White Paper

Neighbourhoods: A Web 3.0 Groupware Framework

An Ontology for Social Data and Sensemaking

The Social Sensemaker is the Holochain application at the center of the neighbourhoods framework. It runs social computations in neighbourhoods, taking as inputs the social configuration created by a community activator and the many assessments produced by community members, and as outputs, scores attached to resources. These scores are computed according to the set of thresholds specified in this social configuration for selecting and ordering each particular resource. As outputs, they are displayed as views we call 'cultural contexts'.
  • Our reader-friendly documentation of this ontology, which bears very close resemblance to terms used within the Social Sensemaker code base, can be found here.
  • A handy glossary of terms is also available here.

Key Benefits


The Neighbourhoods framework operates in the tradition of low-code and no-code environments. Our ontology captures the vast space of activities and materials around which communities convene, and makes it possible to specify the 'who', 'how', and 'when' of group input. When used within our configuration tools, all of this can be specified for a given application and viewed in a familiar-feeling dashboard that displays data from the Social Sensemaker.

Local Computation

Social data generated in specific contexts should be portable by the users who generate them, but also understood in the context in which they emerged. Given the agent-centric nature of Holochain, everyone in a neighbourhood runs a Sensemaker instance on their device in order to compute on social data according to the designs of the neighbourhood(s) of which they are a part.

Peer Validation

Holochain's unique affordances also make it possible to validate data according to community-defined rules as they are generated, and to reliably trace the provenance of social data via a distributed network of peers without using a blockchain.

Bridging Across Communities

The social sensemaker also enables bridges between communities who recognize the meaning and value of each others’ cultural practices. Because it enables cross-neighbourhood recognition and insight about cultural computations, the social sensemaker and the neighbourhoods framework enable meaningful data portability. Therefore, Neighbourhoods and the Social Sensemaker reduce the social and financial costs of entering and exiting neighbourhoods for groups and individuals.
  • Groups have the means to make decisions about new individuals and about other whole groups
  • Individuals find they need not constantly “start from scratch” accruing the benefits of recognition and reputation in each different social network.