Tue 15 Nov 2022 2:17PM

On-boarding Q&A for New Members!

ED emi do Public Seen by 193

We have known that our on-boarding process on social.coop needs a little TLC for some time- it can be daunting to navigate so many different sign ons all at once! Not to mention, Mastodon itself is a little confusing to figure out. With an exciting influx of new members, we thought we'd try to get the on-boarding party started with a Social.Coop 101 + Q&A. Noting that we're all scattered across many timezones, we'll record the session for those that can't attend and post it to this thread and open up discussion for any further follow up questions.

Here's a link of tips on how to navigate mastodon from someone on a different instance: https://axbom.com/mastodon-tips/

Here's a link to a recording of the first session: https://www.loomio.com/d/weg1CJB5/on-boarding-q-a-for-new-members-/49

This graphic is from a strategy session. There are some updates that need to be made on it but may help give an overview of how we operate and the many ponderings of possible future directions for the co-op!


Eliot Lash Fri 2 Dec 2022 10:30PM

I think https://element.io/ is the most popular one and has a bunch of different platforms supported. It's what I use anyway.


Billy Smith Fri 2 Dec 2022 2:31AM

I've been looking at the Matrix clients and there's a wide range available, of which i know nothing about.

There's no mention in the FAQ as to which one is most suitable for someone who hasn't used Matrix before.

Any suggestions or advice? :D


Andrew Shead Tue 29 Nov 2022 3:37AM

Very good, thank you. That tells me I'm in the proper place. Came away with a positive feeling.


Kevin Flanagan Tue 29 Nov 2022 8:33PM

Can anyone tell me who proposed this? I think it's a great idea and there would be a lot of interest from members but also non-members particularly at the moment? Any chance we could do this before the Christmas holidays?

"There has been a proposal about doing a session for "how to create a cooperative mastodon instance". Bring together people from different collectively run instances and have an informal discussion for people who are interested in learning how to do this."


Shauna Gordon-McKeon Tue 29 Nov 2022 4:42PM

Thank you so much for these notes!


Kevin Flanagan Tue 29 Nov 2022 3:07PM

Thanks for posting this. I'll try to join the next one.


emi do Tue 29 Nov 2022 12:59AM

Here are the notes from Co-op 101! This reads more like a transcript so it might be a bit hard to follow! This is the link to the recording: https://bbb.de.meet.coop/presentation/489370716a049b7c0d473d5600d797e70d1c2f6d-1669384467814/meeting.mp4


  • ·    quick self-intros

  • ·    recording OK?

  • ·    review of image

  • ·    first round of questions

  • ·    answers from ops team & other active members

  • ·    more questions     

Some basic info:

  • Members/Users

    • 1,800(?) registered users on Mastodon instance (version 4 doesn't give the total users?) 

    • 622 active weekly

    • 641 Open Collective contributors

    • 270 registered on Loomio

    • 66 on Meet.Coop

  • Working Groups: Tech, Community, Finance, Legal (renewed)  

  • Annual Budget (est): 13,000 GBP

  • Platform6 is our fiscal sponsor

  • Host is Hetzner (Germany)

    • [flancian] plus DigitalOcean for media hosting, and sometimes for VPS hosting, but after latest review it seems we'll double down on Hetzner as it's significantly cheaper. 

  • Code is hosted on Git.Coop (Web Architects)

  • DNR is through Gandi.net

  • Collaborations: 


  • ·    Intros (plus any questions you would like to add to the agenda)

    • ·     Emi: in social.coop for 3-4 years. In CWG.

    • ·     Adam: from Bristol, UK. Been on social.coop since Monday (!).

    • ·     Ames: joined earlier this month.

    • ·     Billy Smith:  a couple of weeks

    • ·     Caitlin Waddick: been here for 3-4y, happy to see all the people joining. in the FWG

    • ·     Cel: Charles -- have loomio access but haven't created an account yet.

    • ·     dynamic: Alex (sp?), been here for a couple of months. Moved when cyberspace (sp?) shut down. Here to see how things are run.

    • ·     Ed Summers: member of social.coop for 4y, but intermittently. Been re-engaging more with all the new activity. Part of the TWG. Interested in how people are seeing developments.

    • ·     literally: been here for a year this month. No questions but there is some downtime issue.

    • ·     Matt Cropp: been involved since launch back in 2017 (started in a Buy-Twitter campaign). In Kentucky.

    • ·     Matt Noyes: in Colorado, in social.coop since 2018. Member of the CWG. Last month has been a wild ride!

    • ·     Michael Potter: been in social.coop for 1-2y. Here to listen.

    • ·     Nick S (wu-lee): been a member of social.coop since 2017 or 2018. "Lapsed" member of the TWG.

    • ·     Sam Bruli: based in Switzerland mostly. Joined social.coop last Sunday. No questions but very excited to see how the platform works!

    • ·     Scott Jenson: been here for a whole three weeks. Impressed by how things are running, trying to gain a greater understanding.

    • ·     Sky: Brazil, software engineering. Would love to help out with software in general.

    • ·     Giacomo Sansoni: joined social.coop in 2020 because of an interest in democratically ran social media.

    • ·     Flancian: Eduardo, Switzerland/Argentina, TWG and CWG.

  • Matt Noyes: land acknowledgement, language.

    • ·     In Colorado, where Matt is, the land was historically inhabited by Nuuchiu people.

    • ·     On language: we operate with English as our default language. Gratitude towards people who operate in a second or third language in such cooperative spaces.

  • ·    Matt Noyes: any objections to recording form now on?

