Make Diaspora a Member of the Free Software Support Network


(maxwell salzberg) #41

Other ideas for crowdfunded funds (Just riffing here)

  1. sponsor well behaving pods
  2. Bug bounty programs
  3. Sponsor someone to refactor Federation
  4. create a “Summer of Diaspora” program to teach college kids about the code
  5. Give funds to upstream packages we like
  6. [your idea here]

(maxwell salzberg) #42

also worth noting, the timing is really good because Crowdhoster is a completely open source crowdfunding platform (even takes bitcoin), and is doing a bit a launch this week as well, which makes the story (and timing) even better.


(Dennis Schubert) #43

@denniscollective seriously?!


(Raphael Sofaer) #44

There is not enough plan for me to support a crowd funding campaign. We need to decide who will get the money, who wants to work on Diaspora for a stipend? Have we asked the people we are thinking of? At the very least, we need to have a process for deciding who will be one of these ‘fellows’. I would go so far as to say we should have a draft of what we would want to present to potential supporters, so we can deliberate on that to refine what our goals are.


(Jason Robinson) #45

I don’t think we need to have a strict list of things we will use the money on - the main thing is people are donating to the project to ensure it has a future. The money will be spent only on things that the community can agree on - based on our current community governance which requires a vote if someone wants one. Also remember that part of the money will be used for the actual swag (if we go with that, +1 from me), so people are not just supporting us, they also have the opportunity to buy things like stickers and hoodies. Of course we should start working on an online shop at some point for these anyway.

Governance. True, our governance is very thin in rules at the moment, but we do have rules and they have got us through a year. I see no reason to panic and set up any new rules just for the sake of having more rules. We need to carefully build up the organization. For example, we probably need someone to actually be able to deal with the FSSN - and that person should be elected. Maxwell I am sure will provide details when necessary.

As for the money targets, I think we can all agree that if we find a good programmer who needs work we can sponsor someone to write something cool - that would be awesome to be able to provide someone food on the table for some time. I don’t like the idea of paying people just because we have money - we need to consider these carefully. Other great things I would like to propose when we have money is figuring out some kind of system of supporting our biggest pods (cost claim request kind of thing), supporting our partners (Loomio…) and paying for travel costs for central project people to travel to conferences that would help the project forward - just examples.

People, let’s not get stuck on what exactly the money would go to - just decide whether there should be a crowd-funding campaign to support the launch of Diaspora in the FSSN. I think the FSSN part is going to be pretty clear :slight_smile:


(goob) #46

@seantilleycommunit wrote:

$10,000 was originally just a baseline. It’s easy enough to raise 10,000, as it’s low-hanging fruit these days compared to the half-million to multi-million dollar fundraisers. We can always raise before kicking things off of necessary.

That’s usual for start-ups which are new ideas which excite people, not established projects which have been running for several years, surely?

@maxwellsalzberg wrote:

Other ideas for crowdfunded funds (Just riffing here)

  1. sponsor well behaving pods
  2. Bug bounty programs
  3. Sponsor someone to refactor Federation
  4. create a “Summer of Diaspora” program to teach college kids about the code
  5. Give funds to upstream packages we like
  6. [your idea here]

Good ideas, Maxwell. So let’s wait until we have agreed ideas, and what we need money for, and then have a funding initiative, which is targeted rather than purely speculative. It seems your proposal to raise funds is simply because you can, not because the project needs it.

I’m a bit surprised to see several members of the old core team who haven’t had any involvement in the project for a long time voting on this issue.


(Jason Robinson) #47

@goob why shouldn’t the “old core” be allowed to vote? Counting by commits, they’ve actually done most of the work :wink:

I’d be sad if Diaspora doesn’t excite people just because it’s not a startup. Your lack of faith is disturbing, diasporian :slight_smile:


(goob) #48

I’d be sad if Diaspora doesn’t excite people just because it’s not a startup. Your lack of faith is disturbing, diasporian :slight_smile:

I’m not saying ‘We should never find-raise’. I’m saying 'Let’s wait until we’ve had chance to properly discuss whether we want and need to raise funds, what we would be raising funds for, and how we want to go about raising funds.

And, importantly, let’s wait until we have completely got rid of the image of Diaspora as a secretive closed shop in which things are not transparent and in which there’s the whiff of profit-making. Let’s wait until everybody out there knows that Diaspora Inc. is dead and the completely non-profit Diaspora Foundation is running the show. We might know that’s the case, but the impression out there in the world is not that. I see someone has already made a comment on your post about this vote to that effect. Imagine that times 100,000.

Let’s wait until the community decides that it needs and wants to raise funds. Let’s not have a crowd-funding campaign simply because one person decided that’s what he wanted to do and set it up without telling anyone.


(Jason Robinson) #49

Let’s wait until the community decides that it needs and wants to raise funds. Let’s not have a crowd-funding campaign simply because one person decided that’s what he wanted to do and set it up without telling anyone

We are deciding as a community here.

What comment, can you link?


(Jason Robinson) #50

@goob ah you mean my post - I don’t think we should go around being afraid of people who don’t follow stuff. This is a good time to correct them. When else will they hear the news?


(goob) #51

I don’t think we should go around being afraid of people who don’t follow stuff. This is a good time to correct them. When else will they hear the news?

Yes, so let’s focus on getting good information and the right message out there to everyone - not try to tap them for more cash!


(Jason Robinson) #52

@goob my point exactly - the crowd-funding campaign is the fastest way to get that information out there :slight_smile:


(goob) #53

I believe that to do a crowd-funding campaign now would send out entirely the wrong message.


