Brand survey - what is Meet.coop to you?

Hi All,
As mentioned in the logo dev thread we need to define the various elements (‘mission’ / ‘purpose’, ‘tone of voice’ and ‘perception’) that the Meet.coop brand should encapsulate. So this thread is a space to add your thoughts, which the Product circle will then distill and develop into visual language… and a logo etc.

Any and all input - from everyone (not just Members) - will be useful, so please do chip in!
Add anything you think is relevant… in any format you like… the more input we can gather the better.

Some questions to think about might be:

  • What do you see as the ‘mission’ / ‘purpose’ of Meet.coop?
  • Should our brand represent just ‘video conferencing’, or more (i.e. online collaboration in general) in order to ‘future proof’ the brand if we decide to offer other tools further down the line…?
  • What principle and values do you think the brand should represent? Clearly the co-op principles are a key part of our brand… but what else?
  • What other aspects do you consider to be important ingredients of Meet.coop? collaborative working? open source? co-ownership? collective-purchasing? solidarity? commons? what else?

When I run branding sessions like this with clients we take time to define each of the four different dimensions of the brand, i.e. it’s functional, social, mental, and ‘spiritual’ (or ‘idealistic’ if the word ‘spiritual’ puts you off!) aspects - as per the attached

4d-brand

So you might like to add thoughts under each of those headings…

Finally, a potential concern was raised on the wiki

threat: people associating with animal meat, it sounds the same, though quite a different business :wink: Therefore we don’t exclude the possibility to also have other domain names pointing to our servers. Meet.coop is nice short though.

So we would also like input on the actual brand name - and, if you think we can do better, suggestions for alternative brand names / URLs

We will let this thread run for a couple of weeks and then, once we have distilled the input we will develop some initial ideas based on your input and present these back to the All Hands meeting to gather more feedback and input which we will use to develop the final brand.

I hope that all makes sense - Any questions, just ask!

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Thanks for this @osb. Given the four dimensional model that you’ve outlined, I’d like to be able to respond in line with that, but I’m not sure I understand enough about what you are looking for on each axis? Could you expand just a little on those, and/or maybe point to a source doc that might help?

see these examples - they should give you the idea :wink:

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I’ll try to respond from the perspective of a potential client. My own perspective isn’t hugely helpful.

Functional: A reliable and easy to use service that provides the features I need at a fair price.

Mental: Using the service makes me feel good because I’m part of a community, part of something that is shifting the balance in the right direction.

Spiritual/Idealistic: The service is built on a strong set of values that we are aligned with. meet.coop is part of the solution rather than part of the problem. [Should really have some more ‘active’ in here, but I can’t think of it right now.]

Social: The fact that we use the service, as opposed to one of the mainstream big-tech offerings, sends an important message to our audiences/stakeholders about us and the choices we make.

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Hypha’s response. Discussed this between @Yurko @elon @benhylau

Functional:

  • long-term: integrate floss tools together into a virtual office, and in turn direct roadmap of the projects themselves so they work together
  • short-term: catch everyone who doesn’t want to use zoom

Mental:

  • comfort that I can access ppl running this
  • I have a voice, I can participate

Spiritual/Idealistic:

  • cooperative, not competitive
  • respect data privacy, transparent about operations and how data flows

Social:

  • neighbourly
  • associated with free software movement and open work culture
  • I care about my data, not exploited
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Functional (what kind of ‘machine’ it is)

  • An infrastructure that potentially can be shaped directly by non-corporate user organisations because it is coop governed.
  • An infrastructure that hopefully will expand to embrace a full-featured easy-to-use toolkit of digital means of organising.
  • A fairly priced service that works OK in everyday life and doesn’t cause me headaches (as user or administrator), without over-elaborate features designed for corporate administration.
  • A venture that builds the coop economy and is a user-facing utility for non-corporates like my organisation, not a machine for network dominance and private intelligence gathering.

Mental (how it contributes to my sense of contribution)

  • I can contribute to a solidarity-economy venture, not a private company, a venture-capital startup or a for-profit.
  • I can be a contributor to a radical shift, not a consumer who carelessly props up the system and sustains capitalist-oligarchic wealth and power.
  • I can contribute to an ethical livelihood for a small number of people operating an essential alternative infrastructure.

