I’ve been thinking about logistics.

40 ERs in Matera, probably many more ERs and friends flowing in the city during those days. I don’t know i the venue in the Sassi will be ready by then (hopefully it will) and I am not sure who is planning to stay where, but was imagining a way to start practically involving the local community in the organisation of the LOTE3. There will be need for places to sleep, food to eat, transportation and why not a session of visits around the city. All this can happen spontaneously… or can be organized through a matchmaking system which could allow at the same time to:

  • map people and skills both in the ER community and locally
  • map the needs and the quantities
  • spontaneous matchmaking but keeping track of it
  • include local community in the organization starting from now: it is possible that in the beginning (and probably till the end) very few materani will become ERs and start contributing to the tracks. However, starting with hosting an ER, adopting a mission (1 guided tour of the Sassi) we start to cross-fertilize the 2 communities.

There is already the platform Angels for Travellers launched by a friend of mine to advise and host travellers accross the South of Italy. The starting point is that southern reagions are way less infrastructured than other Italian regions when it comes to tourism and culture. The platform is only in Italian and the project has been having a few problems, but maybe this could be a starting point?

Second step: I’m becoming a bit obsessed with a “system” (platform? app?) that adds a rewarding dilmension to crowdsourcing issues: for example, the more you collaborate, the more you gain “civic points” and then you can barter them to lower taxes, transportation prices or whatever else (of course this is at municipality level). Would love to discuss about this at LOTE3 but was wondering if this could be implemented already or if it is to short notice.


Great idea. Can you develop it yourself? What do you need from us?

BTW, your “civic points” can be implemented really easily in Drupal. In fact, as you know, the MT2019 community site is running a module called userpoints. This allows to

  • create different kinds of points: for example "discussion points" for posting comments, "artist points" for posting pictures, "explorer points" for visiting nodes, "magnet points" for when other people visit your content etc.
  • configure – with a lot of granularity – what actions lead to how many points of which kind being assigned. For example, this is you. See, the system tracks everything you do and rewards you accordingly.

This means it would be possible to gamify a bit MT2019.


The gamification part was the third step, in my mind :slight_smile: This is basically the idea I’ve been working on for a while that I would’ve liked to prototype for the road that brings us to 2019. Scarsity of resources (time, as always) and limited skills (I never developed anything myself, yet!) bring me to go on thinking and elaborating this in my head, through links and in writing but keep me from actually stepping forward and implementing it. But let’s go back to step one.

To your question, I have only other questions as answers: “Can you develop it yourself, what do you need from us?”. Knowing that my experience is limited to the ER and the MT2019 platforms, it is highly probable that I speak out of ignorance:

  • would this matchmaking platform be linked (as in hosted) in any way to the ER platform (part on Making the LOTE3), to the MT2019 one or maybe to the unMon?
  • if developing means getting into Drupal, I start from scratch which means I should spend time on it I unfortunately really do not have. How many people and how much time would it take?
  • I suppose this will take some time to become operational, but once the platform is launched, I believe that 2 months are ok to do the matchmaking until the LOTE3 (September, October): am I dreaming?

What I can offer is time to share ongoing thoughts on the matter: I don’t know if I’ve been convincing myself, but I do believe that this can be the organizational backbone to the ECOC bid as it copes with limited resources, adds value to crowdsourcing and matches people with very peculiar skills to others which have a great knowledge of the territory (other type of skill, but still a skill :). I also believe that some language issues can be solved with graphic symbols, once the basic needs are mapped (hosting, food, transporation, visits, material).

For the exchange of “civic points”, I was imagining this more for the ECOC bid (free tickets, discounts on hotels ecc) and of course a gaming format that could be applied to other places to (this is the final aim, replicability!). I am also in the process of presenting this idea to 2 competitions although I am still hesitating on this: I felt like doing this not only to test the validity through confrontation of what has been a very solitary mental process, but also (in case the test works), to finally afford developing it.

I guess my answer was a bit out of scope :slight_smile: Sorry for this, it’s just that I can finally let it out.

