This is the old Gittip blog. We have renamed to Gratipay and moved our blog.

Introducing Communities

May 13, 2013, 3:32 pm

One of the things we’ve noticed over the past year since Gittip launched is that Gittip grows community by community. It’s not enough for an isolated individual to join the site, either as a giver or a receiver. They’ll have a disappointing experience. Gittip is a network and it depends on the network effect to be valuable: the more of your friends and colleagues that are on there, the more fun and useful it is.

Through historical accident, Gittip’s growth in its first year has been in the open source software community in general, and in the Python programming language community in particular. There are other communities represented on the site, but because the homepage to date has shown only the top ten givers and receivers on the site as a whole, and because Python was the first community to start using Gittip, it’s been hard for other communities to see themselves on Gittip.

That changes today with the launch of a new “Communities” feature on Gittip. Now, self-organizing communities of 150 members or more each get their own homepage on Gittip. Why 150? Because it’s the Dunbar number, the rough upper limit of the people in a social group that we can each keep track of in our own head. The communities feature is designed to split the Gittip homepage up into multiple homepages, one for each large community or ecosystem. In the coming months we’ll be introducing additional features on Gittip to better model projects and other smaller groups.

We actually soft-launched this communities feature two weeks ago, and today the Korea community became the first to cross the 150 mark, thanks to a call to action from Hong Minhee.

Unfortunately, international credit cards are a rarity in Korea, so the Korea community’s actual giving and receiving won’t be very robust until we’re able to improve Gittip’s non-U.S. payments story. That said, it was a wonderful surprise today to discover Korea appear out of nowhere on the list of communities on Gittip, and quickly reach the 150 mark. We’ll get payments sorted out sooner or later, and when we do they’ll still have been the first.

What will be the next community to tip into viability on Gittip? That’s up to you! What communities are you a part of? Go find or add them on Gittip!

Update: Python and JavaScript have become the second and third communities on Gittip!