Funding the Commons with no Money: Makerfox Support Live Demo

Running a project that benefits us all for free, but monetary donations are never enough to even cover your expenses? Or you want to donate to your favorite open-something project but just can’t afford it? We have developed a new tool “Makerfox Support” to help with that. It debuts in this session, and you may join its first-ever live use with your own projects and donations.

We worked on this innovation over the last two months, and it’s nearly done now. It will debut in this LOTE4 session with a presentation and interactive live demo about how you can donate to projects and causes without money.

What this new tool solves is the dilemma of donating: On one hand, you want to donate to your favorite Commons project (open source, open hardware, a community center, whatever). On the other hand, you can’t afford to donate in money as much as you want to, and your favorite project often has no use for the items and services that you could donate in-kind.

Now with Makerfox Support, your favorite project A can get desired products and services from user B, who wants to support project C, which gets desired products and services from you, who wants to support project A. Got it? :smiley: It’s just the simplest form of an in-kind donation exchange to solve the coincidence of wants problem. This, and more complex variants, are found by the Makerfox algorithm.

We will do the first-ever live demo of this new “Makerfox Support” feature in this session. You can just watch, but we invite you to be a part of it: in that case, register a Makerfox account and bring a notebook, your project and / or skills and items to donate to others’ projects. (You probably already have a Makerfox account because it’s the no-money marketplace most LOTE-goers got their conference ticket from!)

Date: 2014-10-25 12:30:00 - 2014-10-25 12:30:00, Europe/Berlin Time.

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Talk about inter projects collaboration!

Sounds great and very relevant…  I do see a lot of services offered that could be tasks one would do to support a project: example hosting a meeting, tweeting and other social media sharing, even translation.

Was just looking on Makerfox for a Projects feature but it is probably a surprise? Or is it implicit and works like any exchange, the only difference being that users could be projects, similarly to Lote4?

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Yes, that is how it works

Projects are still in the making, that’s why they are not yet visible to Makerfox users :wink: But it’s not exactly secret either, so here are a bit more details: you’re right, there will be project accounts like LOTE4, but as a feature: one user can add several projects and switch between them without entering a password, and share access to them with other “makers”. Project support works like the current Makerfox Transfer feature, just that it is done from a project directory where each project can present itself, and that users can configure weekly limits (or something, not too clear) to prevent unwanted effects when donating larger amounts over time.

And you’re right, I should also explain how normal inter-project collaboration works. Project Support is just that, plus that it’s not necessarily the project team which puts in the services to compensate their side of the exchange – now it can be donors, which allows for funny aggregation effects like in crowdfunding.

If this feature works as intended, I hope to integrate it with the Edgeryders platform as our means of inter-project collaboration. Edgeryders will be a project too, get many barter value donations, and with them buy social media services to relieve @Noemi from too much work … or so the story goes smiley

Curator’s note

Hey Matt, curator’s note for you (… me). I think you should focus on explaining the economic challenges of the “stewarding free stuff” in some detail before going to explain how your new tool is meant to solve them. Because, that is one of the key questions we’re dealing with in the track on stewardship (see).

For documentation, there could be two tools / patterns to include: network barter in general, and network barter donations. Mention Makerfox as an implementation, but keep it general enough so that others in other contexts can profit from the expertise in the Makerfox design.