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= "An open database of projects and tools in online governance".



By Joshua Tan and Michael Zargham:


How do we run online communities? The growing field of online governance answers this question using a range of tools: voting algorithms, social media platforms, community management software, (crypto)economic designs, and even real-world laws. But just what tools are out there, who’s building them, and who’s using them? In this article, we introduce Govbase, an open, crowdsourced database of projects and tools in online governance."



"For the field of online governance, we believe the best strategy is to focus on a common publishing standard for community constitutions. Communities already have ways of communicating the governance of that community, whether in pinned posts, comments by authoritative users, or a formal constitution. What if, upon installing and setting up a given governance tool, there was an easy way of publishing that set-up and its intended usage to a common, readable standard? Besides being useful for communities, it would help clarify how different governance tools interact and interoperate — tools that publish to the same sections of a computational constitution would enjoy a minimal level of interoperability, if only at the level of text (which is still where most governance systems are currently specified). Further, that computational constitution could be spliced with the governance documents that communities already produce, doing for communities what Sphinx currently does for code. Imagine a world in which every online community displayed a standardized constitution that articulated the rights and responsibilities of its users, much as every open-source software project displays a standardized software license. We think that’d be pretty cool!"



"Projects includes a wide range of software and research projects involved in online governance, from forum software like Discourse to computational tools like SourceCred and cadCAD to blockchain projects like DAOstack to community platforms like Open Collective. The goal of the Projects table is to include all the tools and projects relevant to online governance.

Organizations is a non-comprehensive list of offline companies, nonprofits, and funders like Enspiral and the Free Software Foundation as well as online communities like 1Hive, r/teenagers, and Nurfed. The goal of the Organizations table is not to list all the organizations working in online governance, much less all the online communities on the Internet, but to provide context for the Projects table.

Finally, the Structures table is a grab-bag of concepts and governance forms (a.k.a. institutional patterns) from social science, loosely organized by a subset-superset relation (“Is subset of”), a part-whole relation (“Is component of”), and by social ontology (“Belongs to ontology”)."