Social and institutional protocols
The commons contract is not just about technical protocols.
It is also about human ”social” protocols – the protocols that govern the way relationships between people are managed.
The use of a protocol-based approach determines how members of the community should interact with each other and what should be expected. In this sense the term “protocol” is closer to “diplomatic protocol” than to “technology protocol”. But it does the same work. A technology protocol is all about how data and technology relate to each other. A social protocol is about how communities relate to each other. (No doubt we are doing violence to both technologists and diplomats!)
The basic work of the commons is to develop and steward a protocol-based approach to allow a low-cost (“frictionless”) market for high-trust data sharing solutions. This includes both the human and the technological protocols.