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[P]
Introducing the Collaborative Media Foundation

By rusty in Meta
Mon Aug 19, 2002 at 09:42:50 PM EST
Tags: Kuro5hin.org (all tags)
Kuro5hin.org

As most of you remember, about two months ago I announced a plan for the future of K5 which centered on converting the site's legal structure from a for-profit corporation into a nonprofit one. You responded with unbelievable generosity and support, and contributed enough money for me to continue to be employed by K5 for at least six months, and make the plan happen.

It's past time for a report on what I've been up to, and where the plan stands now, so here it is.


Before I get into the meat of things, two quick points:

The first step in any corporate action is to get a good lawyer and a good accountant. With the help of my wife's contacts in the Portland nonprofit community, we located a well-recommended team who both specialize in nonprofit aspects of their field and have worked together in the past for other nonprofit organizations. It was primarily in initial meetings with them that the plan described below has been hammered out. I just wanted to mention up front that this has all been worked out with good legal and accounting advice, rather than belabor the point throughout the article. Unless otherwise specified, everything below has been checked out from a legal and financial point of view and found to be doable.

And second, I don't want to make this a primer on how to form a nonprofit, so I will be glossing over some of the more mind-numbingly dull legalities. Excellent detailed information can be found on the web about nonprofit law and accounting, at places such as Nolo.com. Their book How to Form a Nonprofit Corporation is especially highly recommended for anyone who really wants to get their hands dirty in this stuff.

The first question, of course, was whether to convert the existing K5 Inc. into a nonprofit, or form a new corporation and dissolve the old one, transferring the assets to the new organization. Converting the existing organization, it turned out, would be just as complex as starting a new one if not more so. The old company's bylaws would have to be scrapped and rewritten anyway, so we decided it would be far easier to start fresh with a brand new corporation. This also smooths a lot of the accounting challenges, since the transition from K5 Inc. to the new organization will be simply a matter of dissolving the existing corporation and donating all of its assets to the new one.

The blank-slate approach also works well with my goals for the nonprofit. With the means and opportunity to start such a thing, I wanted to make an organization that could do more than just run K5. I see a lot of promise in new forms of online media that bring together a lot of non-specialists to do the work of creating community and knowledge, but I also see that most of these kinds of projects are having a hard time fitting themselves into the traditional industrial-age media economy, much like we ourselves did. We seem to exist in an underexplored gray area between "media" and "community", and the means of making such things economically self-supporting is still unclear.

So my idea was to found an organization dedicated to helping support and develop online community and collaborative media. By online community, I mean both ways of using the internet to support and strengthen real-world community, and also virtual communities that form online, such as this one at Kuro5hin. "Collaborative media" is a catch-all phrase for things like Scoop and Slash community sites, wikis, blogs, and generally all those interesting developing hybrid forms of news/discussion/community that continue to proliferate and mutate online.

The Collaborative Media Foundation seemed like a good name for such an organization. In the best nonprofit tradition, I think it has a stable solid feel to it, while not being overly specific or restrictive as to the Foundation's purpose. From here on, I'll generally abbreviate this to CMF, as I'm a lazy typist like all well-trained programmers.

The plan for the CMF is for it to be structured as a membership-driven "umbrella" organization, which will act as a central body to perform the administrative and legal work for a variety of individual projects. For example, K5 itself will be the first official project of the CMF. Projects will be run by their own operating committees, which will have the primary responsibility for things like budgeting, staffing, and so on, and will report periodically to the CMF Board. I have a couple more projects I plan to propose in the future, and I hope that an open structure will encourage other promising projects to take advantage of the CMF for development assistance.

The CMF will be a public 501(c)(3) educational nonprofit. Each of those terms has a specific legal meaning. Without boring everyone to death, they basically say that the foundation will be financially supported by a broad base of members and donors (as opposed to a single source of private income, like a family trust), will adhere to the standards and regulations necessary to maintain tax-exempt status under section 501(c)(3) of the US tax code, and will specifically be formed to engage in educational activity, which includes promoting discussion and debate and disseminating news and information.

