MayFirst will host for a collective (as will WebArchitects, and many other free software host coops). Many members of MayFirst are collectives (ie movement organisations) and being geeky, some of these use MayFirst’s custom hosting offer. So the mapping would need to include the dedicated/custom hosting services that are available, as well as ‘off the peg’ toolstack platforms. Two very different offers?
Personally, in searching for my own toolstack providers these past couple of years, I find the offers of custom hosting utterly mystifying. Not being a sysadmin, I need a service with no sysadmin work falling to me. If I want a wiki space, for example (extended trinity, ‘repo’), it seems that I must self-host it. No way. As distinct from Zulip, say (extended trinity, ‘issue threads’), where I can spin up a space on demand. If I want Discourse (again, issue threads) I have to self-host it. Whereas if I want Loomio (‘issue threads’) I just need to pay a fee - which for a voluntary organisation with no funding, can be done for a lifetime low fee.
The issues of price-per-service are really hard to get the head around?
My impression is, most free software hosting offers are too geeky. If I can use the analogy of a finding a place to live, they seem to be offers for ‘rental with furniture’, not ‘fully serviced’ living arrangements. But I admit, I’m confused by exactly what the offers are. The websites seem to be written by sysadmins, for sysadmin clients.
I would say, removing this element of fog - thro clear descriptions, but better, thro clear hosting offers of ‘full service, no sysadmin burden’ - could make a lot of difference to the deployment by ‘ordinary’ organisations. Does eg Cloudron achieve this? I’m not sure. Am I dim, or are the platform-service descriptions inadequate (including, for example, Cloudron), and hostage to geekspeak. It can’t be just me, after a couple of years trying to get to grips with this toolstack platform-service challenge?
Downside: ‘full-service’ would not be ‘cheap as chips’ - which many users might naively hope for? The labour of curating the tools and running the platform must be paid for - as meet.coop ops members know only too well. So: the perception of free software = free beer also needs to be swept aside? The contribution model is critical and, in the short term, might involve higher service charges? I can’t believe how cheap MayFirst’s offer is (Although . . this has recently been recalculated. So let’s assume it’s well judged?) Whatever . . the expectations of toolstack-platform user-clients need to be evolved, to match the economics of contribution (aka sweat equity)?