Spiritual/Idealistic (participation in traditions of change)

  • Meet.coop identifies with the radical coop tradition of free association, fair livelihood and ordinary people’s provision for their own wellbeing.
  • Meet.coop advances the practice of peer-to-peer production and free-libre software.
  • Meet.coop manifests a commitment to radical practice in the coop sector, including multistakeholder governance, openvalue accounting, contribution accounting, transparency of operations and financial fairness, rather than ownership of financial stakes, commercial secrecy and financial accumulation.
    But let’s not call this ‘ethical’, let’s call it political, anti-capitalist and anti-propertarian. I would expect meet.coop to fly a banner saying it is building a commons.

Social (sending a message about who ‘we’ are)

  • Using meet.coop sends a message to my collaborators about my own affiliation with the commons-cooperative economy.
  • I hope that in time it will also send a message about
    . . mutuality between global North and South,
    . . attention to the needs of civil-society organisers in the South and in the global majority, and
    . . collaboration across language regions . . . a message about the geography of digital power and digital infrastructure.
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Functional: It’s not just about meetings or generic corporate conferencing. It’s about functionality in which social justice organizations are part of the design and roll out of features, it’s functionality is informed by these use-cases and not controlled by the highest bidder or the largest corporate client

Mental: If I have ideas on how it should work, I can contribute them and they will be responded to.

Spiritual/Ideological: Meet.coop fundamentally, at it’s core, is different from all the corporate conferencing tools because it rejects that capitalist model of ownership and provides something no other conferencing system can provide: a sustainable future

Social: our vision and values of a cooperative economy extends beyond the by-laws, connecting us with other movements for justice and equality, where the links between a fighting for a just economy and the fight against other forms of oppresion are recognized and re-enforced.

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I believe just about everything else I would say has been said here! Excellent contributions that make a clear statement on user freedom and software freedom combined! I might add (but it feels redundant…):

Social: * The joy of building software in a collaborative way that functions outside the Googlesphere without ties or report-backs to Corporate venture schemes.

  • Knowing I am part of a team, building something that engages the members in the process even if they are not programmers.

Spiritual/Ideological: Building on the principles of the 4 software freedoms:

  1. The freedom to run the program as you wish, for any purpose.
  2. The freedom to study how the program works, and change it so it does your computing as you wish. Access to the source code is a precondition for this.
  3. The freedom to redistribute copies so you can help your neighbor.
  4. The freedom to distribute copies of your modified versions to others. By doing this you can give the whole community a chance to benefit from your changes. Access to the source code is a precondition for this.
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** I would also like to see a statement about how we treat our members and BBB hosting recipients as well as we treat ourselves in regards to privacy and that we work to preserve anonymity and privacy for all.
As there are some options newly available with free software for payment transactions with “TALER” ( https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/GNU_Taler ) we should work towards implementing options for people to pay for things anonymously.

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Hi All - thanks for all your great contributions… :slight_smile:

Here’s a start at distilling the comments and highlighting the common themes… I will do more work on this and start to develop ideas for some initial concepts based on your inputs…

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Hello All,
Here’s some initial work on the brand development, including some draft concepts…
Please let us know what you think…?

Any and all feedback appreciated…

  • Are you OK with the possible ‘brand descriptor’ (tagline)?
  • Which, if any, of the concepts do you prefer?
  • What do you like about them and why?
  • If you don’t like any of them, why not?

Thanks!
Oli

meet-coop-brand-3.pdf (1.6 MB)

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Thanks for all this work from the Product circle! I think this looks great overall, and here is my input:

  • Tagline: “A co-operative community providing open source tools for collaboration”
    • I think the Meet.coop “co-operative community” does more than “providing open source tools”
    • There seems to be some intention to become a “steward of collaborative digital spaces that are just and respectful”, which seems to fall outside of the current tagline
  • re: “Non-corporate” I agree that we need a positive word that doesn’t begin with Non-
  • visuals in order of preference
    • Collective: Concept 3 (too close to riseup.net, consider not the red-black anarchist colours)
    • Collective: Concept 2 (same^)
    • Choice: Concept 1
    • Freedom: ‘Clouds’ concept 1 (like the font, but reminds of an airline)
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excellent work, @osb and so good feedback all, that I can hardly add much to it. But here’s my two cents.