Most computery types here will be familiar with the concept of bootstrapping. For example, you've written all the code for a shiny new compiler, but what do you compile it with? Obviously, you have to use an older compiler, or perhaps an early version of itself, already compiled. At some point back in the mists of time, someone had to write a compiler directly in assembly language which could compile the first compiler. A similar situation arises in forming a new corporation, when it comes time to write the bylaws. A nonprofit has to have a Board of Directors to adopt the bylaws, but the bylaws themselves are what determine how a Board is constituted. So your first Board is necessarily an ad-hoc bootstrapping affair. A piece of temporary corporate assembly-language programming, if that's not stretching the analogy too far.

For our purposes, I decided to just appoint a small Board of four people (plus myself) who can each bring specific experience to bear on the task of bootstrapping the bylaws and nursing the CMF into existence. The real Board will be larger than five people, and be at least partly elected by members, but for now, we have no bylaws, and therefore no specified way to determine who is a member or how elections work, or any of it. This Board's mandate is simply to hash out the basic bylaws, to adopt them, and then to oversee the first election of a proper Board. They won't be engaging in any of the normal activities of the Foundation, simply ensuring that control is passed smoothly to the first real Board. I've been mentally calling this the Provisional Board, which is probably as good a name as any for it, to distinguish it from a fully-empowered Board.

The CMF provisional Board is:

Me, founder of K5 and so forth.

Karsten Self, kmself here on K5. Karsten helped design a lot of the more intricate statistical systems in place here, such as the comment ratings and mojo. He's been active in the Free Software community for a number of years, and has a strong layman's knowledge of legal issues, and a strong commitment to openness, both in code and media. He's a smart guy, and he's here to catch any subtle legal "bugs" we may overlook.

Robin Bandy, who you may know as Arkady. Robin is a longtime K5er who operates a co-operative computer networking consultancy and ISP in Oakland, CA. He has extensive experience in non-traditional types of corporation, having designed his own co-op, and has been a longtime thorn in my side, urging greater community ownership and control of K5. In particular, I think it was Robin who first suggested to me, more than a year ago, that I ought to think seriously about making K5 a co-op or nonprofit. It took me a long time, but I finally decided he was right. Robin is on the Board to ensure that the bylaws are written in such a way as to firmly ensconce the principle of public ownership and control. I am sure we can count on him protesting loudly if we begin to err on the side of centralized control.

Peter Whysall, the ubiquitous K5 editor pwhysall. Peter has been through all the ups and downs of online communities back to and preceding the seminal InfoWorld Electric forums. He's seen most of the ways things can go wrong, and we're counting on him to help pinpoint structures or ideas that won't stand the test of time, and the vagaries of personality. Also, he's a keen editor, and should be able to make sure we don't pull a "Thou shalt commit adultery."

Scott Reents, the only member of the Provisional Board who is not a regular K5er, founded e-thePeople.org, a nonprofit dedicated to strengthening democracy and civic participation using the internet. He contacted me after the initial announcement to offer any help we needed putting this organization together, as it shares some common goals with e-thePeople, and we ended up talking on the phone for several hours. I invited him to join the Provisional Board because he has actual real-world experience starting and running a nonprofit, which will certainly be useful as we design our Foundation.

That brings you almost up to date. We have legal and accounting advisors, a name, a general type of organization picked out, and a provisional Board constituted. The Board, incidentally, communicates primarily by email listserv, which will have a public archive available as soon as I figure out why it doesn't already.

Right now we have first-draft Bylaws and Articles of Incorporation, which will serve as a rough template for us to modify to the needs of the organization. Some of the questions before the Board initially will be how exactly to determine membership, how to run public elections for elected Board members, what the proper ratio between elected and appointed Board members will be, and how voting rights and powers are divided. We have a lot of work to do still, but the process is well underway.

There is easily another whole article involved in describing the structure and workings of the Foundation, but I'd prefer to hold off on that for a little bit until the Board has hashed it over and come up with a plan we think will work. At that point I'll submit another report detailing the structure we've come up with and soliciting feedback and analysis from everyone, before we adopt anything officially. By then we'll have actual draft documents for you to look at, and a public archive of the discussion process by which we arrived at them, which should help move a public discussion in productive directions.

Meanwhile, hopefully this brings everyone up to speed on what's been going on (and why I've been so quiet lately). Questions, comments, etc. are welcome as always.

And a last parenthetical-type footnote, this is the first of no less than three Meta articles I've got lined up, so you can expect more (hopefully) interesting K5-related news in the next couple of days.

