Loomio
Wed 26 Feb

Imposing paid plans on pre-existing Loomio.org groups

DS
Danyl Strype Public Seen by 169

I recently noticed that some groups that were set up on Loomio.org when it was a pay-what-you-can operation have had their ability to create new threads removed, until they sign up for a paid plan. This is not cool. It's the way VC-funded startups behave, not social enterprises run as workers coops. I've raised the issue on the Loomio Community group, asking the Loomio team to restore the functionality of these legacy groups:

https://www.loomio.org/d/hWZD4Ewb/please-restore-posting-functionality-on-groups-created-before-compulsory-subscriptions

I'd appreciate your thoughts, in this thread, or there.

BH

Bob Haugen Wed 26 Feb

Mastodon and SSB are starting to have polls. We're working on one and planning another decentralized social-economic network and both will have proposals and polls plus discussions.

So that is what will happen. The more casual and unfunded groups will go elsewhere, and the more professional and funded groups will stay here.

I assume the Loomio crew understands and is ok with that. Some of them watched and maybe even helped with SSB polls.

JD

Josef Davies-Coates Thu 27 Feb

Given voluntary and community groups can continue to pay just $10/year (well $1/ year per user but minimum $10/year) I personally don't see this as a huge issue.

LF

Lynn Foster Thu 27 Feb

I agree with @Strypey on this one, grandfathering older groups in would be the least one could expect. All those older groups helped loomio grow to where it can charge more. Also noting that some groups (like OAE, although we pay voluntarily) are large (hundreds?) and loose, with many people participating hardly ever, but perhaps wanting to follow along. So loomio has discouraged the ability to work with broad network effects here, which contribute to building the "movement" in addition to having the ability to coordinate smaller more focused groups. Disappointing direction, I will stop recommending loomio.

M➬

martin ➬ Thu 27 Feb

Hey @Lynn Foster, could you please elaborate on what you'd expect "grandfathering older groups" would entail beyond specifically inviting them to reach out to the team, so that a solution may be found for the individual case, when $10/year is still too much?

M➬

martin ➬ Thu 27 Feb

Good point, @Josef Davies-Coates. We're 200 members in this group/community, so we're looking at $200/year of funds that will directly sustain Loomio's existence. I'm herewith putting my hand up to contribute $25/year. Also happy to coordinate this on e.g. opencollective.org.

Anyone else? $175 to go…

Edit: just found https://www.loomio.org/d/echHNIyP/gold-account-sponsorship, probably best to continue there?


Full disclosure of interest: I've lent money to Loomio, and I am serving on the board of directors. I'm in this group not as a representative of Loomio though, and I don't speak for the company. I've been a member of the open-source scene for 27 years (and a Debian developer for 23 of those). Now I build teams around open standards and protocols. I have not yet found an answer to the question of how users can help pay rent and food for those who make it all happen, and as much as I love to think back on twenties, families don't operate just off love, idealism, water and air, unfortunately.

LF

Lynn Foster Thu 27 Feb

Hi @martin ➬ , for 'grandfathering older groups', I meant letting the groups who have had the free community deal to just keep it. Maintain the good will, save the loomio team time negotiating.

LF

Lynn Foster Thu 27 Feb

This group has been paying loomio, since we can and we want to support open source projects we use. And I think wanted the sub-group feature? Anyhow, people have been contributing, and your $25 of course would be welcome, although I think we are paid up atm. Here is the thread: https://www.loomio.org/d/echHNIyP/gold-account-sponsorship?p=1

DS

Danyl Strype Mon 2 Mar

Beautifully put Lynn. See my comment today in the Loomio Community thread laying out the case for this in more detail.

JR

Jon Richter Wed 11 Mar

We're ~ 230 🎉

https://www.loomio.org/g/exAKrBUp/stats`

JR

Jon Richter Wed 11 Mar

The export of this Loomio group is ~ 30 MiB, and can be used to replicate the whole community on a self-hosted instance.

If there is sufficient interest, I can try to set up one in Europe at Hetzner with https://github.com/loomio/loomio-deploy

DS

Danyl Strype Thu 12 Mar

Update: the Loomio Co-op have reconsidered their decision, and agreed to let the groups who signed up during the pay-what-you-can era continue to have gratis use of Loomio.org. Full functionality will be restored on those groups, and the message asking groups to "upgrade" to the paid plan will be replaced with some messaging that offers them some non-cash ways to contribute to Loomio. My faith in the Loomio crew is thoroughly restored.

