Quick notice on some work we’ve been doing the past months on the Viral Academy. A core aspect of the project is to encourage motivate, and indeed require people to pass on their knowledge so they can receive further small-group tuition. Formally the mechanism for this is a Time Bank. Students “pay” for courses with an hour of their time that they can earn by teaching what they have learned to other students.
Technically there are very few platforms for Time Banks, and only one that I know of that is open source is the Community Weaver Time Bank module for Drupal. Despite substantial funding however from NESTA the installation and open source support for this module seems scarce. So while I’d still like to track down and see how good this software is, and even test it out on the EdgeRyders platform - we’ve decided to take a different approach.
First I’d like to say i am really, really loath to start new software projects - especially when we just want to customise and use a standard Time Bank in this project - that said that’s exactly what we are committed to doing. The reason for this is that the idea we are proposing is both simple, innovative and build on top of a widely used platform with a great API - Twitter.
The idea is simple - to use Twitter as the means of sending and officially logging Time Bank transactions. It’s such and obvious idea that i was sure by now it would have been done - but I can’t find any reference to similar projects. Punk Money was a project I looked at when it was launched, but I seen no simple project that is open source, and replicable in the Viral Academy. So we’ve decided to create one If anyone has a better idea, or any suggestions please chime in here.
Here is how it will work:
Software then regularly downloads these tweets from the @twittertimebank account, and adds and subtracts the relevant amount of hours from individual accounts taking the hashtag as the basic description of the transaction. These hashtags also promote the course and Twitter Time Bank. DM’s can be used if privacy is needed or people are shy. That’s basically it.