    • ·     Sky: would the meeting recording be open to everybody or just members of the coop?

    • ·     Emi: a link would be posted in a Loomio thread, so a priori only members of the instance would see it.

(Recording starts here.)

  • ·    Emi: Visual Paradigm ("brain map") for social.coop, explaning the graph.

  • ·     Working groups:

    • ·     Community

    • ·     Tech

    • ·     Finance

      • ·    Runs our Open Collective

    • ·     Legal (recently revived): Contains only Nathan at the moment :)

  • ·     Documentation:

    • ·     Consolidating into a wiki that all members can edit

  • ·     Governance:

    • ·     Loomio driven

  • ·    Matt Cropp: member of the FWG

    • ·     Some things are pre-approved; people submit invoices for reimbursement (for labour) in Open Collective. You can see all finances there.

    • ·     We haven't operated with a monthly budget so far. We are changing that.

    • ·     https://opencollective.com/socialcoop

    • ·     Our fiscal sponsor is platform6 (used to be the default open collective). This is why we denominate in GBP by default.

    • ·     Some discussion about incorporating our own entity.

  • ·    Matt Noyes: member of the CWG.

    • ·     Five members currently. Take turns doing moderation and registrations approvals (one week long).

    • ·     Matt deals with registrations for meet.coop in particular.

    • ·     CWG gets paid for labour (oncall, monthly meetings and coordination). All on Loomio.

  • ·     To join:

    • ·     at-large members can be involved without having to take oncall responsibility.

    • ·     Emi: you can join any working group through Loomio. There is a voting process for getting special powers like server access.

  • ·    Flancian: 

    • ·     TWG weekly meetings mondays 6pm UTC by default, but we're looking into alternate schedules.

    • ·     Bugs are in https://anagora.org/go/twg/bugs (this is a redirect to git.coop).

    • ·     If you want access to git.coop, you need a @social.coop email alias; do reach out for that.

    • ·     Join our matrix room if you have any questions or you just want to see what's up! https://anagora.org/go/twg/chat is the short link for that).

  • ·    Billy Smith: idea to introduce a cooperative working group that focuses on bolstering co-ops.  context: we are highly distributed over timezones and using technology to network. Lots of us are involved in local cooperatives. We have a great opportunity to integrate these levels and put local cooperatives in touch (n.b.: I'm not sure I got this fully).

  • ·     Giacomo: in Tuscany one of the largest grocery providers is coop run. We have local, city-wide, regional coops -- but we don't have many transnational cooperatives.

    • ·     With these new tools we have, we can create something new that has never emerged before. E.g. book publishing industry is focused on extracting profit instead of sharing knowledge.

  • ·     Emi: all of these speak to social.coop's goals and principles.

  • ·    Matt Noyes: about setting up new working groups. It happens on Loomio; start a thread and see if other folks are interested!

  • ·     There has been a proposal about doing a session for "how to create a cooperative mastodon instance". Bring together people from different collectively run instances and have an informal discussion for people who are interested in learning how to do this.

  • ·    Matt Cropp: back in the day, there was some tension about the purpose of this thing we are building.

  • ·     What we're covering here is what came out of strategy sessions.

  • ·     There were questions about how to allow for experimentation while also providing reliable services. This is an ongoing conversation.

  • ·     One distinctive aspect of this instance is how we do moderation; we have a CWG oncall reviewing reports. We consult the code of conduct often when making decisions.

    • ·     When there is a conflict between two social.coop users, we offer to mediate.

    • ·     Sky: nice to know, and useful to remember, there are actual humans doing this work here :)

    • ·     Literally: what about the toll of moderation? e.g. maybe we should be more open about (and do education around) the stress that moderation might cause on moderators. There is a psychological cost.

    • ·     Eduardo: +1

    • ·    Dynamic: how have things been changing? Does it feel scarier with the influx or the same?

    • ·     Emi: very different, exciting and freaky :)

    • ·     Matt: totally. Not strictly the volume of people (we are a small instance), but the work is clearly higher.

    • ·     Two kinds of moderation issues that have come up in this time.

      • ·    A huge influx of people to the fediverse means a lot of new people with violent views have "free reign".

      • ·    The other side, more interesting, is in our instance or within our close network. People just seeing things differently -- here we try to mediate.

  • ·    Giacomo: previous experience with a network which was mixed with cryptocurrencies.

    • ·     One interesting takeaway: to solve moderation issues, 12 users were selected to make a call (a jury of peers).

    • ·     Emi: sounds very interesting. Would like to also welcome more people to the CWG.

    • ·     Eduardo: very cool idea. We could start by adding more people to the CWG moderation threads that sometimes take place related to tricky moderation cases.


·    Setting up new Working Groups?

·    Would it be possible to have a working group for forming new co-ops, local focus? - "Principle 6 working group"?

·     related idea: a session on creating a cooperative Mastodon instance

·    Would love to understand (at some point) what goes into moderation, challenges, procedures, concerns? Maybe there is an FAQ we could read?


LibreEquity Mon 28 Nov 2022 7:55PM

Hi Emi and Matt, I too am interested in viewing the recording as unfortunately I was not able to attend. Many thanks.


Paul Bowman Fri 25 Nov 2022 6:02PM

I missed the live session, unfortunately. I’m looking forward to viewing the recording. Thank you for putting this together, Emi and Matt.


M. Page-Lieberman - @[email protected] Fri 25 Nov 2022 5:25PM

I wound up not being able to attend, but look forward to viewing the recording. Thank you for hosting this event for the people, @emi do ! Blessings.

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