The origin of this page

This page started as a conversation between Brandon and Julia about the concept of the do-ocracy. Plenty of work has been done on it since, so click the "history" button if you're interested. More importantly, click the "edit" button and improve it!

Bottom line:

In most endeavors, there is more work to be done than people to do it. At AboutUs we believe that employees and the community are free to experiment, be bold and act. SelfOrganization is a guiding principle.

We also believe that it is important to create a work culture that actively promotes everyone feeling empowered in the do-ocracy. We work hard to make it easier and easier to be successful.

Evolving structure in do-ocracy

One of the assumptions often made is that there is no structure in a do-ocracy. Nothing gets done because there is no mechanism to make difficult decisions quickly. However reading the history of this page shows, that structure evolves. This relates to SelfOrganization.

How to add value

In an adhocracy everyone has a fixed set of resources... their own time. As you do good things (or waste) with it, you can direct more of your time. Adding value... this is the combination of quality changes and quantity.

A piece that is essential is a framework that helps newcomers learn how to add value, and a community that supports them as they learn.

Bookend this article with a welcoming message and links to resources that we do have for supporting new community members. End it with contact info (irc, emails, talk pages, how to connect with real people).

Doesn't do-ocracy call for equal ground? Sort of yes.

If no one is doing the work you want to do, just do it and add value, people will appreciate it. This way we build and share leadership.


Newcomers to a wiki are often overwhelmed and have a problem to jump in.

This is an entitlement thing .. those who will prosper and do more .. are those who feel entitled to jump in. Those are not necessarily bullies.

What can we do to overcome initial obstacles?

  • Breaking down barriers to technological fluency.
  • Creating a friendly environment, where otherwise disenfranchised users feel warmly welcomed to join in.
  • Cultivating the WikiWay:
    • encouraging newcomers
    • keeping fresh and developing the wiki heritage of the community

ToDo list

We need a to do list:

  • Wiki culture article (wiki way)
  • Technological fluency
  • Whuffie article
  • The September that never ended: Usenet was the first place where folks interacted on the web. At first, it was mostly university students who interacted. So, each September, there was a need to disseminate knowledge & culture of news groups. By 1995, it was no longer just university students as the general public latched on to news groups. Net etiquette needed to be taught to everyone, always... the endless September. The number of newbies outstripped the ability of those who were well-versed in net etiquette to teach them the culture. As a result news groups have not thrived.

Tragedy of the Commons

So, much of the Tragedy of the information commons happens when newcomers (who don't know the culture or have the experience) can't keep up.

The challenge for AboutUs does not lie in technology, but in our ability to disseminate the wiki way.

Tension between openness and accountability. Take responsibility.

How AboutUs Can Do It

Some people may not feel themselves entitled, motivated or enabled to build value or resolve conflicts.

However DoOcracy can help to increase the human potential, especially to anticipate or resolve conflicts by public consensus building. Link needed to Aboutus pages, where this was practised, e.g. universal edit button, etc..


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