In this paper, we lay out an alternative unit of social cohesion to replace platforms on the distributed web: neighbourhoods. Neighbourhoods are designed from the perspectives of agents and groups, as well as the social intelligence they require to coordinate with each other. Here, we describe a means to accomplish the proliferation of neighbourhoods. These include:
- A marketplace of basic social coordination tools with an embedded mutual credit system to incentivize the creation of standardized, interoperable modules.
- A bespoke computing language that groups can use to articulate their cultural practices and preferred modes of interaction; Such practices are normally inherited from platforms rather than chosen by the groups that enact them.
- A "sensemaker" that preserve expressions of group culture as metadata to enhance the usability of such data when ported to new contexts by individuals and through group-to-group agreement.
Neighbourhoods, as a mode of social group organizing on the web, therefore greatly extends the ability to reason about reputation, credibility, and other social data in a nuanced way. We call this extended ability to make sense of social interaction “cultural computation”, and such computation is the chief affordance of building a neighbourhood.