyable and important to some, is a tendency which I think Clay Shirky made a convincing argument against:

“Now, anyone who deals with categorization for a living will tell you they can never get a perfect system. In working classification systems, success is not “Did we get the ideal arrangement?” but rather “How close did we come, and on what measures?” The idea of a perfect scheme is simply a Platonic ideal. However, I want to argue that even the ontological ideal is a mistake. Even using theoretical perfection as a measure of practical success leads to misapplication of resources.”

The full article is available here for those interested: http://www.shirky.com/writings/ontology_overrated.html

1 Like

purpose of session

You have touched on many many subjects which may get their time … but this is not what I would like to do. my purpose with this session is not to open an endless speculative process.

I have offered it and my thoughts based on my understanding (from reading, interacting and meeting with [Noemi]) of where EdgeRyders is and where it wants to go.

We WILL NOT be talking about what people want EdgeRyders to be.

We WILL be talking about what EdgeRyders is (defacto) and how design can support that.

If you want to talk about what EdgeRyders is (brand, forum, participation aggregator, etc.) I think the best way to go about that is to suggest a session about that.

[Nadia] would you like to add to the workshop part of the session a presentation of where EdgeRyders currently is to get everyone on common ground?

Defacto, there are different projects and networks

Exactly, Defacto, Its about understanding what we call what, and about not needing to speculate.

And if we do not have the same definition of a word,

especially when this word is related to a social contract with objectives, and purposes, such as this thread,

how is it even possible to agree to engage with each other … unless I allow another to define for me what it is I engage myself in. 

Hence the proposal to name each defacto , existing or planned project or social contract, for what it is - including through combinations of words,

as to more easily differentiate, and hence have the ability to choose the social contracts in which to engage in.


I also admit I have difficulties understanding the point of Nadia’s brushing off reply.

If she does not want to use a Edgeryders label / container / category, fine with me - but right now it seems to me that she aims at benefitting , as some kind of curator,

from the enclosure of crowdsourcing within an Edgeryders brand. My point here is that if she and others set forward such enclosure, defining it in their terms,

then I need to understand what exactly it means, and what is called what.   IMHO, I do certainly not benefit from having to agree implicitly with an all ecompassing brand enclosure, by interacting, or be perceived as interacting via Edgeryders.


I don’t think general overarching theoretical discussions about what to call what are generative. My experience is that it is more likely you will succeed in driving generative engagement in what you want to discuss if it is based on some shared, hands-on experience.  I.e. that this conversation might generate more practically useful output if it is based on looking at ongoing Edgeryders-related initiatives as case studies and deriving guidelines from or testing the ones that exist, against them. 

My brain is reading what you have written and asking: Is it here? Is it now? Does it matter to me getting this specific project I as as a participant am interested in getting off the ground sucessfully? Does it respect that I as a participant have limited cognitive bandwidth and time? Does it map onto my immediate priorities at this moment or will this be one of those conversations that while it does pay lip service to stuff that sounds good on paper, is disproportinately costly in terms of time and draws away focus from getting anything concrete done with the limited time and energy I have as a participant in this session? Exhibit A being activists that insisit on pushing Open Data everything and demand everyone else shoulders the costs involved, and then are nowhere to be seen when it comes to doing the work involved. Which isn’t made better when it turns out neither they nor anyone else have real use for the data they pushed so hard to liberate. Which in extention makes it harder to justify expenditure on Open Data in the future for others who really need it because it gives those who don’t want to do it the best ammo against them: we or others did it before and it was a waste of resources.

If you can make a credible case that the the answers to the above questions are yes by doing the required preparatory work then I think more people will be excited about discussing the topics you want to.  Myself included.

1 Like

confusing shared environment with your own projects ?

