Groups are implemented on Hypothesis as a mechanism for cultivating socialization, belonging and collective competition. They can best be described as chat-centric in-app communities, where members combine brainpower to produce higher-quality Context and make more accurate predictions than they could alone in order to maximize their Foresight growth and earn more rewards. They are also intimate places for users to converse about their prediction answers and recruit individuals with a diversity of expertise to round out any knowledge deficits among their memberships. Functionally, groups serve as an additional layer of accountability, as all research produced in the group setting can be vetted by its members before publication.
Groups should require at least one founding member, and have no membership limit or Foresight threshold for subscribing users to create. They should be invite-only or open, and should have flexible governance and visibility options. For example, a group could be controlled entirely by its administrators, who decide what content to make public and when, or it can alternatively be more democratic, with an open content authorship and collaboration style and voting system to choose which Context should be published, which questions should be asked and which predictions should be made collectively.
Users should be able to hold membership of only one group concurrently, and could be granted adjustable levels of authority by their administrators, including permission to share research to the group’s main newsfeed, the ability to invite and add new members, and access to the group’s chat. Groups can be as small as a few close friends or as large as an entire news organization. All Context produced within the group setting should be published under the group’s name, and all rewards earned by the group should be credited to the group for distribution according to the group’s governance structure.
Groups have a Foresight and Usefulness rating similar to individual users, with group Foresight calculated as the mean of their members’ Foresight and group Usefulness calculated as the mean Usefulness of the content for which the group is the credited publisher.
Hypothesis should function under a “centralized decentralization” model, where the content creation process, from inception to collaboration to publishing is located on Hypothesis but under the control of its users. This type of system foreseeably requires a more robust and user-friendly toolset than what exists within the confines of a mobile application format, so it is in the best interest of the platform to investigate the feasibility of a browser-based version of the app that allows users to more easily create content either through a proprietary, Hypothesis-produced collaboration system or through integrations with existing applications like Google Docs, Slack and Discord.
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