As the gig economy grows, more and more stories of worker exploitation are coming to the fore. And as reports of shady labor practices at Uber, Lyft, Taskrabbit, Postmates, and Amazon Mechanical Turk show, these issues run rampant across all sectors of the gig economy. In the home services industry, the platform Handy has made a name for itself, connecting people with pre-screened professional cleaners, fixers, and other professionals. Within three years of its founding, however, the company already faced lawsuits for allegedly underpaying workers and making them pay severe fees for minor transgressions.
Platform Cooperativism is defined as “concrete near-future alternative to the extractive sharing economy…rooted in democratic ownership”. Any “cooperatively-owned, democratically-governed business that uses a protocol, website or mobile app to facilitate the sale of goods and services” is a Platform cooperative.The coming (May 2018) “End of Life” of Storify, which I only discovered this morning, has a side that platform cooperative advocates may have overlooked so far.Storify may very well be/have been a digital platform cooperative.The same thing that will happen to Storify next May “can” (translation: “surely WILL, sooner or later”) happen to any platform cooperative. That is no news, of course. Cooperatives, projects, businesses, communities… they all END, at some point, like any other human endeavour.The point I want to highlight is that the average life expectancy of cooperatives, or projects in general, is shorter than that of human beings. Often much shorter.
Here’s a little light reading and easy listening. I’ve accumulating a huge amount of broadband lessons, stories and resources that can help you, your staff and your private and nonprofit partners. Over the holidays or down time in trains, planes, and automobiles, you might find some “catch-up time.” Enjoy.Community Broadband Snapshot ReportsThese qualitative analysis reports help community stakeholders make better decisions and build networks that better meet constituents’ needs. They combine communities’ experiences, perspectives and insights. The reports tackle states’ anti-muni network laws, new sources of broadband funding, broadband’s impact on economic development and other vital topics.Gigabit NationIn over 230 archived interviews since 2011, I explore broadband issues, policies, and community broadband success stories. Guests on the show include mayors, broadband project leaders, government agency leaders and managers, public advocates. It’s a resource that keeps on giving – and growing. Analysis of Completed Broadband NetworksThis on-going directory of highspeed Internet network infrastructure that is owned by municipalities, public utilities, co-ops and public-private partnerships. This resource highlights communities’ goals, initial network investments, impacts that justify those investments and communities progress retiring broadband debts.Books on broadband topicsSince Craig Settles initial book on the subject of community broadband, Fighting the Good Fight for Municipal Wireless, I’ve written additional books on the subject. In my latest, Building the Gigabit City, I establish criteria for community broadband success, presents the business case for the networks, and offers needs assessment guidance, broadband funding tactics and sound marketing practices.Communities United For Broadband (Like us on Facebook)This Facebook page is open to anyone who shares the dream of community broadband – networks that are run buy local government, public utilities co-ops or public private partnerships. Get advice and recommendations to help you manage wired and wireless broadband networks. We encourage you to add content, discussions and links to resources to further help members.It’s always a pleasure hearing from you and your colleagues. If you’ve got some ideas for new reports or articles, send them my way (craig at cjspeaks com).
NeighborSQUAD is creating a #platformcoop to enable the formation and governance of worker coops who are building Community Owned Networks.
The scope of Aragon’s influence has been broadening ever since the team started growing from just myself and Luis to a dozen of brilliant freedom fighters. We’ve had serious conversations, both community-wide and internally, about the direction that Aragon should take. We’ve gone from it being a nice way to manage a traditional business to a full-stack governance platform for sovereign individuals, organizations and protocols in the blockchain. This has made us analyze and re-evaluate just what are we building many times over.
Welcome to the first installment in the How does blockchain technology work series!Update: July 22, 2017: I want to thank the 175,000+ people that have read this article, and due to the high volume of questions I get on a daily basis, I’ve decided to add some direction to this post, which is a now a 4 part series.If you really want to get into the blockchain and cryptocurrency world, I would highly recommend that you start your journey by reading these two white papers:Bitcoin: A Peer-to-Peer Electronic Cash Systemand;Ethereum: A Next-Generation Smart Contract and Decentralized Application Platformand then read them again….and again…
follow the stuff below.In this journey, I’ve managed to create a sequence of resources to be followed to avoid randomness(which I’ve been through).Pre gyan session:A 101 Noob Intro to Programming Smart Contracts on EthereumSome general gyan before you start:Getting Started as an Ethereum Web DeveloperSequence of articles I’ve followedHow to deploy the smart contractHow to build your first Ðapp through web3.jsA simple smart contract Web UI using web3.jsHyper-ledger Fabric and It’s purposesIn general, if you want to choose a side or entrepreneur or developer or a middleman* The ultimate Ethereum blockchain startup guide
If you believe that closing the digital divide is critical, community networks are something everyone can support. These are ‘do it yourself’ networks built by people for the people often with no technical expertise. Community Networks are something you can promote, donate to, or even build yourself.This page will get you started.Together we can help build a digital future that puts people first.
NeighborSQUAD is researching how a Token Economy might help to jump start bringing in early adopters interested in forming Worker Owned Coops that would provide service and support for Community Owned Networks.
Diminishing UX/Network Effects: New Token-Based Incentivizes for Early AdoptersBefore blockchains and the digital scarcity of tokens, it was difficult to attract early users to a new network. But now, a company can “pay” early adopters in a native token and those early adopters will be incentivized to increase the value of their tokens. I personally love Fred Ehrsam’s description and visual for this:So how do you get people to join a brand new network? You give people partial ownership of the network. Just like equity in a startup, it is more valuable to join the network early because you get more ownership. Decentralized applications do this by paying their contributors in their token. And there is potential for that token (partial ownership of the network) to be worth more in the future. This is equivalent to being a miner in the early days of Bitcoin. …When the network is less populated and useful you now have a stronger incentive to join it.This system has been used by startups for years to attract employees to a young company, and now decentralized apps are using it to incentivize all potential users around the world to join the app early on.