An update on Christian Siefkes’ Peer Economy (3): Characteristics of Sharing Networks

We continue our coverage of Siefkes’ discussion of his Peer Economy workshop in Hiddinghausen, where he proposed the idea of a Commons Network.

In the same article, he proposes an interesting typology of such a commons.

I suggest that perhaps we could distinguish sharing networks in case of Granted Property, and talk of a Commons Network in case of Common Property?

Here is the summary by Christian Siefkes:

Typology according to Property Format:

Shared goods and the necessary means of production are either:

• Granted Property: (private property shared by the owners)
• Common Property (permanent part of the commons—nobody has the right to take them out)

Typology according to Usage Formats:

• “Shares: goods that are shared

o Parallel co-use (e.g. Wi-Fi)
o Serial co-use (e.g. book lending, apartments) o Repositories (e.g. of tools; libraries)
o Open Production Places (e.g. on-demand book/media printer, individual furniture-maker)

• Floaters: goods that can “float” from one peer to another (“New user wanted”)

• Sources (“Open X Source”): peers or projects producing new goods

Sample: Open Food Source, maybe using permaculture/community farming

• Sinks: peers or projects using/consuming goods

Sharing Constraints:

“Based on an idea by Thomas Kalka.

Family of constraints which shares may apply (family of “sharing agreements”, similar to the family of Creative Commons licenses):

• Permanent: good must remain permanently in the commons (“permafloater”)

• Transitive: any goods produced with the help of this good become part of the commons (“copyleft” for physical goods/means of production)

• Attribution appreciated: sharers wish to be attributed, if practical (not a strict requirement)

• Details for serial co-use:

o Use on site (e.g. washing machine, on-demand press, house/apartment) or move to user (e.g. books)?
o If move to user: who (user or sharer) organizes/pays for transport? o Transfer to others allowed? (only within a specific region?) o Return on date / on demand?
o Must repair if broken by user?”

Why Participate?

For the same reasons that motivate people to develop free software or participate in community networks:

• To produce goods they like to have (“scratching an itch”)
• To do something they enjoy doing (“fun and passion”)
• To give something back to the community
• To learn something or expand their skills
• To increase their reputation or community standing
• Because sharers might get preferred treatment


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