Alex Rollin alex.rollin at
Sat Aug 14 07:28:46 EDT 2010

I have worked on site with OSE in Missouri.

On site Marcin is setting development priorities.

Over time Marcin has been learning about the value of egalitarian leadership
on site so as to retain on site volunteers.

That said, my work with him was to build out a tracking application for the
project so that he could see the site he is on, FactorEFarm, as one node in
a network of all of the thousands of projects working on "appropriate
technology".  For more examples of this you can check out and others.

My thought was that Marcin, who sees himself as a pioneer, would see fit to
engage a bit of participatory democracy if he felt a bit less alone in his

At the same time, this would help him to focus on an "involving" approach
for fundraising, taking a partnership approach to development with the fans
and supporters.

This has worked to a certain extent.  It is true that he is still a
dictator, and that the site itself is owned partially by him, and I see from
reading between the lines that people are on site following their own dreams
and I can only assume he doesn't have time to tell everyone what to do all
the time, so some freedom is present.

Anyways, this is not a critique of Marcin, but meant to be an look on the
inside of how he the "network" of the  project looks.  Marcin needs to make
some decisions about resource usage locally as these decisions really effect

Supporters choose to support Marcin and those whom he has as volunteers for
at least two reasons:

1.  They like Marcin long term perspective.
2.  They like what he is working on right now.

In some cases we get a third.  Some groups might support Marcin's work
because it is a piece of something they are working on.

Votorola is in fact very much like the project tracking page I made for

This page lists Marcin's on site projects short and long term.

These could be seen as "Master Polls"

Perhaps Marcin has a master poll for "Fermentation Technology and

Appropredia has a sub-poll:

The ways these groups could work together with Votorola is very interesting
to me.


On Sat, Aug 14, 2010 at 7:32 AM, Thomas von der Elbe <
ThomasvonderElbe at> wrote:

> Hello,
> thank you Anne for the link to the openfarmtech-group. Very exciting
> stuff! I spend the whole day yesterday watching their videos on their
> progress.
> For the others: It is a project of 3 people and 100 supporters which
> work on open source hardware for resilient community building, i.e.
> open source tractors etc. The aim is to grow to a size of 30 people.
> Now, Alex introduced me to the idea of p2p decision making in economic
> contexts and I´m still struggeling to fully grasp the possibilities.
> (My initial approach was purely political.)
> But here it's obvious. First I thought: the project is great, but
> Votorola is not of much use for these guys, because the real benefits
> come for large groups. 30 people might still be able to sit together
> and work out their decisions without a software. But I was blind! The
> project does ofc include its supporters. They are the ones paying the
> 30 engineers for developing open-source hardware, so they should ofc
> have a say in this process. :-)
> By taking part in the decision making they really become part of the
> project instead of just being donors. This is perfect, isnt it?
> Is this, what you had in mind , Anne? Or am I getting something wrong?
> Actually I'm new to the depth of open-source-philosophy.
> Best,
> Thomas

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