Loomio
Mon 1 Feb 2021

Funding the CoTech newsletter with the CoTech fund

AC Autonomic Co-operative Public Seen by 81

Background

The CoTech newsletter was an initiative which came out of some enlightened self-organisation which I can't quite remember who was driving but it was essentially an unmitigated success on all accounts. People loved this thing!

3 editions were published over at the all singing all dancing new category in the forum: https://community.coops.tech/c/newsletter/16 and tools and sources were setup on git.coop: https://git.coop/cotech/newsletter. We also setup a way to accept submissions from the network.

The purpose of the newsletter is to highlight inspiring examples of cooperation in the network, lay out "entrypoints" for how to get involved and try to bring all that juicy actually existing motivation and solidarity that is going on all the time in CoTech but it is not as visible as it could be.

The reason it stopped happening is that it is a commitment of 3-5 hours or so each month and that involves quite a bit of manual work, trawling around the internet hangouts of various coops and trying to put an editorial angle on the newsletter itself and then get the text peer reviewed and polished.

AFAIK, the community animation group targetted the newsletter as a good way to spark energy in the network and there was a thread to bring it back: https://community.coops.tech/t/the-return-of-the-cotech-newsletter/2223/28. Following a discussion on the latest community call, it seemed like a good idea to toss this into a proposal for the CoTech fund and get the thing going again.

Proposal

The CoTech fund will support up to a maximum of 5 hours a month of work by the newsletter team in order to publish the newsletter. The team is yet to be formalised but probably it will contain some of these people: https://git.coop/cotech/newsletter/-/graphs/master. I (Luke) can commit to it one my own in any case. The newsletter will appear at the end of each month. The proposed pay rate is £15 and hour. This brings the maximum funding amount to £75 a month. The newsletter team will setup clear ways to receive feedback from the network and will publish their work transparently and use open source licenses for their software tooling.

AC

Animorph Co-op Mon 8 Feb 2021

Hi @Autonomic Co-operative Luke

Thanks for setting the thread, great idea!

Would you mind creating a proposal with a deadline of a week so everyone can get a sense of urgency when it comes to responding? It would also be very helpful to put an exact number on what you are requesting!

AC

Autonomic Co-operative Mon 8 Feb 2021

Thanks! I've set a week deadline on the proposal and proposed an hourly rate and set the max money per month needed to get this done. If anything is still unclear, please let me know.

AC

Poll Created Mon 8 Feb 2021

Funding the CoTech newsletter with the CoTech fund Closed Sun 28 Feb 2021

Background

The CoTech newsletter was an initiative which came out of some enlightened self-organisation which I can't quite remember who was driving but it was essentially an unmitigated success on all accounts. People loved this thing!

3 editions were published over at the all singing all dancing new category in the forum: https://community.coops.tech/c/newsletter/16 and tools and sources were setup on git.coop: https://git.coop/cotech/newsletter. We also setup a way to accept submissions from the network.

The purpose of the newsletter is to highlight inspiring examples of cooperation in the network, lay out "entrypoints" for how to get involved and try to bring all that juicy actually existing motivation and solidarity that is going on all the time in CoTech but it is not as visible as it could be.

The reason it stopped happening is that it is a commitment of 3-5 hours or so each month and that involves quite a bit of manual work, trawling around the internet hangouts of various coops and trying to put an editorial angle on the newsletter itself and then get the text peer reviewed and polished.

AFAIK, the community animation group targetted the newsletter as a good way to spark energy in the network and there was a thread to bring it back: https://community.coops.tech/t/the-return-of-the-cotech-newsletter/2223/28. Following a discussion on the latest community call, it seemed like a good idea to toss this into a proposal for the CoTech fund and get the thing going again.

Proposal

The CoTech fund will support up to a maximum of 5 hours a month of work by the newsletter team in order to publish the newsletter. The team is yet to be formalised but probably it will contain some of these people: https://git.coop/cotech/newsletter/-/graphs/master. I (Luke) can commit to it one my own in any case. The newsletter will appear at the end of each month. The proposed pay rate is £15 and hour. This brings the maximum funding amount to £75 a month. The newsletter team will setup clear ways to receive feedback from the network and will publish their work transparently and use open source licenses for their software tooling.

