Asked

What do you think of a decentralized WIP ?

Right now we’ve got a couple of dozen active people in our Telegram chat, but many more makers seem interested in joining us. I don’t think having one group will scale though, so I’m thinking of different ways to address this. One idea I’m currently thinking about is to somewhat decentralise WIP.

The idea would be to keep our group as we have now, but make @wipbot available to other groups as well. So for example a group of friends could invite @wipbot and start sharing their todo’s. Maybe we’d build a Slack bot for teams, etc. There would be many different ways to share your todo’s and mark them as done.

All the todo’s, products, and maker profiles would still be centralised on wip.chat though. So you could check out what somebody is working on, even if you aren’t part of the same group. To deal with the increased volume of activity you could “follow” specific people, or “filter” by group.

Cons:

  • A big part of WIP’s appeal is the community. So for people that aren’t part of an existing community yet, this won’t solve much.
  • The other groups don’t necessarily share the same values as our current group. For example, what happens to wip.chat if someone starts a group for internet scammers? Will we start seeing scammy products, etc?
  • Not sure how to test this idea. Feels shitty to later remove wipbot access from other groups if we decide it’s not working.

Pros:

  • Opens up a lot of possibilities
  • Allows overall community to quickly scale (which means more active Q&A, etc)
  • Some makers currently don’t use WIP because our group is too active for them. This would alleviate that concern. (There's some really cool makers we're missing out on. Would be cool to have them on wip.chat!)
  • We could easily start spin off groups if the main one becomes too big
  • Any group could have their own policy of who’s allowed in (e.g. > $1,000 MRR, etc)
  • It would stimulate for a more diverse overall community
  • We could add ways for the different groups to interact through wipbot. Maybe there would be a group with a lot of designers. So if a developer has a design question, wipbot could ping the designer group. Etc.

What do you think? I’m interested in what you think personally as a member of the group, but please also imagine what it would be like if you weren’t part of the group yet.

If you’re part of similar groups, please float the idea with them and let us know if they’d be interested. If you’re part of a team, I’d also be interested if it’s something you’d consider using. And whether you’d be okay with all the tasks being public.

As I mentioned I’m unsure what the best approach to testing this idea would be. Maybe we could try it out with a few select groups first before opening it up to everyone.

Curious to hear your thoughts!

P.S.
When I say decentralised I don't mean blockchain or any of that stuff. Don't think it has added value here and would just unnecessarily complicate development.

Do you need control over all the wipbot clones and influence over the spin-off communities other than being the source of record? If not then why not make a wip api and have people roll their own wipbot. I'd love to be able to do stuff over mastodon instances (which has a totally different feel since it's async and permanent) or other public places, even if not direct chat...variations in styles there would be pretty cool and would free you from a billion feature requests for different types of bots that different communities would want.

As for the actual idea, I'm all for it. I've never been given permissions to post in the main telegram chat though I joined more than a month ago, and it kind of stinks since I wanted the group accountability...plus everyone just seemed really fun. If this were decentralized I could just go to another community.

One con that you didn't mention though, is decreased stability of membership. Communities are hard to maintain, especially large ones. It's not uncommon for 50 or 60 active users to be in a community and then 1 or 2 core people stop paying attention or leave and the whole community just falls apart or peters out. You get cash from this, so I assume you'll be around for a bit. But if large swaths of people are in other places then I worry when those peter out they won't go to another community, they'll just stop.

There's a middle ground here too that you didn't mention. Multiple groups that you control but people can only be in one at a time. It's sort of a strange setup, but that way there is centralized "management" while allowing autonomous communities. The community would either have a leader, or a group of core members could naturally emerge. This also lets you spin ones up and down with minimal risk of alienation: spin one up and people will know about it through the centralized area, spin one down because it's only 3 inactive people and you let them choose which to move to of the existing ones. It also allows there to be driving force for coherency...there would never be a problem with scammy product groups because it's not a natural offshoot of an existing group or group of people currently on the site. As stuff grows you can choose what to allow and what not to without dictating what the next one necessarily is and thus killing the organic evolutionary vibe. Sort of a meta-moderator, which would be a much easier/lower-touch gig. This does require light infrastructure though, which might be something you're generally trying to avoid putting in place.

There's also a last question here: What's your intention? Do you have a vision for where wip.chat is going? If this is the main site and you want it to evolve organically then do it...seems like it increases surface area for many things quite a bit. If you want to turn this into something different, then it might critically limit your future options. Since it's a community oriented site/group then it might be uncomfortable to talk about...but in the end you do hold the keys to the place, so what vision you do or don't have really should be taken into consideration.

i think some sort of decentralised WIP has great potential. But all in execution.

  1. Are you allowed to join as many groups as you want (Given you make the requirement)?

I imagine the answer is yes?

One question, bringing you one answer, bringing you one more idea, more answers, more ideas... => I think this is what I like on these kind of ecosystem platforms ;)

Decentralized : for sure, I will be so happy to have access to this great WIP directly on my WhatsApp account, or slack, or any third part solution. I will be also fucking crazy to have WIP included in my project directly, it will be better than my actual public backlog: http://pickant.gchaperon.com/info.php

I think the question needs to be a bit more strategic for WIP:

  • What is your strategy? How do you want to evolve? How do you want to monetise? How do you want to use WIP?

  • Are you gathering people who are sharing tips on projects?

  • Are you creating the best place to find the best to do lists to execute a project about the XX or YY subject?

  • Are you creating some communities around some specific topics? (Communication, PHP, hack, APIs...)

  • Do you want WIP to be use in B2C, B2B, Both?

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