[okfn-discuss] New crowdfunding system in the works exclusively for Free/Libre/Open resources

Aaron Wolf wolftune at gmail.com
Mon Dec 10 00:12:15 UTC 2012

Thanks, Mike! After reading more of your work, I really respect where you
are coming from, and I hope I can convince you to work with us further to
make this a success. Your input will be very valuable.

> A triviality, and presumably a true assertion, but "(c)" in the
> current footer is a bit off-putting. when found on free/open-esque
> sites is often a signal that publisher doesn't really get free/open.
> :-/
I agree fully. Here's a great example of the awkwardness about
open/transparent stuff: I know as a performer and marketer that it is best
not to make excuses or apologies for things. Also, it is best to present a
confident, unified message. But here's the transparent reality:

My partner David who pushed me to act on all these ideas I'd been ranting
about… he's quite knowledgeable, a talented programmer, and completely
supportive of the Free/Open movement. I don't want to give anyone the
impression of internal squabbling because we really have aligned values and
enjoy working together.

Now, *I* was the one expressing hesitance about being completely open to
the public at this stage. *David* put the copyright notice on the site and
suggested the use of GitHub specifically. We've been working on so many
things that we haven't gotten to clearly adjust everything ideally. If this
level of things is confusing or awkward on the OKFN list, then I really
don't want to be dealing with the broad public right now!

> Wanting to go out with strong momentum, on the other hand, ought be a
> concern. If you got lots of publicity right now, it would net nothing,
> as nearly all who saw would write off as confusing and unrealistic.
> But I think there's hope, or hopefully I wouldn't bother writing this
> mail.
So yeah, I really was inclined to not even announce things to anyone yet.
But some people convinced me of the need to get feedback, criticism, and
recruit a steering committee. I already feel I've gotten valuable insights
from the community here, and I hope to continue the discussion.

For now, I'm happy to invite any OKFN or FSF or related people to see the
site in progress. I really believe that it is a bad idea to share it too
openly until we really have control over the message and the system and are
prepared to handle all sorts of questions efficiently.

Maybe the next stage is to move from the invite system to simply having
unlisted URL's for things where anyone can see them if they know the
address. But I still want to only deal with friendly helpful supporters at
this stage.

Anyway, please trust me that I have the best of intentions. Essentially, I
need advice about how to open things as strategically as possible to
achieve the long-term goals.

> Speaking of another kind of dogmatism, I'd encourage you to at least
> mirror your repository on gitorious, which is an open service, unlike
> github.

I'm COMPLETELY convinced! I have been really wary of the idea of GitHub all
along. We were trying to figure out the best way to do this and didn't want
to reinvent the wheel. We want a ticket system and easy ability to do git
stuff. I didn't know that gitorious was Free. I was trusting David's
recommendation that GitHub was the best choice.

Is mirroring easy enough? Is it worth still using GitHub at all? Is using
GitHub kind of like having FLOSS ported to Windows (i.e. practical because
that's where people are already, although we'd like them to move to fully
Free platforms)? Maybe we should only use Gitorius, at least for now?

My ideal goal is that we are in every way as Open as possible. I don't want
to rely on any proprietary tools. I even am insisting that the
illustrations for Snowdrift are done with FLOSS. I don't think requiring
this is practical, but I'd like to encourage and emphasize projects that
release "source" in Open formats (i.e. I don't like that Nina Paley, as
superb as her support for Freedom is, uses Flash for her animations).

Thanks so much for the advice!

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