  • sigh -

none of this - perceived attitude of brushing off - gives me assurances in terms of the modularity and autonomy of projects within the framework you seem to be proposing,

and hence has a direct pragmatic impact on my perceived potential for defining engagement and enabling overlap.

please bring that

your need for assurances please bring THAT to the table … break it down, if you can specifically, not generally … if you have a specific project in mind speak of it and to it.

Another aspect I would ask you to consider is giving before taking. I can bring a few projects to the  “platform”. I haven’t done that because I feel that the platform itself needs my help and support before I place any more burdens and expectations on it. So I am focusing on what can I bring to the platform rather then how I can use it for myself. Can you see that distinction? can you relate?

I feel its useful to remember this whole thing is still an experiment, not yet an oiled machine that can be rolled into production.

I have just started thinking about bringing a project into the platform … but my purpose is to use it as a learning experience. To get direct experience from a specific example about using the platform and engaging the community. My project would be, for now, secondary to the platform.

I did : power and brands - talk for yourselves

I still sense that we are not speaking about the same topics.

I understand that you and Nadia are focusing on immidiate definitions of your own projects.

I may be seen as talking meta. Yet if so, in this case a form of meta that pragmatically enables me to understand the conditions of the framework, and if me and others can evolve into it, or not.

I am talking about the shared network environment, about enabling modules - that do not require to conform to the projects you are defining now. And one simple starting point for this, is to call each project and sets of contracts between people around them, independently.  

Basically, what I am saying is “talk for yourself” - not for me, unless I consent to it. Do not assume everyone consents with your interpretation, by labelling it under the same brand.

One solution I see, and I repeat it here, is to call your own projects with its own names - which eventually can use Edgeryders as an adjective in complement to it, as to understand its origins.

If you label your own projects by assuming I am part of it, it makes it more difficult for me ( and others ).  This can easily be resolved through enabling specific name tags for your specific projects,

which do not imply involvement from others who may not agree with it.

I brought forward my points. I hope you will read them again and understand them.

Although I could also understand there may be an interest for some to not enable such definition, as it maintains a implicit power framework over all projects who would end up being induced in using the same brand,

converging this power in the hands of some representants.   I beileve it is unhealthy to have representants, unless I decide for it.

Perhaps some people tend to rush into signing contracts and engagements with others before understanding them - I prefer not.

I notice you are engaged into defining stuff - related to your current needs and focus. That is fine. Though for the sake of scalability,

I made the simple suggestion of being able to differentiate who’s project is who’s project, who is involved and consents to it, by basing each on different names, as each may potentially have differing objectives.

This means not using Edgeryders as a uniform overlapping and potentially enclosing brand, but rather use Edgeryders as an additional adjective.

My proposal may requestion in itself the power structures of Edgeryders, and hopefully it skims off the potential use of Edgeryders in public relations, preventing representants to make use of such brand in their own interests.   I have seen this all too often in a variety of organizations, and prefer to avoid it here.

Links please?

Can you please add links to what contributions you have made, or initiatives you have posted about on the platform, that have been referenced in any of the public presentations about the community and the projects of it’s members and that serve as a basis for your statements? If you  are speaking on behalf of others please be clear about the basis on which you are doing that, perhaps you have links to threads here on the platform or anywhere else? I cannot speak for anyone else but as far as Im concerned any and all presentation materials about Edgeryders made since it spun off as an independent initiative not tied to any institutional actor are posted publicly: http://www.scribd.com/search?query=edgeryders

Please go ahead, it would be a welcome contribution as it is important to me and I am guessing others that we are mindful of how individuals and initiatives referred to want or don’t want to be associated with Edgeryders.

Also, please feel free to add un updated version of the social contracts document based on how you are thinking for others to have a look at. If what you have in mind is clear and actionable there is no reason why it should not replace the document that serves as a proposal (explicitly stated on the document itself). The way change happens is when altrnatives are proposed which people find more useful or helpful so the best way forward is to craft something that works better in your opinion and see if others agree.

