We are inspired by how a small team of technologists at Newspeak House in London created what has become the world’s largest library for COVID-19 response with contributions from around the world. The custom software behind the handbook – JoeDocs – is a collaboration tool designed to support crowdsourcing and rapid community development. It has a wiki-like structure that anyone can edit, with chat for communities to work together. It’s a bit like a library and a coffee shop - users share knowledge in the library and chat and collaborate in the coffee shop. The Coronavirus Tech Handbook and JoeDocs allow communities to quickly assemble and simultaneously contribute to a knowledge base, and for that project to be sustained through integrated monetization.
We are particularly interested in JoeDocs, a tool to connect and create documents to a URL and monetize it. Coronavirus Tech Handbook uses JoeDocs to create a constantly growing set of resource libraries around Coronavirus. It’s easy to add WhatsApp channels on top for a low-entry-barrier, highly shareable, highly networked resource library. Everyone can work on the same information and form a community.
“When you start a community, it’s hard to talk about how it’s funded. You can’t charge entry before anyone’s joined and funding decisions are often contentious. But JoeDocs lets people create handbooks which are monetized from the start. That money can support community organizers. The Coronavirus Tech Handbook is web monetized and anyone could start their own similar handbook. It’s a natural fit that people should fund their communities as they take part in them and a great case study for Web Monetization.“ – Nathan Young, Project Lead on Coronavirus Tech Handbook
Grant for the Web was established to find innovative applications of the open Web Monetization standard. Monetizing a high-volume document like the Coronavirus Tech Handbook, with the proceeds funding the very community contributing to the document, is exactly the type of creative application of open web standards that we’re excited about.
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