thoughts and progress

Here are the ground rules for a system to build social capital by collectively generating and fulfilling tasks. Imagine that these tools exist in a web app, and are supplemented with comments, forums, news feeds, and customizable email notifications.

  • members have an xp count, which is 100 for new members, and 1000 for community founders
  • members have a level
  • members have membership information
  • members have a history of every xp event
  • maybe some stats that relate to the types of tasks claimed
  • members have a public message board that they control
  • members may have additional 'stats' specific to the community

  • tasks have names and descriptions
  • tasks can have deadlines(default is none)
  • tasks with deadlines can be urgent(default is no)
  • tasks have a quantity, and the quantity must be finite (default is 1)
  • tasks can be repeatable by a member, or not (default is yes)
  • tasks can request verifiable proof, or not (default is no)
  • tasks have owners and sponsers
  • tasks remember their histories
  • tasks may have associated stats
  • tasks can have comments

  • owners create tasks and edit them
  • any member with positive xp can create a task. That member becomes the owner of the task
  • sponsors invest xp to sponsor a task - invested xp temporarily lowers a players total
  • sponsors can alter their sponsorship amount at any time (before a claim)

  • tasks can be claimed by any member with non-negative xp
  • when a task is claimed
    • the reward is granted to the claimant
    • the sponsors are refunded 120%
    • claiming your own task fully refunds the debt, but only grants a percentage of the claim amount, this percent starts at 0 and increases to 20 over time. (the vesting time is longer for larger rewards (constant xp rate per time, up to 20%)
  • a task cannot be urgent with no deadline, but can have a deadline without being urgent
  • tasks that have a deadline and are urgent start off cheap and increase over time until claimed
    • the sooner it is claimed, the higher the kickback for the sponsors
  • a claim can have comments
  • a task can be un-claimed within 1 week of claim
    • re-activates it,
    • rescinds the refund to the sponsors (including additional award)
    • rescinds the award to the claimee

owners can deny claims within 1 week of claim
  • rescinds award from claimant
  • debits additional 50% of award as well.
  • rescinds refund from sponsors
  • temporarily destroys 50% of sponsored xp
  • task is re-activated
  • denial can be 'blessed' by members, each blessing restores sponsored xp to the task relative to the level of the member
  • there is a time frame, after which no further blessings may apply
  • (denying a claim is much more destructive than getting the claimant to un-claim it)
members can rebuke other members - committing 1 xp to destroy 1 xp
  • rebuking can drive a player into negative xp, at which point they are effectively suspended from posting or claiming tasks
  • a rebuke can be blessed similar to claim denials
  • there is a time frame, after which no further blessings may apply
members can squash tasks by spending 1 xp to destroy 1 xp
  • a squash can be blessed similar to claim denials
  • there is a time frame, after which no further blessings may apply

members can transfer xp to other members at a cost of 2 xp for every 1 xp granted.
  • xp spent in this way cannot be restored by the community

as members gain xp, they advance in levels
  • level progression requirements grow geometrically (or exponentially?)
stats improve independently as corresponding tasks are claimed
  • stats improve along a similar curve to levels.
the community can place stat requirements on level advancement

members vote with their levels, but have to choose where to commit their votes.

here is an example of a stats system that a community might implement:
  • Strength - physical tasks
  • Dexterity - personal development, training, skills, and certification
  • Constitution - dirty, boring, or unpleasant tasks
  • Intelligence - technical tasks
  • Wisdom - artistic tasks
  • Charisma - communication tasks

there are tools for scheduling many tasks
  • such as one task per day for "make dinner"
there are report pages to see interesting activity
there is maybe a web service to allow web tools to auto-claim certain tasks


The first thesis is that this set of capabilities can foster a community to build something big, for free.

Positive interactions quickly multiply the communal xp pool (claiming a task creates 120% of the invested amount of xp, for a total of 220%), negative interactions deplete it; the second thesis is that the total xp of the community is a good measure of the social capital of the group, and represents real-world value in itself.

...I still need a good name for this system.

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