Want to try a new tool? Let's just do it.

Nathan Schneider Public Seen by 20

My lab has a Cloudron account that makes it fairly easy to deploy new cloud tools. I'm always happy to play with something. Anyone want to test something listed here?

This would be just a temporary test to explore new tools. As part of the Social.coop Revolutionary Vanguard Insurgency (#SCRVI), this is an attempt to bypass what has so far been a super slow process (not blaming anyone, just processes!) of trying and adopting new tools for Social.coop.


Nathan Schneider started a poll Sun 27 Sep 2020

Add your app ideas here Closed Sat 3 Oct 2020

Anything on this list is fair game!

1 - CodiMD
0 - Discourse
0 - Matrix/Element
0 - A competing Mastodon
0 - Redmine
0 - Wallabag
0 - Email
1 - Etherpad
1 - NextCloud
1 - Minecraft Server
1 - Jingo git-based wiki
1 - Guix

Matthew Cropp Mon 28 Sep 2020

Minecraft Server


benjamin melançon Sun 27 Sep 2020

Jingo git-based wiki

Yasuaki Kudo Sun 27 Sep 2020


This is not really an "app" but more of an operating system - but let me explain why I listed this (I am not terribly sure about the question though 😅)

I spent half a year investigating IT worker coop opportunities and realized at the core is the ability to customize software to the exact needs of the end-user . This is how we would differentiate from "traditional" vendors.

GNU Guix looks promising to me to address this problem 😄


Nick Sellen Mon 28 Sep 2020

I don't really feel the energy to engage deeply in this topic, but as I said here I am not interested in participate in a cloudron-based platform, it's not easier, it's just outsourcing the work, and it's a for-profit, closed source platform, that would be a significant shift in the project ethos that I would oppose, and I imagine a bunch of other people would too if they had a say.

somebody always has to do the tech work at some level, and for me the interesting bit with co-operative organising is finding out how to collaborative effectively so our various skills combine into a bigger whole, especially trying to bridge across the tech barrier. outsourcing to a non-co-op platform simply bypasses problem and reduces the scope of the co-operative effort.

it's been slow, but not because of processes (there are barely any for tech), but motivation and economics. why would somebody spend their time setting something up and what for? this core part of social.coop has not been clear, probably since the beginning, and I hoped the summit would be a pathway towards that, and there is very little money. not many incentives to setup new stuff.

anyway, I hope we got to the point where tech stewardship can safely rotate away from me (as I wrote here), and the next lot might love cloudron! for me though, I would be sad to see it go that way as that's not the basis of the project I thought I was contributing to.

I would like to see social.coop become more than a playground for the privileged (which exactly describes the basis for my contribution, and I'm guessing more than just me), so if social.coop was just simply a stable and solidly run mastodon instance allowing people to participate in the fediverse to complement their real-world organising/activism/efforts/life then that seems good enough to me! lots of other shit to do in the world lately ;)

I didn't mean to write that much actually, but hey ho.


Nathan Schneider Mon 28 Sep 2020

Thanks, Nick. And thank you for all you've done.

It seems to me that there are interesting motivational dimensions here. We've clearly seen that there is interest in the community in experimenting with new tools, but the "motivation and economics" has presented a barrier. I'm offering a short-circuit for both. And, to be clear, I'm offering my Cloudron set not as a permanent solution (though I disagree, as someone less technically adept than you for whom Cloudron has been a game-changer, as well as a very friendly partnership, that doing so would be antithetical to our values)—it's just a means of sandboxing and play.

I don't know what you mean by "privileged" here, but to me "playground" is core to what SC should be about. Everyone needs play, and corporate platforms narrowly bound how we can and can't play in our communities. Play is and should be for anyone, particularly those who are also on the front lines of struggle.

I hope you'll join the insurgency fun!


Matt Noyes Mon 28 Sep 2020

I share your project ethos and "interest in finding out how to collaborative effectively so our various skills combine into a bigger whole, especially trying to bridge across the tech barrier." Seems like your own work on S.C and your facilitation of the tech group are a nice example. Would you be up for an interview some time, so that experience doesn't get lost?


