Edgeryders LBG: Failing forward in our third year

Not overloaded

Thanks @trythis. At this point it’s no longer a matter of one or two people doing onboarding, I myself have been slacking over the past months, and you, Inge, Anna and others gracefully stepped in :slight_smile: Much appreciated.

You talked about matchmaking a number of times, can’t remember which proposal is it…? Got link? What do you need for us to get started?

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I was thinking of the mythical MUSE project - no link

But this is predicated on if something else sitting in the pipe gets turned down (I should know in a week or two). If that happens I’d like to prep something for a workshop together with someone (DIT, Do It Together) which could go into LOTE. It could either be a little more theoretical in nature - and focus on the math/psychology (very amateurish) of the match making part. Or it gets more techy/hands on/rapid prototyping and focuses on the “documentation of what you’ve been up to until now” part, which is also important in this context.

Then I have a couple more projects that aren’t in my “active list” but could be (e.g. drones, EU language and innovation issues, an in/outdoor eco foam shower, the materials, energy, and technology matrix-shelf, and about a dozen more) if the right person pipes up. Then I’d consider sharing what I’ve got and sinking a good chunk more time into it. This probably explains my priorities already. :slight_smile:

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Somethin blipped on my radar in Berlin

at politics for tomorrow event. A possible drones-related funder. Just wanted to get up a booknote here quickly as a reminder, will upload my notes from the event tomorrow and then we ought to chat.

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Throw me a couple of dates

I guess 1h should do right?


Monday next week I am back online proper. So monday and any day after…lemme know?

Noted you for 26th, 10 am

Can you think of another person who might want to listen? If so reach out.

sanitized online collaborations?

hi noemi,

thanks for the news, it’s great to see some of you there still holding to some sort of vision of collaboration,

if it’s of any help from these edge-ryding corners here, as much as i would like to, interaction with a web ‘platform’ is not usually a way for me to meaningfully contribute, or to connect. i’m not going to be comfortable opening up and being myself (and thus creating anything meaningful) online… i usually end up saying something that’s misinterpreted, that seems critical or negative to someone (ie. fucking things up) and thus closing down any real continued conversation. i actually don’t mind the conflict if i know people are willing to work through it (to me that kind of honesty is necessary for any kind of ‘creating’ and ‘innovating’) but if i’m the only one on that page then it’s not worth the grief of being singled out as provocateur/trouble maker…

in the end i don’t think i’m the only one, we all probably do so much better simply meeting f2f, one on one, in the development of new ideas and the honest conversations that need to happen for substantive collaborations and innovations to emerge.

sooo, if this platform could somehow help facilitate people meeting a neighbor down the street or at least in a similar physical locality then it does stand a chance of creating something new and meaningful, until then we’re all over the damn map (of europe) here. i have yet to meet any other edgeryders here in berlin for example, though i did recently actually bump into dorotea after trying for months to meet…

hope that is of some help, again i could say a whole lot more but that won’t happen within this very narrow bandwidth of comprehension that we’re provided with here…there’s very little room here for making mistakes and being misunderstood…can’t be bothered with the hassle…

…it’s so much easier to stay in my own dream world of a reality that facebook (for example) is doing a much better job at helping me tailor than anything else, haha…i do also enjoy the use of tumblr, instagram and less so, twitter and skype as a means to uncover the inspiration, connection and communication that i seek these days…

best, michael

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am never able to figure out how to keep the font the same size…

is there an option for font sizing?

“Paste as unformatted text”

Hello @mishek, we have a known issue with the way the WYSIWYG editor treats font size. It does not like copy paste. A simple way is:

  • when you copy-paste, always use "paste as unformatted text" (Command-Shift-V on a Mac, Crtl-Shift-V on a PC). You can also use the function in the toolbar:

  • If you want to be sure, and – like you normally do – do not use much formatting, select your whole text, cut it and copy as unformatted text as above.

This issue is in a queue with many others. We’ll get around to fixing a lot of stuff in that queue, probably in early 2016.


yes, this is a real issue.

