A contribution by Ryan Lanham:
“A person inclined to follow P2P really wants to like the Maia Maia project, and I do, in principle. I really hope it works, but it won’t–in practice. The idea is fairly simple: Implement a carbon reduction club and thereby earn a standard amount of “booyas” which are a currency coupon to be used at local vendors supporting the (hopefully) viral movement.
In practice, there are lots of issues. First, there is no central source of legitimacy to the idea except the idea itself. It’s a nice idea, but it is hardly unique or bold.
Second, we don’t really need to standardize on booyas, and the network of booya takers is not yet a selling point based on established presence—like Facebook is. So there is really little reason to suspect the movement will catch hold and center itself amongst the many possible spokes of (potentially) participating groups.
More importantly, the site itself is clunky and the marketing and component names seem arbitrary–but not in a good way. In a sense it is a bit sad to see these little efforts form without building off of standardized technology or currency components, a base of shared intellectual umph, or links to important existing environmental or social groups. In short, Maia Maia is too small to matter—and that’s a painful thing for a P2P advocate to say about a well-intentioned P2P effort. But it needs saying. Just because you want to be in charge is not reason enough to clutter the world with yet another hopeful but ill-conceived project.
Most of us want to solve big problems—have big ideas. But the real value of P2P commons leaders is in integration—not entrepreneurship. Of course we need social entrepreneurs and big thinkers. But what is needed more are players who build commons—consistent and widely used component sets and linkages that encourage open standards—not hubs. That’s the future that will catch hold. Sadly, we’ll see 500 Maia Maia’s which will make a lot of people as cynical as my mother was when she was continually confronted with a new vendor value stamp (like the old S&H green stamps). Everyone wants to be the hub; what’s needed is components. Please find a group of partners to be in common with…don’t go it alone. ”