Human-powered rules all

Ilaria, frankly I think developing software around this stuff would be a waste of time. Because:

  1. people that need to sign up (families with guest rooms) are probably not overly enthusiastic about using platforms
  2. there is no need: all we need is a few tens of Matera folks that offer a spare bed or couch
  3. there are already people in Matera that are doing similar things. I have been told of the "basket in piazza", where people host young basketball playes from all over the world every summer; we know of Angeli x viaggiatori; and there is an active Couchsurfing community in town.

So, I think your time would be best spent in getting on touch one-on-one with these folks, explaining them the situation, and trying to aggregate somewhere the offer of accommodation that results from your effort. Then we can use the LOTE minisite to tell Edgeryders who want to come how to get in touch with hosts. In parallel, I would use the MT2019 community and the web team to push out the same request, and see what we get. Makes sense?

About civic points: this, I think, is a separate issue. Concatenating them is a mistake – we would needlessly tie our own hands. If you guys in the web team agree to have TWO different kind of points rather than one (call them “discussion” and “action points”), then hosting unPilgrims gives rise to action points. Piero can help in solving the technical problems with this.

… and a mixed team!

Let me add one thing to my previous comment: the fun part of this is that it calls for a “mixed” team, with some Materans and some internationals. This is a great way to seed diverse collaboration.

You, Ilaria, are uniquely placed to do this. And it is a great contribution: you would be saving what? 200 euro per person accommodated. I encourage you do take it on board, and am willing to help with whatever you might need.

Sounds promising …

A bit late for a reply, but it does not mean that your ideas are not interesting. To the contrary :slight_smile: So, let me add some feedback …

First, with the idea of finding ways to compensate people for their crowdsourcing contributions you’re on to something big, I think. Crowdsourcing is severely limited in volume right now because it requires putting in limited resources (time, …) for free. Compensation in money is not an option, since money is scarce by itself. If some other way of compensation is found, a whole new level of civic activity could be unlocked. We’re right onto the same idea with Economy App …

I’m not sure if a gamified points system like proposed by Alberto would afford what you have in mind. For example, the MT2019 points system can be easily exploited (I had to edit my user profile several times, and got points each time). Which is not a problem right now, but can become one where points bear real value.

On the other hand, there’s a the open source Community Forge Drupal module, which provides a full-scale community currency system. Designing a special purpose MT2019 currency that actually works is possible (I think), but I don’t know how to do it. It’s difficult … see for example the Community Currencies Tutorial for a start and points of reference. How difficult it is depends however on how much value people will have to trust the currency in: providing work for the MT2019 preparations for 200 EUR total value requires less trust in the currency than if one has 5000 EUR equivalent value on the community currency account finally …

Economy App avoids the problems that make successful community currencies so difficult to start and maintain (namely, collectivized trust, the free rider problem, and managing the money supply if it’s about fiat money). But the Economy App approach has its own limitations which come from the network barter concept. Namely, it can only match current demand with current offers, as there’s no way to save up or make debts across barter deals. So I don’t know how applicable it would be for the MT2019 scenario, as people would have to choose right at the point when providing services what rewards they want (hotel discounts etc.) finally. Apart from that, the network barter concept is not ready for general use by now, and for LOTE3 only for test usage.

However, if Matera would be looking medium-term for a value exchange / civic engagement system that is there to stay, not tied to a specific event like the capital of culture thing, I could well imagine that Economy App could fill that role. It would be esp. good at rewarding people for small “cowdsourcing” contributions, as Economy App has (already) an integrated project management software where one can outsource a task with a few clicks. After outsourcing it, “the crowd” can apply for the task, and during one of the next network barter deals, the task will be awarded to one applicant whose needs can be met in that network barter trade. Thus the “reward” is instant. Tasks are meant to be atomic units of work that can be done without knowing the full project context – like, translating some text; hosting some person. (For larger and more long-term collaborations, one would authorize time to contribute to a project in Economy App.)