(maxwell salzberg) #54

@raphaelsofaer I love you buddy, but we had basically the same conversation three years ago, and if we acted then how you are suggesting then and now, we would have shut the Kickstarter down at 30k :wink: Surely we would not have been here three years later talking about it in front of a hundred people who love and care about our project. :slight_smile:

ps. see you in two weeks.


(maxwell salzberg) #55

@goob might I ask what do you feel our goal is with the press push we are planning on Monday? Is it to get more press about Diaspora? Prove to people that it isn’t dead, and the community has endured? That communication has improved? What message are we as a project trying to push out to the world?

People still know about Diaspora, so this isn’t about building relationships with them. It’s about making sure they know why they should care.

There are two secrets about the press that I have learned in the past two years.

  1. If you keep making blockbuster announcements, they will keep coming back. If you spend social capital making an update that doesn’t rock their socks off, they are going to be less interested in future project announcements. If you feel like Diaspora doesn’t get much press now, putting out an announcement that we are just joining a foundation isn’t going to win over too many journalists or get them to focus on the bright future of Diaspora that you all have busted your butts for the past year.

  2. The “story” is about the people involved, not the organization itself. Right now, whether it’s right or not, the press associates the project is Raphael, Daniel, Ilya and I. Without a proper whiz-bang handoff, thats what readers are still going to think. The crowdfunding campaign is a big enough headline that it resets the message for the community to set the tone for whatever future endeavors you want to make. It makes sure that they are listening to you not the original four. There are already press lurkers even in this Loomio that have reached out to me out me asking for details. We need something that shows that this is more than just a ‘community takeover’, but a constructive building block towards Diaspora’s future.

WIthout the crowdfunding project, the few headlines on Monday will look like:

“Diaspora; still exists, joining non profit after one year of community autonomy”, or “Anniversary of diaspora* as a community-run project”. I don’t mean to belittle the hard work you all have put in to make this happen, but you have a golden opportunity to make sure the people come to you rather than having to convince them to listen.

I’m not sure this will get the people excited to come check us out again.

However, image the headlines that happen if we launch with a crowdfunding campaign on Monday might look like this:

“Diaspora founders send off Diaspora in a big way; Foundation, new leadership new crowdfunding campaign, open-source style”

“After a year, Diaspora joins FSSN, goes back to roots to reboot as community project, refreshed core team with new Crowdfunding Campaign”

Perspective is everything. It sets a tone that you can take an idea, rally around it with a community, and build it into something that nobody’s really seen before. That’s something the people can get behind. It captures their imagination, which is something every good Free Software project strives to.

This is a rare opportunity, one that doesn’t come often. Deciding to just do something later means you will have already lost people’s attention. Talk, rather than action, could lead to a wasted opportunity. I don’t want to see that, and I’m sure neither do the people that put their hearts into this project. Diaspora has always been about thinking bigger, and this is an ideal moment for all of us to do the same.

If your goal is to get the word out to the people that Diaspora is live and well, the best thing you can do is send a strong message, and I can’t image a better one.


(maxwell salzberg) #56

Worth noting, we can totally make this crowdfunding campaign happen by Monday. The message is simple, as non-profits raise money all of the time. And we will be a non-profit :slight_smile:

All we need to do is outline things we might want to achieve with the money, but by no means is it a binding contract. The point is that it is an outlet of support that people can contribute, and want to follow your progress again.

Sean and myself are dedicated to working with any and all community members on hammering this out before the 27th. Where will the money go (100% to the FSSN, obviously), and how will we use it? These are up for the community to decide; what better time for discussion than right now?

I already have the contacts at Crowdhoster, who have agreed to waive all the fees if we move out now. I also have contributed to the code base myself as an open source contributor.


(Raphael Sofaer) #57

@maxwellsalzberg I think this is pretty different. You are proposing asking people to contribute to a crowdfunding project without knowing who they are supporting or even what process or people will be distributing the money. We have plenty of time to move forward with the FSSN, make a concrete crowdfunding pitch which doubters like me can evaluate, comment on, and get behind, and announce the crowdfunding pitch and the FSSN change together for your whiz-bang handoff.


(maxwell salzberg) #58

@raphaelsofaer then start by proposing some concrete goals. I’ve already threw a bunch into the mix. . I’d bet we can agree get three before Monday.


(Raphael Sofaer) #59

I’m definitely not buying into “let’s do whatever we have whipped up by Monday”. Why would we do that?

It seems to me we should wait for this vote to resolve, then start another discussion to see who would be interested getting a Diaspora fellowship and what a good structure would be when it comes to nomination and or application and acceptance or rejection.


(Roger) #60

I don’t usually participate in the discussions here but found out about this one thanks to the post by @jasonrobinson and I’m glad I checked!

I must admit that I haven’t read all the comments but I have read quite a few. So my first comment is about how “the community” decides. I’d like to think I’m part of the community even though my work as a developer/podmin is non-existent (get in touch though if you need a press officer that speaks Catalan). And I think that the point about @taylormcleod about breaking discussions into smaller ones is excellent and would help more people join in. And though I’ve seen some mentions of Loomio discussions on Diaspora, it’d be good to be kept in the loop and join in as time and interests allow. No idea how difficult it is to implement but could a bot post updates on the D* discussions in Loomio that we could follow?

Talking about implementing something, I’m really grateful for all the work that is going on behind the scenes. And maybe that is the reason I’m going to say “yes” to the fundraising campaign. I see the points about timing, need to clarify better who/objectives etc- but I think it’s still a good idea to offer the opportunity to contribute and say “thanks”.

By the way, @nickdowson 's point re: governance I think it’s an important one too and should be addressed.