… is said to be imitation.
A short while back, I was surprised by a very kind email from one of the managers of an astronomers’ association. They asked for permission to adopt (and adapt) the rules and methods used in Macuarium.com’s inter-user marketplace: apparently, common members of both communities suggested it when they encountered trouble. And they’re very respectful of intellectual property.
Our Zoco is a sort of “classifieds” with a very particular philosophy, adapted to large communities of practice. We are extremely satisfied with the way it solves our particular needs without complex software, and now we’re very glad to see that the methodology is, as we thought, exportable. It does give an extra lift to see people do things with such good manners, too. Kudos to them, and welcome to it.
[Update: The contrast is especially crude with another set of methodology-lifters who run the online forums of a Spanish foundation dedicated to international cooperation… in a very high-handed way. As soon as I find the link I’ll post it here.]