Sanctifying the economic app

Mattais:  i’ve been watching most of the time.  And look forward to sittting down with you and doing the genuine talking some day soon.  I once spent several years trying to re-wire our cultural connection with the economic system - and explored some wonderful pathways which would provoke questions such as: is ownership of items acquired via a barter-net the same as ownership of other items?

At the moment, we have the peculiar advantage of the unMonastery; where we have license to define ourselves as in some ways radically divergent from other social arrangements.  Entering a culturally unexplored world, like fictional role-play, we can use the leverage of pretending to be outside society to for example: insist that certain catagories of our exchanges must pass through the econo-app.  It is also possible to incorporate new, slanted language as descriptive of our new style of transaction.

More later.


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On with the matchmaking

Open letter launched through the community MT2019 to the Materani… answers are flowing: here are the different options I was thinking of:

  • Spreadsheet with all the proposals that come from the Matera people: a bed, a couch, technical material, food, guided tours, ecc. + name/surname + telephone + email
  • Is it possible to add on each of our ER profiles a grid with what we can offer and what we need (not only what they would engage in during the LOTE)? Translating the 606+ ER profiles in Italian would be crazy, but maybe have some tag words?
  • LOTE is starting on the 29th and finishing ont the 3d: could each of us post how much time we are planning to spend in Matera asap (7 nights each?)
  • Party on the 2d of October (Satruday?): what are we looking for (What kind of room? The Jazzo Gattini could fit, but then we would need transportation) and what do we have to offer (DJs? VJs? dancers?)

I would propose that the platform to do the matchmaking is Angelsfortravellers. It is already going and it would be a great contribution for us to start adding some traffic on it :slight_smile: I spoke with Sergio Il Vagabondo, and he is enthusiastic about the choice. What do you think is better: that each one of us individually subscribes and checks out for hospitality ecc. or we keep the “send an email to Noemi and Ilaria” and then in September Noemi and I contact the ERs and the matera people that wrote to us and invite to subscribe to the A4T platform? Currently, there are 46 Angels in Matera, but only 9 wishing to give hospitality. Here is the video to see how it works.

Other actions:

  • posted the open letter on the FB group of Couchsurfing Matera!
  • did a spreadsheet with all the stuff people are proposing/offering

How about sending a Google Form to people in which they put email/adress/ what they offer/ what they need? Is there a way fo getting the answers automatically in the spreadsheet?

How about wikis?

Dear Ilaria,

So happy to see we’ve got offers from kind Materans, and thank you! for helping me answer. I’m continuing our email thread here, so [elf Pavlik] can also follow, he has offered to help with coordinating acommodation and logistics. So far we’ve been collecting everything on a spreadsheet to keep track of the offers from Materani, and interactions are limited to email (few of the Materani who got in touch speak English anyway).

With 60 people registered already for Lote, it’s indeed a good time to record their options and availability and yes, for the google form the answers would all go in a back end spreadsheet. I think if they fill in the details in Edgeryders profiles it can also lead to a page with aggregated responses, we’d have to agree on this though. But even better, I noticed Dorotea has set up a group for travel and practical arrangements - with wiki pages for everyone to fill in their details, and already I saw ERs doing that. How about building on this infrastructure? Knowing what Materani offer and incoming ERs needs, someone (maybe Elf?) could create posts in that group announcing what offers we have and if anyone is up for taking them, and start doing the matching as we go. Waiting until September to get back to Materani with details i think it’s a bit too long, considering all the excitement just now… or am i wrong?

Angelsfortravellers seems quite a nice space and because it’s mostly an Italian speaking community, a idea is for the two of us or more volunteers to go in and represent Edgeryders. this is an additional way of finding resources on site, but  it might be too big an effort for people to register for Lote here on edgeryders and register to get accommodation help and directions on yet another platform…

As far as I followed we still don’t have a coordinator for the party, but [valentinabrogna] suggested a massive pasta party and workshop, so maybe she’d be interested in making a concrete proposal?  btw sounds yummy :D