The bHive Villages Platform is now months away.  It’s time to have a sneak peak at the features of Villages …

As you sign up to Villages you join the bHive Cooperative as a member and therefore an owner. It’s your platform: so forget about advertising, your data being sold and bots commenting on everything. Everyone Villages is a real local person.

Once you’ve joined in you’ll set up your Village. Everyone has their own Village that begins where they live and extends outwards for a few kilometres. You can choose to add people who live near you to your Village. If they agree, you’re in each others’ Villages.

You can also search for and add your friends who live further away in your City. You’ll want to share and communicate with them too.

Villages is a different kind of platform. It’s not built for lining shareholder pockets with money. Villages aims to create an epidemic of Belonging. To connect people together to build community. And it aims to reduce our spending as we share access to local stuff and skills.

With Villages, we’ll spend less and live more.

The people in your Village can create and share Events, can Plan Together, can run a Sharing Library for Stuff and Skills, can direct message each other and post to your Village.

Events: Set up or RSVP to a local event. This could be drinks at your house, a cricket match on the street, a play at the local park, a street discussion about fruit trees, a pruning demonstration, a kids birthday party or whatever else you’d like to do with others in your Village.

Plan Together: This is a place to discuss topics, projects or ideas together. You set the topic, add a photo, set a start and finish date and then everyone can join in and comment. You could improve your local park, set up a street library, plant street trees, talk about a babysitting club, organise a bike riding group or discuss your next yarn bombing target. It’s up to you and your community.

Posts: Create a post to everyone in your Village. You can make announcements, ask for things, give away things, ask for advice, ask for help, offer help and tell everyone your lime tree is bursting and they can come and get some.

Sharing Library: This is the heart of Villages. You can list stuff and skills you are willing to share with neighbours and search for a borrow others stuff and skills. It’s pretty simple, if you want to borrow something you send the person a message and organise it.

Communities: Everyone has one Village and they control who is in it. Communities of Interest are different. They are pages for anyone across town to join. The Toy Library or the Library of Things or the Repair Cafe or a bike group, sustainability group, social justice group, local park, musical group or sports club can set up a page. A group of people who like Monty Python can set up a page and quote themselves silly. You can also set up private pages. A family group for example can set up a private Community to discuss a family gathering.

There are more details about Villages. But for now … hopefully you are as excited as we are!