There’s a tradition in Peru called the pollada – literally, a chicken party. These parties perform a very important social function. Say I’m about to have a child and I’m worried about how I’m going to pay education or healthcare bills. I hold a pollada to raise money by inviting friends and family around for chicken and beers, and selling tickets to the event. The tickets are usually priced fairly highly. The friends who come to my party are willing to pay more than they would normally, because they know they’re contributing to my family's welfare. Together, we fund the future of my family’s education. And we eat. And we bond. We form our own little crowd.
Just like web-based crowdfunding, the pollada is a clever framing of the process of bringing people together to collaborate on a project. Just like a public crowdfunding campaign, the high level of mutual visibility at a pollada – we're contributing (and partying) side by side with each other – is critical to its success. That mutual visibility breaks down "pluralistic ignorance", the anxiety that we're acting alone. It reinforces our sense of membership and produces the social benefits associated with belonging. One of the best explanations of these benefits is provided byBenkler and Nissenbaum's work on commons-based peer production. Crowdfunding and the pollada most clearly convey what they call Cluster III benefits (benevolence, charity, generosity, altruism) and Cluster IV benefits (sociability, camaraderie, friendship, cooperation, civic virtue).
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