Hey brain trust: what is the best membershiop management system that you're aware of. Was talking to my local food co-op's membership manager, and she feels there's a lack of good options in the space, so they have a nightmarishly customized CiviCRM. but she'd prefer something else.

This has me thinking again about the idea I tooted out a little while back, but wanting to figure out what's already out there before nudging towards reinventing any wheels...

@mattcropp I am still in the midst of this with my local food co-op.

We have CiviCRM which works in principle but is a lot of work to maintain and train people how to use it.

But there aren't a whole lot of alternatives out there, all the simpler ones don't really work out of the box for most co-ops anyway.

With we are effectively building our own from scratch... I wish we could figure out a way to productise this development...

@mattcropp There seem to be quite a few open source membership management systems although nothing I'm aware of has anything specifically for the co-op niche in mind. It does seem to be a possible gap, though I'm not sure what features you'd add to it - I guess the best thing you could do with it is integrate it with things like loomio, cobudget and other tools.

@mattcropp If you don't find anything that's good enough, I would totally be willing to give it a crack, as long as it's a collaborative project without unrealistic schedules.

If said application integrates with or substitutes something like Loomio and Mastodon, all the better.

@h @mattcropp A cybersyn for the modern age 😉

but yeah I'd be interested, too.

@captainbland I have other ideas for cybersyn2, but this CRM @mattcropp and many others are needing would be a little nice step in that general direction.

The original cybersyn was too statist for my preferences, which in my view leads to a two-tier society (kolkhoz + sovkhoz), and we see the same stratification happen in corporate fascist statism.

But there's no reason a little better statist society couldn't benefit from radical approaches to production, allocation, and distribution.

@h @mattcropp yeah I mean the ideas of 'recursion' in the sense of the viable systems model must create a hierarchy (however autonomous the nested systems are) so having one big system leads to centralised authority, which is what Cybersyn was modelled on. Really you need distributed ultimate responsibility for different things, although that might have been awkward to implement over a phone network in 70s Chile.

@captainbland You need trust networks of human scale. The scale of networks we're handling (because capitalism needs economies of scale to barely function) needs to be downsized closer to a proportion humans can understand without becoming network specialists.

We can't really control what we don't understand, and that's the way ultimate responsibility and accountability vanish.

What's a baker? Somebody we trust will reliably produce bread under certain conditions.


@mattcropp I use CiviCRM, and whilst it has a bit of a learning curve I've yet to across something significantly better. Food co-ops have a specific set of needs around POS and the ability to record lots of transactions for patronage dividends. Does the CORE-POS system for food co-ops handle that?

@Graham_Mitchell I have no idea about the POS stuff. Thinking of asking to sit down with the 's IT guy to learn more about how they run right now...

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