Recently the Agile Knowledge and Semantic Web research group (AKSW) at UniversitÃ¤t Leipzig launched Cofundos.org. Confundos aims to help people share, refine, fund and realise new ideas for open software and knowledge projects. It was founded and developed by SÃ¶ren Auer, who leads the AKSW research group (and is on the OKF’s advisory board).
The Confundos model for project development is very simple. The How does Confundos work? page conveys it in a neat schematic picture, the contents of which are roughly as follows:
- Someone proposes an idea for an open software/knowledge project
- Others discuss and refine the idea, suggest their own requirements, and bid money
- Specialists offer to realize the project and propose a price/timeline
- Bidders vote (weighted according to their bid) on which offer to accept
- The selected specialist realises the project
- Bidders vote whether project was successfully realised
- Bidders donate the bid amounts to the specialist
So far there 34 projects and 79 bids (amounting to over â‚¬3000). It looks like a funding and development model with a lot of potential. Relatively small bids could add up to be a substantial funding source for community developed projects. It also looks like a model that will work particularly well for open knowledge/software – as any interested party can come along and further customise the relevant code, content and/or data to their own specific requirements, if, for example, the results were not precisely as they had hoped or envisaged.
We’ll certainly furnish the site with some open knowledge projects in due course!
Dr. Jonathan Gray is Lecturer in Critical Infrastructure Studies at the Department of Digital Humanities, King’s College London, where he is currently writing a book on data worlds. He is also Cofounder of the Public Data Lab; and Research Associate at the Digital Methods Initiative (University of Amsterdam) and the médialab (Sciences Po, Paris). More about his work can be found at jonathangray.org and he tweets at @jwyg.