A page to gather all the ideas for the web site.

Goals and purpose

Possible goals

Get the message out

This goal is to make the the political message of Oekonux better known. This could come in various flavors outlined below.


A short and comprehensible summary about peer production. This would be a short text which

  • summarizes the principles of peer production

  • uses simple language

    Readers with low level of background should be able to understand this.

  • is fun to read

    May be the Utopian Toilet could be updated and reused.

  • shows how peer production is a great way to live on an individual level

  • fits on an A4 page in medium-big letters

    This would be about 4000 characters.

  • should contain links to the introduction


A deeper explanation of the concepts of peer production. Many of the theoretical building blocks created by Oekonux would be explained here. This could be done by

  • lots of smaller introduction snippets

    This is the way the current introduction does it - though probably there should be texts instead of just bullet point lists.

    This has the advantage, that quick readers can get a quick input. It would also have the advantage that it would be a good reference you can quickly refer/link to in a discussion.

  • a long text explaining everything

    A long text would be more for the "decided" reader who wants to know everything.


A glossary explains the most important terms. If the introduction is done by introduction snippets this would already some sort of glossary.


In the Internet an FAQ is a usual way to give answers to frequently asked questions. This could be also used. May be it can be combined with the introduction snippets or the glossary.

Get new people (more) interested

If people end up on the Oekonux website it would be great if they take the time to get more interested. For this they could be pointed to places where they can find more stuff interesting for them in particular. This could be places inside or outside of Oekonux. May be there could be offerings for special groups.

Get new people involved

Oekonux lives from the participation of open minded people who are interested in the goals of the project. An important aspect is that people with all kinds of background (from scientists to activists, from engineers to political persons, from Germany over New York to Thailand and Kenya, ...) are involved.

There should be a clear message stating

  • that the involvement is wanted
  • what the benefits are for those who get involved
  • which ways exist to get involved

In any case this should be easy to find but not aggressive in the sense of "Get involved" buttons all over the place. A link to inform about Project Oekonux could be useful also.

Inform about Project Oekonux

Information about the Oekonux project itself should be on the website of course. The following information could be useful:

Mission statement

What is the mission of the project? What is Oekonux trying to accomplish? How is this done?

What is Oekonux?

What is Oekonux after all? What is Oekonux not?

The self-description could be a basis for this but needs translation to English.

Oekonux topics

What are Oekonux topics? What are explicitly not Oekonux topics.

History of the project

How did Oekonux start? What happened since then?

The self-description contains a few entries already.

Who participates in Oekonux?

Who are the people who participate in Oekonux? How many are there? Do they have faces? At least some of them?

A link to get new people involved is probably useful here.

Links to the statistics could be useful.

Maintainership / governance structure

How is the project organized? How do decisions come about? Where are decisions recorded? Who are the persons maintaining the project?

Technical and other infrastructure

What infrastructure does the project use? What technical infrastructure is there and what non-technical facilities are used (such as meetings, conferences, etc.)


What is the neighborhood of the project? How does the network look like Oekonux is part of?

Evaluation tasks

As a project with a certain perspective Oekonux in principle could evaluate various things happening in the world. While an evaluation would rather take place on the mailing list, the results of such an evaluation can be communicated to the world via the website.

Each evaluation needs to be done in a scientific way, so this would make criteria necessary to qualify projects as being something or not. This would be hard but could be interesting.

Peer production projects

If Oekonux informs about peer production projects this would also mean that we qualify some projects as peer production - while we do not qualify others. This would involve a certain evaluation.

Products of peer production

It might make sense to also inform about products resulting from peer production. This could be for instance certain Free Software products.

It would be interesting to think about good criteria for such an evaluation.

Oekonux award

The whole topic of evaluation is similar to the challenge of the award initiative.

Theories of peer production

This would be a collection of links to theories of peer production.

There are already extensive sites doing similar things like

However, they do not reflect the approach of Oekonux. Thus there need to be mechanisms which select interesting things.

New developments

New developments which are happening in the world around us could be evaluated. For instance: What to think about blogs?

Other possible goals
  • Foster debates around peer production

    Probably better done on the mailing lists.

  • Influence politics

    This would be a goal for a movement.

  • Research on questions around peer production

  • Develop an "Oekonux theory"

  • Archive the mailing lists

Target groups

  • The masses (TM)

    I'm not so sure about this and whether it makes sense at all. IMHO one of the nice things of peer production is that it is not a political project where masses need to be convinced by arguments / ideology. Masses are convinced by the benefits of peer production anyway. And who is interested in more is of course welcome. But do we need to bug the masses?


  • General audience

Special groups
  • Activists of free/open peer projects
  • Theorists of peer production
  • People being interested in emancipatory movements
  • Politicians
  • Other movements
  • People who like P2P music etc (pirate party voters)
  • Hackers, engineers who are not political
  • Left political people who have never heard of peer production


  • Site for spirited discussion between highly involved people

    This is covered by the mailing lists.

  • Archive of texts

    There should of course be an archival section, but as Franz argued a while back it should not be a comprehensive archive, this already exists in the P2P Foundation.

Content and structure


The idea is to agree on some main categories and sub-categories.

Some examples include:

  • Conference

    1-4 [summary and links to outside sites]

  • Texts

    • Stefan Mn (from old website)
    • Book chapters (?)
  • Definitions

    • Free Software
    • Capitalism
    • Peer production
    • Germ form
  • Awards

  • Resources

    • Free Software
    • Free Hardware
    • ...
  • Propaganda / media

  • Mailing lists

    • [ox]
    • [pox]
    • ...
  • Theory factory

    Debates of short texts between authors (as suggested by Franz)

    Texts should come from many authors

  • Summary


    For a (German) friend I just browsed some of the older Oekonux texts on the German site. There are a few pearls there which go in this direction. However, they are much longer. May be we should take the effort to translate a few...


