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Network Effect[edit]

EDGE is of course subject to a strong albeit local network effect, i.e. it is of more use if widely adopted, providing relatively little incentive for early adopters. Particularly important for usefulness is adoption by ones friends, so while a low overhead for adoption is important, the ease with which users can recommend the software to their friends may prove decisive. Recommending EDGE to friends by EMailing them (and accepting such an Emailed recommendation) should therefore be as simple as possible - i.e. clicking one button in a GUI is ideal.

Integration With WWW Sites[edit]

Many, perhaps most, websites ask their users to confirm their Email address, which would administrators to notify users about EDGE and to facilitate automate data export from their site. Whether they track only a little user data (e.g. a count of forum posts) or a lot (e.g. EBay's feedback system whereby users evaluate their interactions with one one another), this could be exported to a custom made EDGE/Module. This would include Unit definitions for the particular activities around which the site is based (e.g.for Couchsurfing, units could define wh had offered or provided hospitality to whom).

Although business-minded administrators may see little short term advantage in integration with a more decentralised system, users might find a way to avoid vendor lock-in, for example by scraping web pages. Moreover, not all sites are administered for commercial purposes, and the idea of promoting a decentralised gift economy may appeal to some site administrators, who could then decentralise their data by creating a suitable module and exporting website existing to it on a user by user basis.

Advantages of Export from 'Walled Gardens'[edit]

One advantage of importing WWW data into EDGE would be the convenience of locally holding data in one format ( evaluations) on one machine instead of having it in incompatible formats on a set of remote websites. users could get a tangible benefit from integrating their data between different 'walled gardens' of WWW. For example, users who were altruistic on one site and had a established a high reputation by, for example, hosting a lot of people through Couch Surfing, might wish that reputation to be visible in other contexts.

Difficulty of Export from 'Walled Gardens'[edit]

Exporting data will prove tricky for sites which have important data that cannot be converted into a set of evaluations, or for other technical reasons. Some sites may even face legal problems such as privacy commitments.

Gift Economy Sites[edit]

Of particular note are the dozens of Gift Economy Websites which try to match up their users' offers and requests. Many of these are quite small and could probably be quick to grasp the benefits to users of increasing their site's reach. It is to be hoped that gift economy site administrators in particular may seek not to grow their own walled gardens of data, but instead but the interests of their users first and cooperate to create a larger, decentralised system.

Export to EDGE...[edit]

At this stage, too much focus on creation of 'exit strategies' whereby site owners and/or users can export the data to an EDGE module woudl be premature. However, the importance of adoption patterns should be borne in mind when designing the software.