Functional:

  • short-term: offer an ethical alternative to the dominant extractivist platforms, that works satisfactorily for small and large groups in different modalities, round table discussions, conferences, creative and training workshops, public and private meetings, with excellent collaborative, presentation and user management features, with decent audio and video UX.
  • long-term: become a platform for cooperative cloud webapps, with Single Sign On, allowing its user members to connect to video, chat, filesharing, collaborative documents, online class rooms, discussion spaces, voting tools, surveys and so on. In other words, become the place to go to for cooperatively managed collaborative web apps.

Mental:

  • meet.coop makes me feel good, that I rely on an ethical service, I contribute to building the alternative way out of the distopian capitalist platform future promoted by GAFAM, Zoom &cia.
  • meet.coop is a multistakeholder cooperative platform where I can contribute in various ways, from meaningful discussions in forums and public meetings, vote in general assemblies to taking part in an executive role in one of the Circles of Work, as Operational Member.

Spiritual/Idealistic:

  • I know our society at large is increasingly dominated by the big digital platform corporations and while I have limited time myself, I am happy that meet.coop takes on this big challenge.
  • my kids are forced to use Google at school and I think we need to fight this battle to give them an opportunity to live in a democratic people powered future.
  • respect data privacy, transparent about operations and how data flows
  • Meet.coop advances the practice of commons peer-to-peer production and free-libre software and combines them with the cooperativist social and solidarity economy.

Social:

  • I share the core values of meet.coop, of transparency, cooperative democratic governance, protecting people’s privacy and intimacy, and maybe most importantly: to truefully centre on the user. Remember that “user centred design” is often abused and conflated to maximise profits when best exploiting the user. In true user centred design, we care for the different stakeholders and seek an optimally balanced sustainability model, with a shared mission around the users’ needs in the centre and balancing shared knowledge and governance with shared mode of production and revenue streams. You see that there’s no profit motive?
  • we celebrate our successes, build deep connections between us. “We go slowly as we want to go far”, as we said in the 15 May / Occupy movement.
  • we build this community organically, with multiple layers, where our operational members expand their userbase, offering them meet.coop services and incorporating knowledge, resources and services from the operational members into the meet.coop catalogue. We do this in such a way that there’s a win-win-win, for the user member, the operational member organisation and meet.coop as a whole.
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wrt a possible tag line, while I agree with the long term vision embedded in the mentioned tag lines, I think in this phase we’ll want to centre the attention in “online meetings” and not the broader “collaborative tools” or so.

I mean when one reads “A co-operative community providing open source tools for collaboration” they don’t get activated on the online meeting service, and that’s what we’re offering now and in the short term. Maybe we could start using these wider tag lines once we have a more stable userbase in the meeting part and can diversify? Just my 2 cents :wink:

or “Open source tools for online meetings and collaboration” - but rather long.

I agree with the use of the the terms “cooperative” “online meeting” “platform”, and also like “community” (relates to “commons”)

I think the terms used on slide 5 are good, maybe not “choice” as it sounds empty. But “freedom”, “non-corporate” and “community” are key concepts. the “non” in non-corporate is negative indeed, possibly “cooperative” is better suited?

visual concepts combining clouds and people/hands seems the way forward!
but maybe not the birds flying in V as some conservative-liberal political parties use these same brand concepts. tricky.

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Thanks @osb for your work on this.

Immediate gut responses to the visuals first:

I’m liking clouds and nature-y stuff, not so much hands in the air, love the light bulb, don’t like the birds, Choice 1 is good but might become dated, not a big fan of the arrows.

On the descriptors/concepts: love the idea of ‘corporate nonsense’ , agree that we need to be relentlessly positive and not anti or non, maybe we can talk about commons or digital commons rather than community, but not precious about it. @wouter makes a fair point about maybe it’s too generic at this point in time (or perhaps we can use some of the visual symbolism or other elements to make people aware that we’re big on video-conferencing right now). Lots of use of cooperative and collaboration - maybe use cooperation to cover both aspects (DigLife is talking about the need for Cooperation at Scale)?

As we expand the offer into other services beyond video-conferencing - maybe the cloud stuff will become more important.

Hope this is useful feedback.

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