OneCommons is a platform for running cloud services developed and run by its users. We are applying the same principles of openness, collaboration, and decentrialization upon which Linux, Wikipedia and Bitcoin were built to create a new cloud infrastructure that guarantees users security, privacy and control.
Imagine you could create online services just like open source projects and run them for free and forever.
Imagine you could fork a live web services and both services’ data and user accounts stayed in sync.
Imagine using social media sites that gave you complete control over your privacy and your online identity.
Imaging if the contributions you make to sites were always available to you. No vendor lock-in, no walled gardens.
Imagine a platform where you could create what you love, make it available to all and still get fairly compensated.
Running a online service can be considerably more challenging then releasing open source code. Maintaining highly reliable services with ongoing obligations such as support require consistent attention to often tedious tasks. There are hard costs such as hardware and bandwidth that can’t be avoided. And running public services opens up new policy and governance challenges that can be tougher to address than technical issues.
In order to succeed OneCommons needs to institute mechanisms that address these issues. These “pillars for success” shape the architecture of OneCommons:
Reproducible, open source cloud infrastructure. Anyone can recreate a running environment from scratch.
Decentralized, ubiquitous data. This enables the user to have control of her data. And running on a reproducible, open source cloud enables for forking powers.
A funding mechanism that aligns economics incentives with the project’s core values and goals, has clear advantages over proprietary competitors, and provides fair compensation for contributors who build and run this service.
Collaborative and governance model for running and managing online services akin to open source development. Need to support non-technical contributors including ease-of-use and recognition.
Appealing to one’s idealism is not enough to be successful. Our services must provide clear, concrete advantages. Luckily, the nature of OneCommons provides it with unfair advantages over proprietary alternatives:
OneCommons has recently graduated from crazy to not-so-crazy idea! Here’s how you can help it become a kind of working prototype.