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Related Links
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o e-thePeopl e.org
o Also by rusty


Display: Sort:
Introducing the Collaborative Media Foundation | 211 comments (201 topical, 10 editorial, 0 hidden)
-1 I am scared of change (4.55 / 9) (#4)
by duxup on Mon Aug 19, 2002 at 07:25:38 PM EST



I somehow doubt (3.66 / 3) (#7)
by Bob Dog on Mon Aug 19, 2002 at 07:35:08 PM EST

That dumping this story will prevent change.


[ Parent ]
Change is inevitable. (5.00 / 4) (#48)
by aphrael on Mon Aug 19, 2002 at 10:31:40 PM EST

The normal changes into the monstrous
the fortunate into the unfortunate
and our bewilderment
goes on and on.

And so the wise
shape without cutting
square without sawing
true without forcing.
They are the light that does not shine.


[ Parent ]
Ha! (5.00 / 5) (#53)
by rusty on Mon Aug 19, 2002 at 10:51:41 PM EST

That's excellent. We need K5 T-shirts that say I am the light that does not shine.

____
Not the real rusty
[ Parent ]
K5 T-shirts (5.00 / 5) (#65)
by duxup on Mon Aug 19, 2002 at 11:30:48 PM EST

How about we just start with K5 T-shirts?
I recall some plans for other shirts in the past.

[ Parent ]
Indeed (5.00 / 2) (#75)
by rusty on Tue Aug 20, 2002 at 12:04:14 AM EST

Those plans are moving up in the rotation of excess plans that we've had bubbling forever. I can now confidently say that someday, we will have actual t-shirts.

____
Not the real rusty
[ Parent ]
But... (5.00 / 1) (#84)
by mrgoat on Tue Aug 20, 2002 at 02:17:56 AM EST

Will we be able to get T-shirts with our usernames printed on them? Or, maybe, T-Shirts with other people's printed on them?

"I'm having sex right now?" - Joh3n
--Top Hat--
[ Parent ]

Heh (5.00 / 2) (#100)
by hulver on Tue Aug 20, 2002 at 05:54:12 AM EST

kuro5hin.org: I am not mr. goat

or

kuro5hin.org: My uid is lower than yours

--
HuSi!
[ Parent ]

Better (5.00 / 2) (#105)
by wiredog on Tue Aug 20, 2002 at 07:30:28 AM EST

Kuro5hin.org:More extreme than linking to baby cannibalism

Can't sleep. The clowns will get me.
[ Parent ]
How about (4.50 / 4) (#108)
by jayhawk88 on Tue Aug 20, 2002 at 08:47:15 AM EST

I went diary slumming at K5 and all I got was this lousy T-shirt.

Why, then, should we grant government the Orwellian capability to listen at will and in real time to our communications across the Web? -- John Ashcroft
[ Parent ]
Surely.... (5.00 / 1) (#178)
by boyde on Tue Aug 20, 2002 at 08:57:57 PM EST

...it would just be a sig-quote?


Rolling around in the muck is no way to get clean.
[ Parent ]

I understand (none / 0) (#117)
by Wah on Tue Aug 20, 2002 at 11:35:22 AM EST

with the internet and all, it takes nearly 5 minutes to set up a store to sell obscure t-shirts.  I can see how you haven't had the time.
--
Where'd you get your information from, huh?
[ Parent ]
Cafepress (5.00 / 2) (#135)
by rusty on Tue Aug 20, 2002 at 02:39:59 PM EST

Cafepress's quality is crap. They use iron-ons, which discolor and get real ugly in a couple of months. The printing on their mugs washes off in a few months in the dishwasher. Hence my abandoning our early cafepress store.

I feel like if I can't go to the trouble to provide a quality product, I should wait until I can.

____
Not the real rusty
[ Parent ]

I see... (5.00 / 1) (#146)
by Wah on Tue Aug 20, 2002 at 03:05:49 PM EST

I should have expected you to be elitist about it.  Seriously though, it's not a bad interim solution.  With some capital behind you it should be possible to offer a much better product, but without any...well, beggars and choosers and all that.

I'm curious to see what you come up with.  (Note: This means that I'll buy a t-shirt a day or so after you figure out how to sell them, with a method that meets the high-quality standards of a collaborative non-profit media conglomerate, of course)

Wait a sec, who washes mugs in dishwashers?  Mine's sat on my desk for dang near six months.
--
Where'd you get your information from, huh?
[ Parent ]

Mugs (5.00 / 1) (#149)
by rusty on Tue Aug 20, 2002 at 03:11:26 PM EST

Heh. Actually, my parents showed me theirs. I never wash my mug either, really. I usually rinse it out in the morning. Usually.