Thanks everyone for sharing your thoughts, whether you agreed with me, or not. I respect and appreciate your honesty :)

DS

Danyl Strype Thu 12 Mar

Thanks for the offer Jon. One of the major downsides of moving OAE to self-hosted Loomio is that we'd all need an account on each server, and anyone who wanted to join OAE would have to set up a new account, even if they already had one on Loomio.org. This is one of the reasons I questioned the decision to cancel legacy pay-what-you-can plans, instead of pushing for these groups to move to self-hosting. As I mentioned on the thread about that, this wouldn't be a problem if Loomio instances federated with each other.

I note on this page a mention on JSON: https://help.loomio.org/en/user_manual/groups/data_export/#export-group-data-as-json

The ActivityPub federation standard is built around passing around chunks of JSON using ActivityStreams vocabulary. Since Loomio already speaks JSON, it may not be too much work to implement ActivitySteams and allow full federation between Loomio instances. Mastodon also uses Ruby-on-Rails, so it may be useful to borrow some components from them, or at least study their AP implementation.

DH

Daniel Harris Thu 12 Mar

Hi @Danyl Strype Have you got a link to that announcement? [Nice name BTW! That's how I tell people to say mine! 🙂]

OS

Oli SB Thu 12 Mar

but the thing is, like most "communities" only ~5% of people contribute - the rest lurk or have moved on... and what use is that? Doesn't this imply we should rethink our strategies for collaboration in some way...?

DH

Daniel Harris Thu 12 Mar

Hey @Oli SB am I being dumb? I can't figure out what you are implying? In "some way"? What way? What are you trying to aim for? Zero lurkers? Or a different way to measure membership? Anything else? Please elaborate. Cheers!

OS

Oli SB Thu 12 Mar

I just think groups are more effective when the "members" all contribute. Not sure exactly how that applies here... just thinking out loud really... it makes me wonder if more specific, dedicated groups with clear purposes, and definitions i.e. chat >> working >> trading groups could be more effective for encouraging collaboration at scale - which is, I think, what we would all like to see...

DS

Danyl Strype Thu 12 Mar

There was a comment to that effect in the thread I linked in the OP: https://www.loomio.org/d/hWZD4Ewb/please-restore-posting-functionality-on-groups-created-before-compulsory-subscriptions

That's how I tell people to say mine

You'd be amazed how many people read it as *Daryl* with an 'r' ;)

DH

Daniel Harris Thu 12 Mar

@Oli SB I am a member of 100s of groups... I think... I forget. And I wouldn't be surprised if you are too. 🙂 We cannot be 100% in all the groups at once. I don't understand what you are saying... Ah, you are "just thinking out loud really". Cool. I'll leave you to it and get on with another group that has thought their stuff through! 😂😂😂😂

LF

Lynn Foster Thu 12 Mar

I think there are lots of kinds of groups, and that is fine. Loomio is perhaps more targeted to groups that make more use of the decision making, are closer, more involved. But there's nothing wrong with large loose networks, and people who just want to basically keep up with what is going on, when they can. This is a very diverse group - and not much heavy group process goes on here, it is a place where people working on lots of different projects can stay connected with each other. The projects may or may not be related to each other, there is just a broad goal and opportunities to collaborate, or not.

DS

Danyl Strype Mon 30 Mar

@olisb

more specific, dedicated groups with clear purposes, and definitions

This is what I had in mind when I raised the possibility of getting subgroups creation powers back for this group. My intention was to have a group discussion about exactly what subgroups folks here would find useful. A discussion that might help to draw out people's reasons for being here. Sorry I haven't made time to do that yet.

LF

Lynn Foster Mon 30 Mar

We are connected to one group (very focused on one project, a forming co-op for producing and selling olive oil from Palestine, but very early days) where we were going to make a subgroup, but haven't done it yet. I'd like to use subgroups for that kind of thing, specific projects that most people can ignore, but also can kind of follow as general interest or maybe a few are interested enough to join.

DS

Danyl Strype Thu 2 Apr

Fair enough. What I had in mind was, as I said back in 2018 in the Housekeeping thread:

we try to identify some generic families of open app ecosystem, so folks can focus in on the discussions that are most relevant to the work they're doing, or the projects they want to get started. I think this is where we can drill down into the nuts and bolts of our implementations, our tech choices, and our successes and failure, and help each other avoid dead ends, or identify areas in which we can pool dev resources.

I'll give some examples in a new comment in that thread, to which it's more relevant.