Posted by The Happy Tutor
We want to enable communities that already exist. That is the main thing that is different about us (compared to all of those other guys doing social software): We don't want people signing up. We want communities signing up!Very good idea. The unit of analysis, for once, is not the consumer, or entrepreneur, or voter, not the isolate self, nor the opportunist builder of a network or rolodex, but the pre-existing community in which the "self" is already a node, finding its identity in relationship to others. What is even better is that SmartCommons supports multiple personas. The authentic self is the Eldorado in pursuit of which I lost my mind. Ever after all I had was voices. Nice to see software support that, as if it were a common malady. And I think it is, unless you are peasant, in some village in the Tyrol; we all belong to multiple communities, and have a role to play in each.
We are built up in layers from the communities in which we participated long ago. Since the communities are often like islands, separated from the others, in space and time, or by ideology, our identities are necessarily multiple: Try bringing together, for example, wealthy conservative blue collar clients, limousine liberal heirs with Ivy Educations, Critical Theorists, Jesuit Priests, novelists, sales people, tax attorneys, politicians, dumpster-dwellers, and prostitutes and treating them as all happy members of one community - Wealth Bondage. See if you can be "authentic" (within the same persona and decorum) with each member in turn. The only way to be a coherent self is to restrict your dealings to members of an ideologically coherent tribe who accept unthinkingly their own way of life. And that is not for me. I prefer to slip across the boundaries undetected, in various guises, passing for normal among the mad, group by self-satisfied group. So, SmartCommons would allow me to invite all my contacts and prevaricate as usual with elegant support. In reality, though, my friends from my various tribal identity groups, would not get along. That is why I slip from group to group and mask to mask. How about you?