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8/12/2004
structure vs non-structure
Is that a real duality?

That question isn't the point of my writing this post tonight. My point is to see if I can figure out a bit about when structure is important for an undertaking. Coming out of the Giving Conference in June, several of us started work on a commons that would be owned by it's members (individuals and networks or institutions of various kinds) and would allow these members to collectively accomplish what they couldn't do alone, all the while operating under their own individual names, not giving up identity to the commons.

Yesterday we had our 2nd conference call to see about moving forward and I'm so confused about what happened. What happened was (I think) that some people on the call were advocating for structure only when necessary to facilitate particular interactions between two or more members of the "giving community" which wouldn't ever really define itself, but could losely be described as anyone at the giving conference or who joins the process now going forward at the conference website or at any of the various online (mailing lists, wikis, blogs, omidyar.net, etc) or fact to face spaces created for work of this kind.

In my mind that's all fine and good as well, but totally misses the point of the conference call and what the convenors of that call are trying to do. What am I missing? Is there a defiition of a commons somewhere that I should've read before trying to figure this out? Someone, please help!