As part of our effort to build a more vibrant and usable commons, CC is trying to hone in on what makes sharing truly meaningful. We believe that very often, it is the connection you make with other humans that is the most valuable part of the sharing experience. Whether it is an interaction you have with someone who reads your blog, or a creative collaboration you have with another musician, applying a CC license to your creative work and sharing it with the world becomes even more meaningful if it leads to connections with other people.
We want to find ways to foster and encourage those connections. To do this, we are broadening our focus to look more holistically at sharing and collaboration online. We are calling this our prosocial work — investigating the values and behaviors that lead to successful collaboration. While this effort will lead us into topics that extend beyond CC licensing, our goal is to gather fodder for our work to infuse those values and behaviors more deeply into the experience of sharing with CC.
We recently hosted the kickoff event for this work. At Patreon’s office space in San Francisco, we brought together people from a wide variety of online sharing platforms for a panel discussion with representatives from Medium, Patreon, Wikimedia, and Reddit. We discussed questions such as What can platforms do to promote more human interactions online? Are there times that introducing some of the inefficiencies of real-life interaction into online platforms can lead to more prosocial behavior? What role do platforms play in developing and memorializing the sharing and collaboration norms that develop within their communities?
A full recap of the wide-reaching discussion that followed is available on Medium. There were many interesting insights that emerged, but one of the most valuable aspects of the conversation was the fact that it was happening at all. As we heard from participants after the event, rarely do platforms like Reddit and Wikimedia get to appear on panels together and discuss the struggles and successes they each face within their online communities. As an organization founded to cultivate sharing across the web, CC is well-suited to foster these types of silo-busting conversations. As part of this work, we will be hosting more of these convenings over the coming year.
We’d love to hear from you about what and where our next conversation should be, and if you have suggestions for speakers with experience in behavioral research, technical or social design, or content sharing platforms that may be able to speak to these issues. We will host another conversation in San Francisco in October, with Los Angeles and New York City also possibilities for other months.
Email your ideas to jane or sarah [at] creativecommons [dot] org. We look forward to hearing from you and hosting you at our next conversation!
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