Not Enclose into one overarching Social Contract & Brand

As I said in my previous posts on this thread,

I suggest each project is differentiated and not set under an overarching authority,

nor an overarching representation. ( unless it is asked or consent is given )

This also means no recuperation from Edgeryders over projects that use its communication platform,

or use the platform to find partners.

How to collaborate without any input enclosed & recuperated ?

Thanks Nadia for sharing

How can I make sure that I do not require to comply to such social contract , while potentially opening up to being involved interacting with Edgeryders on projects ?

When does any project getting support from other individuals via the Edgeryders online tool become enclosed into the Edgeryders conditions and brand ? How can I avoid Edgeryders recuperating it under its own name ?


Edgeryders as the Corporation and Brand Owner - Its Contract ?

Copied to : https://edgeryders.eu/comment/6630#comment-6630

Then, there seems to be Edgeryders as Limited Corporation, based in the UK,

which also owns the trademark on the brand.

This means in my current understanding that it makes anyone relying their communication and activities on Edgeryders as brand dependent on such corporation, and on those who control and own the corporation, even if such owners are benevolent.

What are the specific aims of the Edgeryders Corporation ? It may have been discussed in other places on the Edgeryder forums.

The Corporation may serve as structure to limit individual responsabilities ?  

It may also be there as a legal interface to facilitate invoices ?

What is the specific contract in which this happens ?

Is it like , what in Belgium we call “Cooperative d’activite” ?

For example http://www.jyb.be/

Or is it more like http://smartbe.be/ ?

Or another precisely defined model for making invoices ?

Protected and guaranteed by the structure ?

Yes discussion has happened elsewhere on the platform

Search for “Edgeryders as a social enterprise”. It’s in one of the links there. If you cannot find answers to your questions, maybe write a post in the Agora, which  is  he designated place for posting general questions or discussions.

Let’s see

Now, this is a useful exercise for me. Let’s see where I am in figuring this stuff out.

Then, there seems to be Edgeryders as Limited Corporation, based in the UK,


which also owns the trademark on the brand.

No. The logo, name etc. are property of the Council of Europe, released under a CC license back in 2011.

This means in my current understanding that it makes anyone relying their communication and activities on Edgeryders as brand dependent on such corporation, and on those who control and own the corporation, even if such owners are benevolent.

Yes. The corporation is, as of now, footing the bill to code, maintain, host and animate the website, make the conference happen etc. If the corporation were to retreat, the community should have to find the resources to keep it going or let it go down.

What are the specific aims of the Edgeryders Corporation ? It may have been discussed in other places on the Edgeryder forums.

Er, yes. I refer you to Nadia’s answer. Broadly, we are trying to provide an avenue for people in the community to be (1) contractable by corporate organizations who are reluctant to hire people with unusual skills and informal credentials, (2) in return for working on problems the solution of which would have some kind of social impact. For the record, I disagree organizations must necessarily have a purpose. ER is more like a coral reef: it evolved more than being designed, and it has functions, not purposes. Even the functions will be emergent: Edgeryders will go where people take it. Not that it matters, it’s just an opinion.

The Corporation may serve as structure to limit individual responsabilities ?  

I am not sure I understand the question. Yes, the company has limited liability. We put some money into it, and that money is redeemable against liabilities that the company might incur in, but creditors can’t go after our personal money. Each of us is still, and obviously responsible for delivering on their promises and commitments.

It may also be there as a legal interface to facilitate invoices ?

Yes. If we are working together on a project, we can invoice your client for you, and pay you in the form that you prefer: we might hire you and pay in the form of a salary, for example.

What is the specific contract in which this happens ?

I would discuss this on a case-by-case basis. It’s your project; it’s your client; so, it has to work for you, first and foremost.


Thanks Alberto for these replies

Hmm how to set up a smart FAQ?

This would be a good add on, now we have to add stuff manually on to a page. Is there a smarter way to do this so that everyone whon wants can see when new questions pop up and can share work of answering them if they want. With upvoting for most helpful answers?