  • Catchy slogans

    Along with graphics / visuals? Same consideration as above.

  • Art projects

    There may be some artists out there who would be interested in collaborating with a peer production perspective.

  • Link page

    Have a links page which features some links to the sites of the people in the conference. Sections could include theory of peer production, actual usable free software (Open Office etc), hardware projects (Marcin, etc). This would take some work, no doubt.

    Another idea could be to leverage Michel's work somehow. Though Michel's project is far less strict theoretically than Oekonux there are lots and lots of links some of which are useful for Oekonux, too. May be this could be reused somehow?

The message

  • On the front page

    • Replacing

      In Project Oekonux different people with different opinions and different methods study the economic and political forms of Free Software. An important question is, whether the principles of the development of Free Software may be the foundation of a new economy which may be the base for a new society.

    • For instance: Have a longer and more explicit text, for example emphasising the main characteristics of peer production (open, free, cooperative, robust, efficient, non-violent, fun, non-corporate, spreading like wildfire, non-monetary, etc etc) and explain that Oekonux is a online hub for peer production theory and practice.

  • For instance:

    Most importantly, I think the notion that peer production is a "germ form" is powerful: the successful alternative to capitalism is happening _now_ in free software and hardware, in grassroots projects. And, it actually works better than proprietary products. It is more robust and better value. Yes, capitalism recuperates the process, uses it to sell other stuff, but (to be optimistic for a minute) that is because we are in a phase of transition. Realistically, peer production answers a deep human need for cooperation, it is here to stay.

  • For instance:

    When there is a chance that people who have no clue about what use or exchange value are... will nonetheless massively support an organisation like the Pirate Party because they like free culture... I contend that the purpose of Oekonux is to articulate and communicate to these people just how the rejection of exchange value contains the germ form of a future society based on emancipation and cooperation. Or at least that P2P can spread beyond music and film... I also doubt that exchange will disappear completely. In short, Oekonux needs to connect the rejection of copyright to a much wider social critique.

General considerations

  • No texts are signed apart from the long theoretical texts and the debates.

  • In no instance I'd like to advertise Oekonux in any aggressive way like we know (and hate) it from commercial advertisement. I think we have a good and useful message and if this message is accessible we don't need to be aggressive. Free Software doesn't need it either ;-) .

  • Currently the Oekonux web sites host

    • Mailing list archives and homes
    • Texts including an introduction
    • Some link pages (German and outdated, however)
    • Some statistics (German site)
    • Some digital glue / navigation
  • Could be really a not only "critical", but also "in-depth" and "subjective" resource about ongoing developments. It would be great to see Oekonx 2.0 as an international editorial board of a resource collection that is not primarily looking at facts (Michel does that now with great diligence) but rather at evaluations of what is going on. Do not know how Stefan feels about that, but I would see Oekonux 2.0 as an international board of authors and theorists that discuss with each other. not primarily on the mailing list, but in a more theoretical essayist way. My motto is: Nobody looks at archives. Things gotta be ordered and reordered.

    Keimform and P2P Foundation have filled our hunger for facts and factoids, now its maybe time again for a more theoretical perspective and "grand views", but also what you are asking for, the strategical and practical discussions about how we can communicate to many many more people our theoretical findings and political strategies.

    -- FranzN

  • The site should

    • Articulate clearly how peer production is a germ form for a society without exchange - short texts, slogans
    • It should have some longer theories to back up
    • It should provide concrete examples of how peer production is working now
    • It should provide concrete examples of how peer production might be applied to other sectors. This is a key point. What can be done to extend peer production?
    • Offer some means of dialogue between the ox community and others
  • Interactivity will help to attract people. What I an suggesting is that people with a strong interest in peer production (basically anyone on the lists, though obviously people like Christian and Michel for example (who have big websites) or Smari or whomever would agree to debate all comers on an open wiki. This could be restricted to certain days (once or twice a week) during a month. We would "advertise" this widely over the net - Oekonux monthly / ? /quarterly dialogues or whatever. We could publish a summary after each one.

  • In my view to make the website attractive it would help to have regularly updated content and / or interactivity.

    Possibly there could be a [link to a] new featured text on the front page each month: this would be a way to rebuild from the ground up by re-introducing new and old "important" [ox] texts.

    Yes, bloglike teasers from new articles and news. Interactivity: comments?

    And we could feed the topics from maillist debates into a sidebar.

  • Also I think it would be good to have some interaction where a person involved in the theory or practice of peer production responds to people / engages in dialogue every month.

    Another more relaxed way to do this could be an interview. We could send a list of questions (which have to be carefully prepared) to peer producers and theorists and present them on the side under special category (to be easily find).

  • I could imagine having a blog in the front with promoted (existing) articles and news, interviews, project-of-the-month etc. and a wiki in the back where articles are collected and developed. Alternatively a Content-Management-System with such corresponding features could be used (like Drupal, Joomla etc.)

  • The idea [of feeds] could be extended to ox "sister projects" like p2pf or keimform. Using and mixing feeds is quite simple and powerful. Having different sources of ox-near content on the website makes it more attractive to visit the side from time to time.

  • I think we should try to prevent a fixed timing. I do not see that we have the resources for this at the moment. But a fixed timing is rarely needed in the web :-) .

  • Comments on the website could be fed back to the mailing lists. Should be moderated.


  • Special editors get write access
    • StefanMn as the maintainer
  • Comments from the general public could be possible
    • For this an easy interface is needed


Oekonux/Project/WebSite/Analysis/Ideas (last edited 2009-09-14 18:14:33 by StefanMerten)

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