Nick Sellen Tue 29 Sep 2020

The challenge of how to collaborate as a co-op is much more interesting to me than just experimenting with new tools, especially as better collaboration is a pathway to having more tools too, so it's not one or the other. Your idea for a short-circuit is to use a solution that is antithetical to my values, and an unknown number of other users. I just want to register my opposition, as a member of social.coop, to using closed source for-profit tools.

I don't know what you mean by "privileged" here

I can describe my own privileges.

I live a very low cost lifestyle through conscious choice, by normal standards I am reckless with my financial security, partly because I am really pissed off with how the economics of society and don't want to participate in that, but very significantly because I come from a comfortable middle-class background and have a network of family and friends should I fuck everything up too badly. That is an enormous privilege. It gives me the time to ponder philosophical perspectives about the nature of work, and collaboration.

Another privilege is that I am generally reasonably confident to come up with ideas and implement them. There was no tech steward role to step into, we had to make it up between us. Anecdotally, in my wider life, I've noticed men seem more comfortable to blag/bluster/hustle their way around projects regardless of skills or qualifications. Being white, male, with a middle class accent and a hint of arrogance is enough to get very far just on that alone.

I don't want to go too far in my assessment of social.coop as a whole, as I simply don't know, but I do know that all the meetings I have attended are overwhelming white and male.

So, play is good! I'm totally into play. But also quite conscious of who gets to do the playing (and deciding what is play... one persons play is another's torment).

I hope you'll join the insurgency fun!

Enjoy! Not my kind of fun :) I think my goal would be to minimise the time I spend fiddling around with tools, so I can do other stuff, although I do like fiddling around with computer stuff still, but within my personal stuff, as soon as it becomes a service for other people to use, the responsibility arrives.


Nick Sellen Tue 29 Sep 2020

Would you be up for an interview some time, so that experience doesn't get lost?

Don't worry, it won't get lost :) Well, at least it's my general theme in projects... I might learn something about it one day... totally up for an interview though, or maybe a "chat"? ("interview" seems to put too much focus on one person)


Nathan Schneider Mon 28 Sep 2020

Oh, also an option eventually could be docs.plus, which is Etherpad + WebRTC videochat + other stuff! Coming from some good allies in the UK.


Matt Noyes Mon 28 Sep 2020

I like the play theme and the eagerness to experiment. The "super slow process" is actually moving right now, as we found in the strategy summits and the discussion with Meet.Coop. I think what is most exciting about those discussions is not the access to tools but the role that social.coop may be able to play in helping to cohere inter-cooperation among tech cooperatives. The tools are central but what counts is the process of building stronger networks, social and economic, around them (and with them). Turns out that the community of practice and thought that we have cultivated is a valuable resource for such a process.
We should have a summary of the summit discussions soon. In the meantime you can see the notes here: https://pad.disroot.org/p/Social.Coop_Strategy_Summit_%231


Nathan Schneider Mon 5 Oct 2020

Totally, @Matt Noyes —great to hear about the progress! I think you may be very right about the collaborations. I was just chatting with someone at Collective Tools and wondering if someday a merge or collab (beyond Meet) would be in the works.

Please know all this is a friendly semi-joke!


Yasuaki Kudo Mon 5 Oct 2020

We talk about meet.coop and collective tools with my friends from JWCU (big established worker coop in Japan) - we now see much more clearly the demand, the supply and the gap in between.

On the surface, some tools like the chat system, as advertised on collective tools homepage, seem to have massive price advantage against Slack and Google. (I am a bit skeptical if this is a fair comparison but ignoring the details for the sake of argument for now)

Meet.coop excited folks at JWCU, but unless all required customizations and improvements are added, it is hard to overturn the popularity of Zoom.

My friends also realize that "IT" is getting closer to their core business, presenting major work opportunities. We'll see how this will play out and I personally wonder how I might get into the game 😄


Matt Noyes Mon 5 Oct 2020

Good thing to wonder about. Friendly semi-jokes are great -- nice way to shake up our habitual understandings and get us back to our wishes and aspirations.


Nathan Schneider Tue 6 Oct 2020

Fun new governance app: Quadratic Voting toy from Gitcoin: https://quadratic-voting.vercel.app/