Our Terminology

This page is an ongoing work-in-progress.


A lightweight, interoperable Holochain hApp that comprises the groupware / generic tools aspect of the Neighbourhoods framework.
Applets are made available in the Neighbourhoods Launcher so that they can be composed by community activators into neighbourhoods.
There are 3 levels of compatibility for applets as explained here.
An early version applet template is available here.


An assessment is a thoughtful evaluation of a resource, or of another assessment, on a range of measurement.
Agents can assess resources on any of its subjective dimensions, resulting in a subjective assessment. Assessment entries are stored as links or anchors from the resource's entry hash with the dimension as a tag.


A badge is a distinction added to a member which modifies the value of their reactions towards computing a score.

Community activator

A community activator is any person or group who wants to start a neighbourhood.
In all likelihood, community activators seek technical tools to promote group coordination, resource sharing, and advancement of common interests in communities.
Read more about them here.

Community Activation Wizard

A tool available inside the Neighbourhoods Launcher to enable community activators to create and change social configurations for a neighbourhood.
Access to the Wizard is determined by the Community Activator role.
Other members have access to the Sensemaker Dashboard, enabling them to inspect and interact with the social configuration for any neighbourhoods they are members of.

Cultural Context

A cultural context is a set of thresholds for selecting and ordering resources of a certain type.


Data Set

A data set is a list of assessments, as hashes. Methods are applied to data sets to return objective assessments, which means publishing a data set as a validation package, or for audit, can increase trust in a given neighbourhood.
Data external to holochain can also be grouped into a data set for later processing within a neighbourhood.


A named, ordered range that can receive objective and subjective assessments from neighbourhoods members and from method computation outputs.
There are two flavors of dimensions: subjective and objective.


Any software groups use to connect with each other, share information, ideas, memories, and goods, and coordinate their actions.
In any given neighbourhood, groupware applets are lightweight Holochain hApps.


This is an entry point application for any neighbourhood, where users can:
  • Create and access their personal Profiles
  • Search and join existing neighbourhoods
  • Create new neighbourhoods and configure them
  • Add applets to a neighbourhood and configure them
  • Invite more members and interact with them using applets
  • Inspect the Sensemaker Dashboard, gaining cultural insights for the neighbourhood

Member/ membership

  1. 1.
    A member is someone who uses a specific neighbourhood.
  2. 2.
    Membership is the trait of being a member in a neighbourhood, particularly one which has admissions criteria (such as requiring credentials).


A method is an algorithm for measuring an objective dimension of a resource, using assessments from other dimensions of the resource as inputs. The result of a method is an objective assessment. While any agent can run a method on a resource, only a community activator, or someone else with designated privileges, can publish the resulting objective assessment for group viewing.


A neighbourhood is a social context that consists of a network of agents who use Sensemaker and one or more Sensemaker-compatible applets with each other.

Objective Dimension

An objective dimension is a measurable quality or character of an entry, measured by an agent-defined Method. Examples include upvote ratios, mean ratings, and numbers of likes.


A reaction is a colloquial way of talking about a subjective dimension; a gesture we use to quickly convey our impression of a resource. Reactions are not subject to assessment by other agents.


A resource is a data/media item (entry) which we make sense upon.


A role defines a type of member, determining their access to cultural contexts within a neighbourhood, and their rights within those contexts.


Scoring is either of the following: 1. The order in which resources are shown in a cultural context. 2. The algorithm that determines how visible something is.


The main engine for calculating social computations in neighbourhoods, taking as inputs the social configuration created by the community activator and the many assessments produced by community members, and as outputs, scoring resources according to the defined cultural contexts.
The sensemaker is a holochain hApp made available for applet developers via interaction with the Launcher.

Sensemaker Dashboard

The Dashboard resides in the Launcher and is available to any neighbourhoods member to allow inspection and interaction with the social configuration, by viewing assessments made by other members on any resources mapped by the configuration, switching from existing cultural contexts, and also running existing methods manually (if they have permission to do so).

Social Configuration

Configuration is an essential part of any Neighbourhoods applet. It is a file that defines the modes of social sense-making vis-a-vis the resources, dimensions and cultural contexts applicable to the functionality of an applet.
These can either be created (1) directly on the applet code or (2) using the Community Activation Wizard provided by the Neighbourhoods Launcher.

Social sense-making

Social sense-making is social in two ways. First, it is about the social world. It is a process of orienting to people, spaces, scenarios, and representations. For this orientation to occur, the latter need to be defined in some way. Second, it is a social process, which is to say, articulable and/or visible between members of a social group. Individuals use their goals, aims, and desires, conscious or not, to make sense of the social world on their own. For social sense-making to be a group rather than an individual activity, the group must an have apparent, articulable set of common interests, goals, or values. Therefore, when groups pursue sense-making as a common activity, these interests, goals, and values are cultivated, becoming more refined and more actionable in the process.

Subjective Dimension

A subjective dimension is a judgeable quality or character of an entry, expressed as a value in a agent-defined range. It is judged by an agent. Examples include 5-star ratings, upvote/downvotes, and 60 mark scales.


A threshold is a value criterion in a given objective dimension or subjective dimension, to enable resource filtering in a cultural context.