Major updates to CommunityRule

CommunityRule chatbotAt MEDLab, we like to test our ideas in code. One example of this is CommunityRule, a platform that enables users to create and share rule-sets for their communities. A tool like this is vital to ensure that online communities, activist groups, open-source projects, and other kinds of informal gatherings can establish some basic frameworks for the flows of power. CommunityRule also enables users to share their designs in a public library and build on the designs of others.

Thanks to the efforts of MEDLab fellow Rohit Taware, CommunityRule has just adopted significant improvements. Read about the changes on the MEDLab blog:

Congratulations to Rohit for completing his degree and moving on to work in industry.

"Democratic Design for Everyday Tech" event in San Francisco

What would it look like if online platforms were designed with democracy in mind? This event presents projects that are doing just that—building values like transparency, collective decision-making, and accessibility for all into their designs. Learn about ambitious, Bay Area-based projects that enable ordinary users to co-govern their online lives.

​Hosted by MEDLab director Nathan Schneider, the event celebrates the publication of his new book, Governable Spaces: Democratic Design for Online Life.

​Featured speakers:

Join us on Saturday, June 8 at 4 p.m. at the Internet Archive in San Francisco. Learn more and RSVP here.

Radio: Rudy Fraser on Blacksky

MEDLab's radio show, Looks Like New, comes out the fourth Thursday of every month on KGNU, 88.5 FM, or online as a podcast. Here's what we heard about last month:

A new kind of social media is emerging that is open, interoperable, and not controlled by any one company. One iteration of it is called Bluesky. Bluesky lets you follow feeds specific to your interests, and each feed is created, curated, and run by individuals or groups. Rather than relying on corporate engineers, this is everyone's opportunity to try their hand in building their own algorithm and cultivating an online experience.

This month's guest, Rudy Fraser, is the founder of Papertree, a resource that provides joint money accounts for communities. Papertree started as a crowdfunding system to help neighborhoods provide financial assistance for groceries to community members. Rudy chose to build Blacksky, his own feed on Bluesky, to create a space for Black internet users to build a safe and supportive community online. Listen to this month's episode to learn more about the emerging opportunities in social media through Rudy's experience building Blacksky—and how novel moderation systems are reaching for new ways of connecting people online.

On May 23, our latest episode will feature Anjali and James Young, founders of Collab.Land, a blockchain-based cooperative tool for online communities.

Subscribe today on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, or directly through our new website. You can also follow the show on Instagram, Mastodon, and X.