Roommate-finding Protocols 🏠`

While etiquette and manners concern how people get along, deciding who to get along with (for a significant amount of time) is another thing.

Finding roommates, to ensure that savings from sharing a space are not outweighed by the troubles of interpersonal relationships, have protocols embedded in many artifacts:

  • Memos of Conversations
  • Norms and Templates in Social Network Groups / Chats / Forums / Bulletins
  • Forms in Online Platforms and Apps (ex. Roomster, Roomi)
  • Questionnaires in Matching Services
  • Options or Posts in Rental Listing Sites (ex. Zillow, Trulia,
  • Various Roommate Agreements

What’s the essence in/of creating these artifacts, and facilitating the use of them? How are roommate-finding “discussed”? What’s the loop?

1 Like

The essence of creating these roommate finding artifacts lies in establishing and iteratively refining weak protocols. They provide a set of guide rails for discussion, prompting users to articulate their preferences (Observe). This process generates a shared language for assessing potential compatibility (Orient). The act of filling out forms or engaging with platforms guides decision-making (Decide). Successes and failures with roommates (Act) feed back into these artifacts. This resembles the OODA loop’s emphasis on adapting based on experience, refining the protocols that shape roommate selection. However, I think the focus here is less on individual agility and more on the evolution of social norms around cohabitation and compatibility.

1 Like

Perhaps mutuality is a constant through roommate-finding protocol iterations:

Roommate Finding Protocol 1 (RFP1):
If you want to ask for another person’s specific data, you should state your own.

So here’s an example of a form template based on RFP1:

Now testing an implementation of this form on KTH students, Stockholm. Details will not be shown concerning privacy but I’ll share observations if any.

1 Like