Collecting the "What's Next" steps from the previous patterns, here's our current "distributed roadmap" for the Peeragogy project.
This pattern catalog has been rewritten in a way that should make it easy for anyone to add new patterns. Making it easy and fruitful for others to get involved is one of the best ways to redistribute the load (compare the Newcomer pattern).
Creating A Guide:
We've been talking with collaborators in the Commons Abundance Network about how to make a Pattern Language for the Commons. One of the challenges that arises is how to support ongoing development of the Pattern Language itself: a "living" map for a living territory. We're refining the Peeragogy Pattern language and template as a seed for this.
Discerning A Pattern:
What do the patterns we've observed say about the self-selection processes of the group? For instance, it's possible that a widespread interest in organic gardening, say, may indicate the participants are oriented to cooperation, personal health, or environmental activism. What can we learn about the Peeragogy project from our collected patterns?
When the project is bigger than more than just a few people, it's likely you'll get several heartbeats -- for instance, we've recently been running two weekly meetings in the Peeragogy project, for members with slightly different interests and slightly different availability. Finding ways to communicate across these different "camps" is useful.
We recently submitted an abstract called "Escape from Peeragogy Island" to a geography conference talking about the spatiality of peer production. The idea behind this article is that we feel like we've come up with something great with the Peeragogy project, but we're going to be a bit isolated if it's not transparently useful to others. If we can't explain why it's a great idea, then it's not entirely clear how great of an idea it actually is.
Fast-forwarding a few years from the DIY Math experiment: as part of the PlanetMath project, we are hoping to build a well-thought-through example of a peer learning space for mathematics. One of the ideas we're exploring is to use patterns and antipatterns (exactly like the ones in this catalog) as a way not only of designing a learning space, but also of talking about the difficulties that people frequently run into when studying mathematics. Building an initial collection of Calculus Patterns may help give people the guide-posts they need to start effectively self-organizing.
Messy With Lurkers:
What comes out of thinking about the anti-pattern is that we need to be careful about how we think about "virtues" in a peer production setting. It is not just a question of being a "good contributor" to an existing project, but of continually improving the methods that this project uses to make meaning.
As Paul Graham wrote about programming languages -- programmers are typically "satisfied with whatever language they happen to use, because it dictates the way they think about programs" -- so too are people often "satisfied" with their social environments, because these tend to dictate the way they think and act in life. Nevertheless, if we put our minds to it, we can become more "literate" in the patterns that make up our world and the ways we can effect change.
We recently ran a Paragogical Action Review to elicit feedback from participants in the Peeragogy project. Some of them brought up dissatisfactions, and some of them brought up confusion. Can we find ways to bring these concerns front-and-center, without embarrassing the people who brought them up?
We have hinted that, in this project, effective criticism is very welcome! But understanding what makes criticism effective is, in general, still a research problem.
We recently revised the "How to Get Involved" page, listing the top ten sites we use. Another reasonable thing to post would be a top-ten list of activities, so that people can get an easier view on the kinds of things we do in the project.
Polling For Ideas:
We've considered asking new members of the project to do an "entry survey" as part of joining the project, to describe their aims and understanding of what they hope to contribute. This could establish a context of contribution, and help new members to feel like full "peers".
Praxis Vs Poeisis:
"Platform" debates can be frustrating but can also add something to a project in the long term, since they help people become aware of their priorities. As mentioned in the Newcomer pattern, developing a more clear picture of the activities that we engage in in the project will help make it comprehensible to others. It will also be useful for us to have a clearer picture of what we do, and what we make.
Adding "What's Next" steps to our patterns gives us a "distributed roadmap." And this works both ways: If we sense that something needs to change about the project, that's a clue that we might need to record a new pattern.
We've listed some of the roles for which we're seeking volunteers in the Peeragogy.org Roadmap: Volunteer Coordinator, Seminar Coordinator, Usability Guru, Activities Master, and Tech lead. As with everything else in the roadmap, this list should be reviewed and revised regularly, as the roles are understood relative to the actual happenings in the Peeragogy project.
In the third year of the Peeragogy project, rather than just keep working on the handbook, we've been working on building a Peeragogy Accelerator, as a peer support system for projects related to peer learning and peer production. Not only does specificity help member projects, being clear about what the Accelerator itself is supposed to do will help people get involved.
We're working on a new handbook chapter about the relationship of open source software and peeragogy. This will include some more specific ideas about ways of making change.
If we are actively engaging with other people, then this is a foundation for strong ties. In this case of deep learning, our aims are neither instrumental nor informational, but "interactional". Incidentally, the "One of us" quoted above has been one of the most consistently engaged peeragogues over the years of the project. Showing up is a good step -- you can always help someone else move their washing machine!
We need better practices for wrapping things up at various levels. One of the latest ideas is to develop a simple visual "dashboard" for the project.