This is something we didn't have time to work up properly, but is actually quite important (!) It answers the question about 'What kind of transactions/relationships' will go on as people engage with the OIE. This isn't all entirely online by any means - as with our other metaphors and illustrations from the virtual world, parallels can be seen with 'real life' - and sometimes you get some useful insights when comparing the two.. this is because one rarely analyses what's going on in 'real life' but looking at virtual world parallels makes it more obvious what's going on.
So, this diagram (a larger version is attached) reflects how people engage (and drift away) with social networking sites (according to interest, affinity, need & commitment) - but also with any network they engage with. (See Wax and Wane - the green line). First of all they come across the network (by whatever means - event, WOM etc). They decide level of commitment. This is easy to see on a social networking site such as this one: people can observe (lurk) without being known. Their access includes reading, searching, browsing, learning, picking up tips and contacts. Most of this may never be known or measured. On this site, people may also comment anonymously (pros and cons here).
Once people see value in being 'known', they register. Many benefits here on all sides; it's people and their ideas that enrich the network. For example, on this site you can start a thread; comment with attribution; people can contact you and know of your work. (eg on Facebook, you have to be registered and accepted as a friend to see someone else's photos. On MySpace you can choose to set your profile to private, so only registered friends can see it). At this point, OIE network members could qualify, say, to ask questions in the Experts Online area - rather than just browsing a sample of entries.
Once people have made themselves known to the OIE (registration via a data capture form), innovators (for example) might agree exchange visits - independently or supported by the progamme according to qualifying criteria. Similarly, they may request and qualify for a mentor visit. Moving from a passive recipient of help to a provider (eg becoming a mentor to others; becoming an Expert Online) will lead to a contract and a paid transaction. This type of trading will also occur beyond the realms of the programme; that is part of its aim. But Open Source exchange of ideas - online and offline - are still free for all.