Wed 16 May 2018 4:42PM

Trial/guest membership

NP Neville Park Public Seen by 291

I think it would be helpful to create a membership tier for people who are interested in joining, but want to see what the place is like first. Open sign-ups would reduce barriers to participation and increase our visibility (so we are listed in the directory at joinmastodon.org).

One way it could work: anyone can sign up. After a period of time (e. g. 3 months), they can apply for membership, after which they are asked to donate and can vote on decisions. Not sure what should happen if they don't want to join - if their account gets muted/deleted, or if there's an "inactive" status, or what.

I'd be interested in hearing your thoughts on this.


Matthew Cropp Wed 16 May 2018 5:00PM

I generally like the flow you describe, but feel like we need to get the CoC done and Ops Team in place before experimenting with being an open sign-up instance.

The low-bar screening process that we currently have has allowed us to minimize the amount of mod labor required, because of the common bond dynamics discussed in an earlier thread. As a result, we've had only a handful of inter-member conflicts that have resulted in reports using the system, which, so long as we lack a CoC, mean that those conflicts can really only be acted on at the working group level.

If we open up fully before that infrastructure is in place, we'll likely have people who feel less invested in the core mission coming in, and I'm concerned that policing their behavior will require significant mod energy. So, I think we need the ability to organize that labor effectively with clear policies before we throw our doors open and shift from community-based to policy-based norms enforcement.


Christian Bundy Wed 16 May 2018 5:06PM

I think open sign-ups will grow and improve the community. I'm in another organization that does something similar, it looks like this:

  • Every year a new cadre of applicants are granted prospective membership.
  • Prospects are treated like full members except that they can't vote.
  • Prospects are required to fulfill all membership requirement within 1 year.
  • All prospects that fulfill membership requirements become members.

The other organization requires that you pay dues, attend meetings, attend training, etc., but even just "pay dues and vote at least once on Loomio" would probably be pretty easy to figure out within a year. I could see prospective membership going something like this:

  • We open applications to anyone anywhere under the condition that they follow our CoC.
  • Every month (Jan 1, April 1, July 1, October 1) we grant membership to every prospective member who has fulfilled the membership requirements.
  • Every quarter we revoke membership from any prospective members who have been around for 3+ months but haven't fulfilled the membership requirements.

@h Wed 16 May 2018 5:07PM

I agree with @nev. It is sometimes necessary. For example, yesterday I needed to show some information to Eugen Rothko (Gargron) about what was going on here on Loomio, but it wasn't possible to invite him right away. Eugen is a quite singular case of someone who would probably never do anything that runs contrary to social.coop, or against the ethics of the fediverse.

However, on the other hand...

I understand that sometimes we may not want to make public some internal discussions that could cause an undesirable effect outside of the coop, and not everybody is prepared, has the same background, or not everybody has the same judgement on what potential invitees would have the ethical orientation on privacy matters to guarantee that we're not leaking information that can be misconstrued or misunderstood out of context.

It's complicated.


Robert Benjamin Wed 16 May 2018 6:03PM

I like where this is heading though agree that CoC and Community Ops team need to be in place before implementing such a change. Fortunately they are being working on.

In addition, getting a handle on the Cost Per Active User (CPAU) at least Average Storage Costs and the base setting a standardized base subscription price as part of the overall budgeting process would be very important.

This also seems like it could be part of the a bigger conversation on "What it means to be a social.coop Member Owner vs Platform User." Some of the considerations that could be threaded into that conversation might be;

1: Before completely opening up the signup process should there be a concerted intentional effort to bring in more members through existing networks as well as from communities that may be currently unrepresented on the platform?

2: What is the exact gate to becoming a member-owner and if a capital contribution is involved what is that amount and how is paid? (Through the subscription or separately?)

3: What is the optimal revenue/number of paying member-owners that would allow social.coop to better achieve some expressed member desires like providing adequate Remuneration for admin work?

4: Is there an optimal percentage range of non paying active Platform Users to Member-owners at any given time (factoring in CPAU and community considerations)?

5: When/how are Organizations/Broadcasters allowed onto the platform and are they considered the same as a individual member-owner or something different?