Good evening, I have some thoughts that are kind of meta to the fediverse and apply into society more broadly. One public toot, then I'll thread 🔓
So... I get torn between two principles & I think they're a reason why shared solutions like masto are so important.
Principle 1: own your shit / pay for the shit you use
Principle 2: there should be plenty of low-barrier & "free" spaces for people to congregate in some way.
This is tied to my being a librarian tbh.
There are comparatively few places you can go in the US to do community which aren't somehow tied to corporation, profit, etc.
Owning your shit/paying for the shit you use is the kind of language which could be adopted by homeowners/capitalists and leave out everyone who doesn't have that kind of capital/credit/stability/etc.
Owning your digital shit generally costs $. It's certainly better than losing access, but ... yeah. It costs $ and it costs even more $ if you have fewer tech skills.
Libraries are one of the examples of those kind of places where you should be able to go and do community/simply exist without paying money.
Here's also a thing librarians know -- libraries aren't free. They're funded by your tax $, your tuition, your employer... by something.
And like holy shit I think they're a worthwhiler return on that spending. But I am indeed paid cash dollars to work. Which is good, I work on systems so you can find books/movies/etc.! Phew.
(and by that I mean I live in a society where I must sell my labor to live, so. it's good they pay me for that labor)
How does this apply to stuff like tumblr & whatnot?
Well, libraries are no-charge spaces. They're not free, but paid for in other ways. Such spaces really don't exist online except when run by big corps and/or people with fun ideas who try to run things for free but who may sell out to big corps... or just let a place die because maintenance is HARD & $$$.
Wow, maintenance is a side tangent.
Anyway. As a person in the Fediverse, I pay money to the instance admins where I have active accounts. I am also a person who has a goddamn salary that I can live on and holy shit this is a better time in my life than when I was spending 50% of my take-home pay on rent and another 15% on car payment and... yeah, counting dollars. Plenty of folks here are in that spot.
So. Where does that put us all?
I think it's a little more complex than "well, people didn't pay money to tumblr, what did they expect?" After all, I pay money to my ISP. ... they still want to sell my data. Right, I should turn on the VPN. Hang on.
Anyway. I'm gonna circle back to libraries. I do and I probably should pay more money to instance hosts. That's my duty as a person who currently has resources in a community that I want to see flourish. But some folks just can't and I WANT THEM HERE TOO.
@platypus One approach our instance is considering is a gentle regular (once a quarter?) reminder of each free user's person's pro-rata share of the cost of running the instance. Then they can opt for another 3 months of free membership or, if their circumstances have changed for the better, opt to start paying in a monthly contribution. Transparency without compulsion?
@mattcropp that's not bad -- and/but also for someoen like me even if I only count as $1, maybe I should pay $5 because I can .... so showing folks minimum, encouraging paying more if they can and then telling others that it's ok that they can't pay as much because others are paying more/they can join in sharing the load when they can.
A Fediverse instance for people interested in cooperative and collective projects.