Scuttleships Implementation Update #1
Implementation Outline Version 1:
Groups of ~5-8 interested individuals will be offered a fixed one-off payment to participate in an experiment in the Scuttleship ecosystem for a specified period of time – for example, one hour per week for two months (((8hrs * 30p/hr)*5-8pp) = $1200-$1920) – after which, if any choose to continue to participate in the Scuttleverse they would be offered explicit social-support structures.
This experiment would involve five interdependent elements:
## **Inviting Participation**
Scuttleships convenors (hereafter ‘we’) will run small discussion groups with up to 10 people who:
- Are interested in better-future projects yet face barriers to participation to do so sustainably (e.g., precarious access to financial and social resources).
- Have experience engaging in resource-sharing spaces that foster a sense of shared community (physical or digital) and are open to the idea of trying SSB as an additional tool for resource-sharing, organising, and community-building practices (see: footnote 1).
- Have perspectives that are in the minority within the Scuttleverse – for example, experience from being grouped into categories of people whose voices and values are marginalised within the broader sociocultural contexts (see: footnote 2).
During this discussion, we would introduce the idea of using Scuttlebutt to share resources and provide peer-support with others who share one or more elements of their lived experiences as a member of a marginalised group. And provide a demonstration of how SSB can be used by communities who:
- want an alternative to mainstream social media
- are distributed and/or located in areas where access to the internet is unreliable.
- value asynchronous, long-form communications
- arrange gatherings and/or host discussions
- generate creative content for public use (e.g., educational resources, blogs, etc.,)
- participate in networks of solidarity
## **Building Harbours**
Those from this discussion who are interested in using Scuttlebutt will be invited to form small-groups. After the groups are formed, we would facilitate the creation of a contained launching space (harbour) within ssb – like a private group an ssb-ahoy , or an ssb-island.
The goal here is three-fold:
1. A harbour would provide a space to become familiar with the value of one or more ssb client for existing communication practices; a guided-lesson rather than a thrown in the deep-end type introduction to the sociotechnical complexities of the Scuttleverse
2. Harbours could function as private spaces to converse and share resources in ways that build upon shared experiences/knowledge (without the alertness of a need to moderate their behaviour for a broader audience or the expectation they should respond to requests to break things down into 101s)- see footnote 3
3. Once established, harbours could become a space for peer-support refuge where butts with a given shared-experience could recharge following interactions within spaces where those experiences are routinely devalued or dismissed – something akin to a minority-caucus gathering space (footnote 3 is relevant here too).
For an example of how this could be of value, consider a Scuttleships group comprised of people who each have shared experiences in relation to #disability activism (see footnotes 4).
## **Exploring the Archipelago**
Any participant who wants to engage in the broader Scuttleverse will be supported to do so both during and after the paid period of time. A key element of this support would be having someone within the existing scuttlebutt community volunteer to be a point-of-contact to support their explorations within the wider Scuttleverse (by directing questions to those most likely to know the most up-to-date and relevant information, suggesting channels and projects of interest, etc.,).
## **Amplifying the Ripple Effect**
Once familiar with the broader Scuttleverse culture, groups will be invited to select some of their private conversations to re-post publicly as a [fishbowling](%Y4mlSnvBGhGcjHJc20w9aqCHYjJzsxp7LaAIr4n3yhI=.sha256) exercise. The goal here would be to amplify the voices of people who are typically marginalised, while minimising the costs that speaking-up about marginal experiences typically requires (see footnote 5)
## **Navigating towards Better Futures**
Those that wish to contribute will have the opportunity to indicate the types of support they would need to do so in a sustainable manner. At a minimum, participant will be provided with an as up-to-date-as-possible list of projects happening in the Scuttleverse at the time that they may wish to contribute to.
- Future iterations could make the Scuttleships more inclusive; for the present purposes, I think this is important to include in the selection-criteria for two reasons. Firstly, for those who choose to continue to participate after their Scuttleship ends, we cannot offset ongoing costs so it is important that participants have the relevant communication and community-building skills to help
- Even when these grouping are analytic categories, the categorisation of people into even artificial grouping has concrete disadvantages for those categorised as less-than the default/normal/ideal category.
- This notion comes from a long-history of nurturing semi-secret activist spaces where people could find practical resistance to political and social repression through creating a discursive space of collectivity organized around a shared experience (see: [Moria Kenney, 2001](https://www.booktopia.com.au/mapping-gay-l-a--moira-rachel-kenney/prod9781566398848.html)): 21-24). Creating these spaces at a distance from the larger ecosystem isn’t aren’t about segregation; instead, it is about providing a space where recuperation is possible because being alert is not required – in the sense of [homeliness that Ryan Gustafsson](%XtgglUiL5BZdXzRt+Q8dTvBYrKaEKYkxlcBOClgyjUc=.sha256) develop.
- Some examples: An example of shared-knowledge often found by among those with disabilities a shared understanding of [disability as systemic disadvantages rather than as individual failings](https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4596173/) – a shared knowledge that can create a refuge from the broader world that is sometimes referred to as [access intimacy](https://leavingevidence.wordpress.com/2011/05/05/access-intimacy-the-missing-link/). Meanwhile, an example of ‘experiences not being valued’ occurs when able-bodied people pity those experiencing disabilities rather than working in solidarity with them and recognising the resilience of disabled people given the inequity of resource distribution within our societies).
- This approach seeks to find a mid-point between the following tensions between the [burn-out of educating](https://disabledfeminists.com/2010/05/02/educate-yourself/) and the counterproductive outcomes of [expecting others to educate themselves](https://everydayfeminism.com/2017/04/go-educate-themselves-complicated/). It does this by drawing on the notion that [sharing personal-stories can contribute to systemic change](https://www.thechangetoolkit.org.au/effective-storytelling/) and the [ring-theory of allyship[(https://firstname.lastname@example.org/modifying-silk-ring-theory-for-allyship-c7ae4963912d) – where we aim to listen-in (to the voices of marginalised people), seek-out resources (engage with recommended resources, and seek guidance rather than expecting easy answers), and speak-out (e.g., become allies that can guide others through the educational process by amplifying the voices of marginalised people).