H+ Connect (?)

As part of my role as Vice Chairman of futurist advocacy organization Humanity+, I’ve been devoting a few spare thought-cycles recently to the issue of building community among the futurist/transhumanist/Singularitarian/whatever community….

I thought of the idea of creating some kind of social-networky thing for transhumanists specifically.  Humanity+ Board member Amy Li suggested that “Connect” was a better name than “Network”, and I decided I liked the ring of “H+ Connect.”

So for now at least, H+ Connect it is…

I’ll now briefly describe the “H+ Connect” vision in my  mind….   These thoughts are currently QUITE PRELIMINARY and definitely fall into the estimable category of “brainstorming” 😉 …

H+ Connect would be a dynamic network of information about transhumanist people and groups thereof.   Initially it would be represented by a website, but the same network of information could take some different practical form in future…

Some concrete ideas are:

  • let people join as H+ Connect as members for free
  • to join, an individual must input some basic information about themselves
  • members can form and join groups….  These groups may represent general interest groups, or specific projects
  • a project group should have some shared workspace, like a wiki page (with subpages) or similar.  For instance, the organization of a Humanity+ conference would correspond to a project group.  Or, there could just be a group of people interested in sharing information about some specific book or technology.  Etc.
  • a general interest group focused on business networking, would be in essence an “H+ Business Network”, an idea I have put forth before.  Folks in the H+ Business network, when on business travel, could look up others in the network and get together to discuss possible collaboration
  • a general interest group comprised of practicing scientists, would be an “H+ Science Network”, another idea I floated once before
  • members should be able to submit articles to H+ Magazine via the H+ Connect site, and have other members vote on the article’s relevance and quality….  POSSIBLY: Any article with votes above a certain threshold gets into the magazine….  In this way the members themselves take on a lot of the editorial role….

There is likely some existing software that could be customized to serve the above functions.  Or maybe some scripting must be done to combine existing software together into an overall site….

I don’t currently think this should be done within some existing social network site like Facebook or LinkedIn.   Those sites are valuable (though I admit I don’t really like them or use them often), but they would nudge the community in a different direction than would be the case if we had our own site and owned our own experience and information.  On the other hand, we definitely don’t want to reinvent the wheel software-wise.

There is a lot more to be thought through here in terms of branding, user experience design, implementation and everything else….  I’m just tossing out the idea now to get some feedback…


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