One thing I like about edgeryders is the combination of online collaboration with communication in person – whether it is LOTE, or meetings specific to a project. Part of the idea for the unmonastery was that interactions can happen better when there is a physical location to act as focus.

As for Berlin – I’m here. At a minimal level, I’d be up for just getting a coffee with you some time (this weekend?). I think @dorota also has a plan to arrange ramp-up meetings towards LOTE, though I’m not sure what the timeframe is for that.


some ideas for more offline

I agree with you both, @mishek and @danohu, in that we need as much offline to complement interaction here. I recently presented ER in Paris and someone from Make Sense community said just that. Talking with @Ruxandra in Bucharest we also agreed to keep creating opportunities for people there to meet, somewhat inspired by the OuiShare events in Paris she was part of. But this we do locally, so it’s up to each of us.

If it has to do this platform making it easier for us to find each other, let’s not suppose that someone will build it. We can of course add this as a conceptual to do in the list of things to fix and improve in 2016 (you know where the tech dev group is), but we’ll never agree on a magical feature. E.g. we know people don’t fill in user profiles properly, and we had a conversation before about geo profiles. Why invest resources into a feature that people don’t use? Also, people move around quite a bit, so you never know who’s where unless you give it a shout.

At the level of projects, we are learning that consultancy via online conversations and community building is not enough, so a solution we find when writing proposals for funded projects is to bake in as many events and local exchanges in all the projects, and even set up small teams on the ground to organize them - see Brussels, Kathmandu, Bucharest. So it’s happening, but there’s always someone committed to do it.

Hope this helps, any other ideas?

Also, what do people think about the user policy and terms for moving into the ER organisation as members? It would be great to have some feedback and not have to re-open the discussion on how ER can be used only during wartimes :slight_smile:

“How to get people to fill user profiles?”

Here’s a question that’s more fundamental than it seems. It’s the usual dynamics of networked collaboration: individually allocating some extra effort yields a payback greater than the extra effort itself, but it does so at the level of the whole network, not the individual. So, the question is if – and how – it is possible to persuade a critical mass of people to volunteer enough information that the whole network will start being useful in a new way, in this case in finding each other.

Maybe @johncoate has some insights to share.

Make skills more obvious?

One thing that I think takes more work than it should here is to understand what skills people have to offer.  Maybe my way of saying matchmaking, as described above.  Who is good at what?  How available are you?  I wonder if it would be useful to have a simpler way to list them or explain skills and experiences. Something that advances matchmaking.  Having a free form bio space is good and should always be there, but in a project-oriented endeavor like this, I don’t think it is enough since everyone has their own approach to writing about themselves.  Plus, the editor for the bio is more primitive than the editor for writing responses such as this one.  That doesn’t encourage more use of it.

As for meeting up in person - I am a huge fan of that and it is one of the strong points you have going here.

Maybe increasing participation requires suggesting more clearly what benefits await someone. To me you offer the potential to find both friends and work in service of solving important problems.  That’s pretty powerful.  How can you make it easier to both see and to realize it?

For me it has to do with tech

You are right I think… that’s a real challenge and during our events community members mention it often. I don’t think doing it “manually” more than we do now is possible with the resources at hand - by doing it manually I mean communication that encourages people to know each other, to work together based on concrete opportunities or bring people together at events where they discover first hand what skills others have. This is a function of someone doing work to get the word out on various stuff.

As we grow the more challenging is to find the “scalable” solution - making it ever visible who and what others are doing, where folks are based etc. The way info is structured right now on the platform is not conducive to that, only those making an effort can see and be seen. We need an app or a feature for this kind of thing, that someone knows how to do well and is willing to implement. I see platforms that are content focused (like ours, or reddit, or loomio) and platforms that are people focused (like the CreativeMornings platform whose looks and feel I love), but seldom both… From the latter, look at how many skills they’ve inventoried and how few returns when filtering one, just an example.

This is Drupal

So can other Drupal modules be added to it?


Is there something you want people to do here that they are already doing in some form somewhere else?  And can you either get them to do it here instead, or can you be a hub for those places too?

