Cooperation on the Internet needs an ecosystem (multiple communities / think tanks, with academic researchers, digital actors, and users) to enlighten us on cultures (uses, behaviors, guidelines) and technologies (tools, platforms, systems) which favor collective intelligence and general interest.
From a technical point of view, it is important to question and improve voting tools, reputation mechanisms, comment system, surveys, forums, chats, wikis, etc. From a sociological point of view, we need to study communities, social interactions, socialization, cooperation mechanisms, etc. It is moreover essential to develop related political reflections such as the ethics of evaluation, the power of experts versus non-experts, etc.
Reflections about online cooperation (which are now developed on Meta-Wiki and Meta Stack Exchange, and by some researchers) are necessary to improve existing systems, and invent new ones, according to global and complementary visions of the communities of the participative ecosystem.
Nowadays, innovation is competitive and scattered by nature ; it does not have the required tools and cultures to create efficient cooperative solutions (user feedback platforms, comment systems, participative budget platforms, civic techs, debate platforms, Q&A sites, etc.)
A reflection space on cooperation hosting an organic and organized ecosystem (as on Wikipedia.org or StackExchange.com), would enable to improve existing solutions, design efficiently new systems, and would provide the necessary legitimacy to convince users and investissors to adopt democratically choosen cultures and technologies. More specifically, this reflection space could be a mix of a wiki, a Q&A site, a debate platform, surveys and decision taking tools.
To initiate this ecosystem, a European Research Project would be perfect since it would allow to gather academic researchers, digital actors and users. Then, one would need to define precise objectives, research procedures, and community interactions.
The first application could be a user feedback platform, to evaluate and design products and services, allowing discussions between designers, developers, users and researchers. There are numerous other online tools to imagine, develop and improve.
For now, I am looking for a good way to initiate this project ; and I am not sure that exposing it in a innocent, simplistic and idealist way is the best idea.
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