Launching A New, Co-op Owned Online Publication "Mutual Interests"
Mutual Interests - A New Online Publication
The reception to a recently launched Wikipedia Coop Fund positively surprised me - after publishing only one article about it and sharing it half a dozen places, we reached 10 regular donors.
I've got to know a brilliant young writer @Iwan Doherty whose articles (1,2) about coops have gained impressive reach in the social media. So an idea to start a new, coop owned online publication popped to my mind.
Response to a short tweet about this idea was a positive surprise - messages flew in from the former BBC newsnight editor Paul Mason, National Research and Policy Officer at GMB Neil Foster, a person representing a group of Japanese trade unionists who are themselves in a process of starting a co-op owned publication, a former Mozilla employee, etc.
So here's some basic ideas behind the publication:
Balanced coverage of co-ops, unions and the state
Success stories and future ideas on how co-ops and unions, not just statecraft can be utilised as tools.
Energising elections in existing economic democracy, from trade- and credit unions to local councils and large cooperatives.
When covering state, focusing especially in local councils in swing constituencies.
Let's change the thinking from "how can the state fix this problem" to "how can unions/coops/state fix this problem".
Consensus, not controversy seeking.
Shifting from the nationalisation vs privatisation paradigm into mutualisation consensus.
Bringing forward other economic ideas that appeal also to both left and non-left leaning people:
Free and open source software
Land value tax
Policy advocacy, no personal attacks.
Best place to read about manifestos of ongoing elections in different countries.
Best place for coverage of co-op and union elections.
Proposing ideas for membership motions to be voted on in co-ops and unions, not just policies in party elections, such as having a membership motion for Nationwide and Co-op to invest 1% of their pre-tax profits to help new co-op startups.
Cooperative, not a corporation.
50% of the board is elected by writers who have published at least 4 articles/ year.
50% of the board is elected by subscribers who pay 3£/month or 30£/year. Members of unions or co-ops pay 2£/month or 20£/year.
Finance (Open Collective)
50% of the monthly revenue is distributed equally to all writers who have published an article that month.
50% of the money is distributed through membership vote to writers who have published in the last month.
Participatory, not passive
Readers take part in polls
Best policies from party manifestos of different parties in different countries
Best Resonate song of the month/year
Readers request questions and guests for interviews
Offers practical advice for action:
Co-ops and unions to join
Informs about upcoming union elections, coop AGMs, etc.
Membership petitions in to sign for those who are already members
Informing about co-op crowdfunding and open source projects Webinars and online courses
24 Month Plan
First Two Month Goal
Launch on week 2 of February:
Publish an article describing the Mutual Interests Coop
Interview with Sandeep Vaheesan on anti-trust
Interview with Cardiff taxi worker co-op and union collaboration
Publish one new article by Iwan Doherty
Publish one new article by me
Add around 15 old articles by Iwan & me about unions, co-ops and Labour party
Interview with Nathan Schneider
Publish one article by a guest author
Interview with cleaners co-operative in Belfast
6 Month Goals
Reach production of 11 articles a month
Interview with co-op, union and party person of the month
An article from Iwan and Leo once a month
Two articles from other regular writers
Resonate song of the month - a regular article retweeted by Resonate
Coop Fact Of The Week vote
12 Month Goals
Reach production of 5 articles a week
Regular new reader polls
Election Watch - readers vote on policies on party manifestos of ongoing elections across the world
Expansion to broader interests than politics and society
Sports, fan-owned sports teams news
Stocksy photo- and Resonate music coop news.
Open source co-op project of the month
Personal finance tips and business news.
Informing about opportunities for mutual self-help, such as job opportunities or goods and services offered by co-operatives.
Business news from the co-op sector
24 Month Goals
Reach a production of 2 articles a day
Monthly piece by an elected union, co-op and co-op party representative.
Have a monthly post on:
Open source software
Regular monthly readers polls:
Policy of the month
Randomised trial of the month
Platform co-operative of the month
Resonate song of the month
Co-op crowdfunding campaign of the month
Co-op fact of the month
Co-op Open Source Project of the month
Trade union of the month
Propose an annual motion voted on by the members of Nationwide
Have a Mutual Interests member as the reader elected member of the board of directors of Co-operative News
If you are interested in writing to the publication, or know someone who could be, let me know. Also, if you know organisations that might be interested in getting involved, let me know.
Any other thoughts or ideas also more than welcome.