Frequently Asked Questions

General Questions

What is it all about, anyway?

Countless philosophers have spent their entire lives trying to answer this one... So, sorry, we cannot tell you what it is all about.

Oh, you didn't mean life, the universe and everything? You only meant this site? That's easy...

It is a site about everything.

And anything. Well, within limits, anyway.

It is a site about anything you can think of, for which you need like-minded people. As in - an idea you have, or a dream that you want to "open source", just like those hippies writing Linux do. Open source it, and have other people help you turn your dream into reality.

Why is there no feature X?

The site is still under heavy development. If you think a specific feature is necessary for your project, please use the Feedback form below and let us know.

Specific Questions

Why do I need a profile?

If you want to participate in a project, the members of that project would like to know who you are. This site is not about nameless and faceless worker ants slaving away at a problem in their cubicles. It is about real people getting together and pooling their resources to make an idea happen. If you want to join real people, you would need to be one too...

I am trying to create a profile, but my country/state/town is not listed?

Sorry, we have no full map of the planet yet. Please select "other" and then let us know (use the Feedback form below) - we will add your place to the list of selections.

Why can I have more than one profile?

To paraphrase Joel Salatin - you can be a Buddhist, and you can be a nudist, and people will respect those choices; but being a nudist Buddhist is stretching it a bit too far. So, suppose you have:

  • a personal blog where you post stuff about your personal life,
  • a professional site where you discuss topics on which you are an expert,
  • a political commentary blog where you vent your rage at the establishement,
  • a Buddhist site,
  • a nudist site,
  • a ...

... well, you get the picture. So, you would probably prefer not to get these mixed up, and have the audience of one suspect you of maintaining another. If you then want to join projects and use these sites of yours as your credentials on their respective topics, things may get rather awkward for you.

Which is why we have allowed you to create more than one public profile. When you join a project, people within that project will see that profile only and will have no way to link it to your other profiles, unless you tell them what they are.

I have a great idea. Should I start a project for it?

Yes, by all means. The purpose of this site is to help you find other people who are passionate about the same thing, form a community and work towards making that idea a reality. However, before you start a new project - please browse the existing projects and see if there is such a community already; it will be much better to join a similar (maybe not identical) project than to fragment the community into many small projects.

Why do I need to enter a name again when I join a project?

Yes, you already have a name as part of your profile. However, if you are named Jill Citizen and there are three of them in this project already, you might want to change that to something more distinctive within this project without having to create a new profile for the purpose.

How can I help a project?

So... you have seen a great idea and you want to support it, but the porject does not need people with the competencies you have - they need people to develop things you know nothing about. This is not a problem! In fact, the whole idea of this site revolves around solving this! What you can do is: you can supply some service to other projects and acquire "credits" from them (each credit being roughly equivalent to one hour of work). You can then donate these credits to a project you want to support, and they will be used as payment for somebody else's services that the project does need. This makes the system a sort of "clearing house" for services where you do what you are competent at, for causes that need it, in order to support other causes that you care about.

What is the story with this "waiting validation" status?

Ah... you just edited your profile, or project, and it got disabled automatically and just sits there with a "waiting validation" status. Why? Because we are paranoid, and we want to make sure your new texts are not trying to promote to our members affordable ways to enhance their masculinity, or any of the other crap peddled by spam. (Yes, we do get spam. And no, we have absolutely no tolerance to any form of spam, even the "search engine optimisation" links people put in their public profiles to enhance their pagerank. Yes, this is also a form of spam.)

What can a project be about?

Anything which will make the world a better place.

What can a project not be about?

Anything which is illegal in the Commonwealth of Australia. Also, anything promoting violence (including the development and promotion of weapons), racial or sexual discrimination, religion or anything else we may retroactively add to the list in the future.

How do I promote my project?

Each project has its own unique URL looking something like this:

http://www.os-dreams.org/projects/5d2d44f0-4fc6-11e2-99aa-001a4d50762d/

You can send it to people who you have good reason to believe will be interested in your project.

Sending it to others is considered spam and is unacceptable.

What does it mean that a project is hidden?

When you make your project hidden, it will not be listed in the Projects directory and there will be no link to it on the site, except in the private zones of project members. However, the URL will still be web-accessible - otherwise there would never be any new members in it, because how can you invite anyone to join you at a URL which is not accessible, eh? Also, if you post a Job Ad, it will be linked to your project.

What are Job Ads?

When you visit the Requests section, you will see requests for help there (called Job Ads, since they advertise for a job to be done). Each of these has a tentative budget attached to it, in the form of "Credits" (one credit being roughly equal to an hour of work); this is the requester's estimate and is subject to haggling. If any of these jobs is something you want to do (and can actually do...), you can contact the requester and arrange for the task to be given to you, after which the requester should mark it as "Closed". When you deliver the result, the requester should transfer to you the amount of Credits you agreed to.

What can I do with my Credits?

You can transfer your credits to a Project. The project can then use them to post Job Ads and get stuff done which will advance it. In this way, you can contribute to a Project you like by doing work for other Projects.

Can I sell my Credits?

No, you cannot sell your credits. If you want to work for money, you should look for a freelance hiring web site.

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