Results

Results Option % of points Voters
Agree 100.0% 6 JD CLF AC AC P C
Abstain 0.0% 0  
Disagree 0.0% 0  
Block 0.0% 0  
Undecided 0% 0  

6 of 6 people have voted (100%)

AC

Animorph Co-op
Agree
Wed 10 Feb 2021

Discussed it at Animorph GM, everyone was supportive of the initiative, thank you for putting the effort and looking forward to seeing it take off with the support from CoTech Fund!

C

Code-Operative
Agree
Sat 13 Feb 2021

I think it's a great way to keep co-ops connected and alligned with each others work and hopefully get the presence and interests in things they might need.

AC

Autonomic Co-operative
Agree
Mon 8 Feb 2021

Good motivation booster for the network. It helps keep the engines on for more cooperation.

CLF

Chris Lowis (Go Free Range)
Agree
Mon 15 Feb 2021

On behalf of Go Free Range.

P

PollyRobbinsOutlandish
Agree
Mon 22 Feb 2021

I think it would be great to get the newsletter up and running again, and if what that takes is using some money from the fund then that's all good. We're not using the money for anything else right now. I think there's a conversation to be had about what work is paid for by the central fund and what work is paid for by people's coops, but that's a bigger and more complicated debate so for now would fully support this.

LK

Lucy King Wed 10 Feb 2021

I am all for this in principle and thank you for bringing the proposal, Luke :)

A couple of questions/thoughts:
- is this including or excluding VAT? (if relevant for you @Autonomic Co-operative )
- is monthly the best frequency? I might have my numbers wrong, but it looks like our annual income atm is £3755, and our annual fixed expenses (for subscriptions, hosting etc) are ~£2120. So our actual distributable income is around £1635, and the newsletter (at its max cost, this would be more if there is VAT on top) would be £900/year if we did it monthly, so 55% of our available funds. If this is all wrong, somebody please do correct me!

Having said that, we're clearly not spending it on anything else right now, and I assume we could easily change this expense going forwards. Or
@Autonomic Co-operative would you like to stipulate a minimum commitment period? I might err on the side of thinking that a newsletter every 2 months would be just as good, and half the cost - but it's not a critical concern.

AC

Autonomic Co-operative Sun 14 Feb 2021

Thanks for engaging on this @Lucy King! Good points. So, I estimated a high 3-5 hour because I didn't want to be doing unpaid work but it could indeed be much less for certain months. I think going for every 2 months could be a good start. I can bill on the hourly and then after some months we can see how much it is really taking to do it and see if we want to do more or less. I would be happy to amend the proposal. Not sure what is best to do in this interface?

LK

Lucy King Mon 15 Feb 2021

I think I'm happy to go ahead as is for now and see how it pans out in a few months time?

CLF

Chris Lowis (Go Free Range) Mon 15 Feb 2021

I think this is a great proposal and would really like to see it happen. I'm very keen that the work doesn't go unpaid - but I think it would also be great to try and get people (like me ... looks sheepish) volunteering again to help. I think a paid "coordinator" for the newsletter makes sense.

I think once a month should be a minimum - it's quite important that these things are regular and frequent to be useful. When we first wrote the newsletter the idea was "if you read one thing about CoTech make it this" - as a way to counter the challenges that folks had keeping up with the forum, loomio, mailing lists etc.

@lucyking1 - your point about using a big chunk of our budget is very valid. But as you said, we aren't really using it for anything other than fixed costs at the moment, and I think too many projects needing money would probably be a good problem to have. It might encourage us to up our contributions, or for other CoTech co-ops to start contributing.

I appreciate Loomio puts a bit of a time limit on proposals, but it would be good to get more opinions too. I'll see if I can contact the fund contributing co-ops to let them know this is running.

@jdaviescoates - I couldn't see United Diversity in the list of contributors to the fund. Would you be interested in contributing? (Voting on fund proposals is restricted to contributors at the moments)

AC

Autonomic Co-operative Thu 18 Feb 2021

Ok, I've re-opened this one until the end of the month. That sounds like a good idea to get more voices heard here. I'd love to work with you on his @Chris Lowis (Go Free Range), so let's think about getting stuck in for next month since this looks like a goer.

SWS

Didn’t get a vote in but would support. There’s been a similar thread over at Solidfund on shifting from purely voluntary work...

AC

Autonomic Co-operative Thu 18 Feb 2021

I've re-opened the proposal for a while longer, so please go ahead and vote :)