The community principle

Summary

  • Starting in the summer of 2019 contributors to this portal can receive not only "moral" but also economical reward,
  • we adopted the reward mechanism of the community economic system NEO, by utilizing functions of its  application Rovas, built directly into this portal,
  • use of the new rewarding functions is voluntary - contributors can continue publish their posts for free,
  • NEO has two kinds of rewards:

    • economic - in the form of community currency Chron (from greek Chronos = time). Every hour of work earns 10 Chrons,
    • value (or reputation) - is measured in Merits, which authors receive only if somebody rewards their work with Chrons,
  • visitors of this portal who do not want to earn Chrons for work in NEO will be eventually able to buy them for national currency (€,$,...) and holders of Chrons will be able to exchange them for national currencies,
  • all information in NEO is visible to its participants, to allow crowdsourced oversight and prevent abuse of the system.

How it works

  1. form-en.pngIf a content author is interested in Chron reward, he/she specifies in the content form the time it took to create the post,
  2. to earn the Merit reward, the content must be rewarded by other users with Chrons. The content form therefore also contains the "Merits" field, where the author enters the amount of Chrons others must pay to see the post. If the field is left blank, anybody can view it, even the anonymous users. When "0" is entered, users must pay some amount of Chrons of their choosing, greater than 0. Lastly, the author may enter a fixed amount users must pay, to read the post,
  3. after saving the form, the time entered must be verified by two other users. As a reward for verifying, they do not have to reward the report with own Chrons to read it,reward-en.png
  4. after the reported time is approved, Rovas grants the content author the economic reward, one Chron for every 6 minutes reported,
  5. Finally, the Merit reward is granted to the content author by Rovas if somebody rewards the content with Chrons. The Chrons paid are destroyed by Rovas, but the rewarded content author receives Merits reward equal to the amount of Chrons paid. For example, if the content is rewarded with 0.2 CH, its author receives 0.2 ME and the 0.2 CH is destroyed. The liquidation of Chrons ensures automatic regulation of the optimal amount of currency in circulation and also ensures the community character of the system, since liquidation of a part of the money increases value of the Chros that remain in circulation.

In detail

After 10 years of operation as a crowdsourced, free-for-all portal for cross-coutry ski enthusiasts, Na bezky! and our new portal for cyclists Cyklonaut will operate as projects, governed by the "community principle", which means that:

  • community content is created and marked as such by its authors,
  • only community members have access to community content,
  • community content is made available for Chrons - the community currency,
  • Chrons can be earned by any (actually performed) work that the worker him/herself considers potentially useful to the community. The product of such work must be possible to reward/purchase with Chrons. Detailed rules of the NEO system can be found following the links given above.
  • community members determine social value of the content by rewarding it (and it's author) with numeric score, called Merit.

This decision is driven by a belief, that making content avaliable only to users who also somehow contribute to the community will increase engagement and will result in greater quantity and quality of information available to the members. An experiment performed here during the 2017-18 winter season seems to confirm this belief, as the table below suggests.

 

parameter 2014-15 2015-16 2016-17 2017-18 2018-19
Number of visitors 32 371 27 049 44 896 39 866 35 235
New users 179 333 526 1 221 449
Number of reports 318 270 561 1 126 634
Number of reporters 89 74 121 232 130
   
  time period for every season is from 1. November to 19 March

 

Please note that only during the 2017-18 season did the portal run the experiment with community content. During that season the number of reports doubled in comparison with the previous year, the number of geographic regions where the reports originated also grew at a similar rate and almost 130 people paid total of 573 euros for "body" - the "currency" used in the experiment. This suggest that body had a real economic (exchange) value from the start and Chron consequently should not be different in this respect. Therefore once a planned currency auction and exchange application is/are developed, holders of Chrons will be able to exchange them for national currencies and vice versa - euro/dollar/koruna... holders will be able to buy Chrons.

The community economic system NEO has its own web application Rovas, functions of which were added into this portal as its reward mechanism. Users of our portal need therefore an account in Rovas, which the new users can have created during registration by checking a check box on the registration form. The existing users can create Rovas accounts by simply clicking a button provided in the report-creation form and some other places. It is expected, that users will want to earn Chrons also for activities other than writing reports or articles in our portals. For example, the individuals who create and maintain ski/bicycle trails would need to file reports about their activities directly in Rovas to earn Chrons.

One of the more interesting features of Rovas is the ability of a project owner to designate as beneficiaries receving Merit reward for his/her project other people (or even other projects) besides him/herself. For example, this portal will collect 3 % of every reward made in the portal and use it to reward the Na bezky/cyklonaut Rovas project with Merits. The project owners decided, that that reward will be granted not only to themselves, but also to any registered user who helps to provide new or improves existing content in this portal. In Rovas terminology, such beneficiaries are called "shareholders." The Merit benefits received by the contributors will be proportional to the time they invested into improving this portal.

NEO is for people who want to contribute to the common good, but it would be naive to think that everybody will follow this goal. The Rovas application therefore provides functions allowing the participants to collectively punish the individuals who might want to take unfair advantage of the system. These defensive functions will be continually improved and new ones developed over time, in order to keep up with the new forms of attacts devised.

Concluding remarks. At the time of publication of this article, the functions described above are in the testing mode and their final form is therefore not fixed. They are also incomplete. For example, only reports can be rewarded with Merits and earn Chrons, but other types of content (articles, trails description, atc...) will follow. Lastly, please do not hesitate to post comments and questions into the comments section, start a discussion thread in the forum, or send us an email.

* in Slovak, Czech "rovas" stands for english "tally stick"