Reviewing the forum posts and wiki proposals and having had some discussions with a few of you, let me try to summarise the critical issues.
First, we have a tremendous opportunity right now, aiming to offer the best services we can by the end of next week. This means a) simplicity as much as we can, b) adopt what is already available in terms of technological development and also in terms of market knowledge and in terms of legal structures and economic and social organisation.
Second, we also collectively have thoughts and aspirations to grow this initiative into something bigger, better and friendlier, but that will take some more time. Let’s not forget the initial Roadmap and its stages. If we start next week with the best we can manage, than we may have a chance to grow our social base and make steps to become more mature in the coming stages.
In this sense, NOW is the focus on getting especially collectives i.e. organisations on board, and focus on those from the Commons Cooperative Economy - our immediate “political” friends and aligned relations. Together we build up the movement and go through the first stages of development, working with what we have. And towards constituting a more powerful organisation, with the funds and structure to cope with the larger vision. For me the larger vision is what Open.Coop has in mind and has tried to express over the last years, where our family, friends and foos can easily join and contribute attention, time, resources and money towards the greater good of building a p2p commons cooperative networked knowledge society.
Back to NOW, challenges:
user registration: we don’t have yet the infrastructure or capacity to have a Single Sign On user account management system that facilitates users to be managed by the involved collectives, nor do we have much time to manuallly manage that, so we need to downplay user management as much as we can. This is especially problematic for individual membership.
-> so far we have identified 2 ways for servicing individual members
a. they become members of any of the co-producing membership based organisations with individual members (Webarchitects, Collective.tools, femProcomuns/CommonsCloud.coop, OpenCoop) who give them access to a dedicated GL container of their cooperative
b. we have one shared Greenlight container for individual members where all coops of a. co-manage individual users (this means 1. user self registers and gets a free account and 2. the managers covert the free account into a host account 3. the managers make sure changes are applied to the account when the user stops or modifies paying)
consumer organisation members: with the current state of technology (and especially thanks to ColloCall’s work of the last months and sharing that with us), we can now set key variables to limit the usage in ways that have a meaningful relation with the resulting costs:
a. maximum concurrent users
b. maximum number of rooms
c. maximum duration
Real costs are in fact more unpredictable, mainly as this involves collective coordination, e.g. when all users would coordinate to spread out their workshops, general assemblies and conferences according to server capacity, then costs would be much less than without such coordination. Starting hypothesis is that there will only be so much coordination, and in particular for the larger events.
Chris made a proposal to keep The Online Meeting Cooperative at this point in time a cooperative of cooperatives. I think our ambition is more than that, but maybe it is a realistic proposal for the current stage in our roadmap. I’d suggest to amend the proposal at some points, for example there’s no need to restrict consumer members to mandatory be cooperatives, we can welcome anyone willing to contribute as a member, also associations, foundations and even mainstream companies. Think about this: On May 6th we got together 3 coops to share a BBB server, and right away decided to allow any commons en/or social solidarity economy actor to join as member of the collective initiative. That is what us got here. And while thinking of the bigger picture and making first sketches of a sustainability plan, this is what we have, to aim to be operational in 10 days time (time is ticking )
In some way we need to compensate the people (organisations) who do the work. Maybe Chris’ proposal is one that could be put to work quickest? We should however keep our minds open to also work for the next stages to come, where we maybe setting up a new legal entity with all the necessary infrastructures.
In any case, we need to agree on membership contributions for each service level. IMHO they should be the same for all, unless a customised service is offered really. Then a part of those contributions could be kept by the co-producing member cooperatives. Imagine OpenCoop, femProcomuns, Collective.tools, Autonomic, Remix, or Webarchitects would work with an organisation who needs a solution to organise their online meetings, workshops, general assemblies etc. This might involve an intense relation where one helps to raise awareness for the distinct aspects of the Meet.coop offering, conversations, handholding and sales offerings and efforts until contract, invoicing and collecting the funds. Say any one of our organisations spends 200 hours to get, say, 40 such consumer member organisations on board. Our respective organisations charge the agreed contributions for the different services and keep a fraction of the revenue to compensate the work done while contributing the largest part (which need to be agreed) to the collective fund of meetcoop. Consider these members to contribute 2000€ per month or 24000€ for the first year. Then what would be a decent contribution for each team to accompany and get on board this group of organisations? Remember that these numbers are completely fictitious, but you get the idea.
WRT the service levels, I have changed the wiki page, adjusting to ColloCall’s prices mostly and taking into account that we also want to offer a free account (with restrictions) and for individual members. How does it look now? Is it too cheap? I’m not sure whether we should be below zoom’s prices (as that could make us more precarious than we already are) or above their price levels (as that could price us out of the “market”). From a user perspective, one wants a good quality, so it shouldn’t be too cheap or it can’t be developed nor maintained… In any case, ColloCall’s prices are competitive enough mostly, isn’t it?