Cofundos.org is a novel platform for spurring innovation and development of open-source software. It can have quite an impact on open-source and web collaboration in general: Cofundos.org is about revealing bright ideas regarding the development of open-source software and attracting a critical mass for their realization. The main idea of Cofundos.org is to share innovative (open-source) ideas, to refine them and to mobilize funding for their realization.
There exist now already a number of Web sites and services empowering its users to pool resources in order to achieve certain goals.
Pledgebank for example is a universal pledging service, whereas Fundable is a platform for goal-oriented fundraising.Change.org, tries to connect people concerned about certain causes with non-profit organizations that relate to them. And when it comes to widgets, ChipIn makes it easy to embed dynamic fundraising boxes into any website. There are a number of Facebook applications as well.
Missing so far was a platform exploiting the power of many distinctively for open-source software development. This is the aim of Cofundos.org. The concept is based on the following principles:
- Open-knowledge and open-source. All ideas and contributions on Cofundos are licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution License. All project outcomes must be licensed under an OSI approved open-source license.
- Reputation and community. Bright ideas and excellent solutions often originate from outstanding individuals. But it needs a community to mature these ideas and solutions and in order to bring the critical mass together for their realization.
- Fairness and trust. An open, accountable and transparent environment will foster fair communication and trustworthy relationships between its users.
- Big impacts can be achieved in small steps. Conceiving and realising bright ideas does not require many year developments or huge amounts of funding. Their realisation can be achieved by bringing together innovative ideas with clearly defined features and requirements based on community involvement and fostering their accomplishment by committed specialists.
In addition to these principles, Cofundus.org is entirely semantically interoperable – all (non-sensitive) content is accessible in the form of Atom, JSON feeds or as RDF export. Cofundos invites everybody to register or login using OpenId and to post software ideas, requirements or even bid for the realization of existing projects.
Cofundos is operated by the Agile Knowledge and Semantic Web research group (AKSW) at the Department of Business Information Systems at UniversitÃ¤t Leipzig. It is supported by the collaborative research project SoftWiki and the International Association of Online Engineering.