I ran across this statement…

in “This land is your land”:

You … are trying to build tech for interoperability, whereas in Edgeryders we are focusing on building a plausible social contract that would involve people (a community) as they produce and use data. So in a way you are creating pipelines for connections, we are creating an interoperability-ready “island” that is sustainable. By this I mean: we are trying to build a social contract that makes sense even before the fully interoperable world has been created.

I presume this is still the overall agreement?

You (well, Elf at least, I don’t know  Victor so well) are trying to build tech for interoperability, whereas in Edgeryders we are focusing on building a plausible social contract that would involve people (a community) as they produce and use data. So in a way you are creating pipelines for connections, we are creating an interoperability-ready “island” that is sustainable. By this I mean: we are trying to build a social contract that makes sense even before the fully interoperable world has been created.

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Yes, John. Of course, each person has their own model of what Edgeryders is. Me, I am still stuck in The Virtual Community by @Howard_Rheingold, with a hint of 6th century Western monasticism: I do what I do to contribute building a space where people can live, work and learn together, on the basis of a more-or-less aligned understanding of what should and can be done. This turns out to be really difficult, because even low-overhead, efficient endeavours like Edgeryders have coordination costs, and someone has to saddle them, or the shared space will break down. The idea of building a social enterprise on top of the community is a way to address this issue. But social enterprises, too, are subject to mission drift, and the risk of refocusing on supporting the structure rather than pursuing the ultimate goals is high. For this reason, we also try to build a shared recognition that people in Edgeryders are broadly aligned, and it makes sense even at the individual level to carry some small coordination cost. This involves trying to endow Edgeryders with a sense of place; an idea that people who roam these (mostly virtual, as Howard would say) rooms are probably people you could only not get along with, but work with to stay afloat as humans in a turbulent world. Small success just yesterday: the generous @msanti has decided to cover the cost of accommodation for two more community members to attend 32C3 (ER LBG is paying for 10).

So, while we recognise the value in @elf_Pavlik’s dream of a totally interoperable web, where we can seamlessly work together no matter where we are on the web, we prioritise trying to evolve a community where openness, trust and courage are the norm – in the game-theoretical sense that you do not get punished or cheated upon for adopting them. And the resources for tweaking the code base are, alas, always too scarce.

Yes, Edgeryders is Drupal. Our customisation of Drupal 7 is downloadable from GitHub.

Interproject collaboration> barnraising self-sustaining projects

Hi John,

Yes I think that is still correct.

Fast forward a bit and the idea of fostering inter-project collaboration was articulated by Matt in this comment.

Where the Edgeryders online-offline platform is showing promise is in getting people to collectively bridge the huge gap between a novel idea and a successfully executed project. The first example of this potential was in the evolution of unMonastery from an idea in a conversation in Strasbourg to a working prototype in Matera (see article in Dazed and Confused for quick overview).

The next step is to learn how to do this in such ways that the projects are self-sustaining. That is that the outputs they generate compensate people sufficiently for inputs required to get the projects off the ground…and keep them there. This means better understanding which social mix is needed, and how to make it worthwhile for those profiles to make an investment into the initiative. So far what seems to work is actually building projects like OpenCare which bring bridging and linking capacity.

They also serve to offset some (far from of the main hidden costs involved in doing this: coordination, helping people improve their communication skills and fundraising/sales.

Maybe it makes sense to take the opportunity to think about the above in the context of OpenCare, make some strategic changes/improvements in how we do things based on our hypotheses…and if the results are promising then see how we can build them into the platform at large?

I’m a big fan of Open Care

I think the UnMonastery was impressive.  All that work with Matera (which I read about in the New Yorker Magazine last spring), EdgeSense, OpenEthnographer - all great stuff.

Open Care though looks to me an order of magnitude bigger and more important.  So, “Maybe it makes sense to take the opportunity to think about the above in the context of OpenCare, make some strategic changes/improvements in how we do things based on our hypotheses…and if the results are promising then see how we can build them into the platform at large?” makes sense to me.