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Imago is a social network aiming to facilitate collaboration between collectives. Groups are connected in a social graph, with a unified interface for instant messaging, democracy and resource management. It integrates with existing decentralized Web protocols, offering an interoperable and secure platform. It addresses any type of community, from group of friends to online interest communities, including associations and politic groups.

A social network for groups

The social networks that exist today connect individuals. These are the nodes of the social graph. Their relations (friend, follower...) are the edges.

The features for organizing a group on these social networks (or using specific tools) allow for organization between individuals within the same collective, but aren't designed to allow collaboration between distinct groups.

Imago addresses this issue by implementing a graph where the nodes are groups. This allows us to model the relations between different groups (that share a city or region, are interested in the same themes, etc). The "public" nodes (here in blue) are represented with semantic data, leveraging WikiData.

Decision-making tools

Imago implements a decision-making system for collectives. Text production, moderation and any other decision are associated in a "control table" with a particular decision protocol (and its modalities): oligarchy, democracy, consensus, do-ocracy (the modification of the table itself constitutes one of these decision protocols).

In the case of democracy, the use of a modern cryptosystem (the protocol Helios-C) allows for secure voting, including advanced forms of voting systems (e.g.Majority Judgement, and Condorcet Method/Schulze Method).

Group organization in Imago also allows for an implementation of liquid democracy where voting can be delegated to a sub-group (for example, to delegate certain technical decisions to the sub-group of technicians concerned, in a collective).

A system for managing resources

On Imago, groups can divulge which resources they have and which they need. This resource management system is based on Valueflows.

The networking of collectives allows the propagation of events on the graph: a group can decide (using the tools mentioned above) to make an announcement (for example, a request for material or a proposal for a service) appear to the "closest" groups (according to different criteria of proximity, geographical, thematic, etc.).

An ambitious platform built with free and open technologies

Imago is based on the protocol Matrix, which means that it is embedded within an active ecosystem of free and open-source projects and is compatible with them. Imago is able to leverage Matrix to offer secure instant messaging through end-to-end encryption. The implementation of audio and video chats in Matrix makes it possible to organise voice debates with speaking and voting rounds (virtual general assemblies).

Imago does not seek to capture the data of its users, nor does it seek to capture their attention. The implementation of manually-defined personalized feeds is preferred to the more typical algorithmic feed technique.

Imago is decentralised: any part of the graph (as well as the whole application) can be hosted independently while remaining connected to the rest of the network (federation). Interoperability with other services is possible thanks to Matrix bridges, notably with the ActivityPub network.

Imago is free software (license AGPL-v3) and not-for-profit.

The Imago team is made up of people involved in the co-operative and alternative scene in the Ile-de-France region, and development is done in collaboration with several existing collectives, with a view to do-it-together whilst gaining valuable insights.