Anyway, t-shirts (and hopefully other stuff) should be coming. I think I'm probably going to try to farm production/sales/shipping off to someone else anyway. It's mainly just a matter of finding the right "someone else" and getting some designs together.

____
Not the real rusty
[ Parent ]

w00t - nt (5.00 / 1) (#125)
by duxup on Tue Aug 20, 2002 at 12:41:49 PM EST



[ Parent ]
Run for the Hills! (3.60 / 5) (#5)
by LilDebbie on Mon Aug 19, 2002 at 07:31:40 PM EST

rusty is establishing himself as the preeminent leader of all community written and moderated blogs! Soon he will have a finger (or a whole HAND!) in every online forum in the world.

/me quakes in fear.

Seriously, thanks for pulling back the curtain. I recommend you post the bylaws as soon as you have a first draft as it's no fun submitting your finished product only to have people rail on specifics they want changed that you don't feel like doing.

My name is LilDebbie and I have a garden.
- hugin -

Yay rusty! (4.75 / 8) (#6)
by ShadowNode on Mon Aug 19, 2002 at 07:34:47 PM EST

So when do I get to become a card-carrying member of the CMF?

Hah! (4.66 / 9) (#10)
by wiredog on Mon Aug 19, 2002 at 07:39:59 PM EST

email listserv, which will have a public archive available as soon as I figure out why it doesn't already.

One of the things I like about this place, as opposed to, say, some Other Site, is that The Management isn't afraid to admit when it doesn't know why something is done the way it's done. And in a fairly humorous fashion, too.

Speaking of the Other Site, is this story going to be submitted there?

Any chance we could get a look at those first-draft Bylaws and Articles of Incorporation? Or would that be inadvisable?

Can't sleep. The clowns will get me.

Archive, bylaws (4.80 / 5) (#14)
by rusty on Mon Aug 19, 2002 at 07:44:17 PM EST

Heh. The archive was supposed to be public as of like the second day the mailing list existed. I can't find it though, so it either doesn't have one yet, or I'm being stupid. I have to ask Inoshiro what's going on.

The first draft bylaws are really just "template" type boilerplate documents, and wouldn't be particularly interesting or useful, I think. They came straight from the lawyer's cut-and-paste, so they don't represent anything we necessarily want to have in there. Basically, they're straight boilerplate and the intersting parts aren't filled in yet. So I didn't see any real point in posting them right now.

I'll get something posted here as soon as we have a document that at least has most of the major holes filled in.

____
Not the real rusty
[ Parent ]

Suggested new Motto (3.60 / 5) (#11)
by wiredog on Mon Aug 19, 2002 at 07:41:24 PM EST

Here.

Can't sleep. The clowns will get me.
I'm still not getting it (4.23 / 13) (#12)
by Rogerborg on Mon Aug 19, 2002 at 07:42:39 PM EST

Step 1: Come up with a great idea that grabs hearts and minds but loses money.
Step 2: Dilute that great idea by making it a part of a bigger, fuzzier, unfocussed "corporation".
Step 3: ...
Step 4: Non profit!

Sorry, I still don't get it. Money comes in, money goes out on frivolities like bandwidth, mortgage and food. How does taking a great idea (K5) and dressing it up in a nebulous corporate clothes actually increase the money coming in or decrease the money going out? I mean, how exactly does it directly effect those numbers?

I'm extremely puzzled as to how this is different from a typical .bomb business plan, i.e. long on buzzwords, optimism and enthusiasm but short on basic arithmetic skills. Don't get me wrong, I really hope that it is different, but I'm not seeing it. :(


"Exterminate all rational thought." - W.S. Burroughs

It's the PBS plan (5.00 / 8) (#15)
by wiredog on Mon Aug 19, 2002 at 07:46:39 PM EST

For starters, corporate donations to K5 will be tax-deductible. So if Bill Gates decides he needs a $1E6 deduction he (or Microsoft) can just donate the money to K5. You and I can do the same, although I don't think that either of us has a spare million lying about.

And, along with the tax deduction, comes the knowledge that you've done a Good Deed. A tax deduction and Warm Fuzzies! What could be better!

Can't sleep. The clowns will get me.
[ Parent ]

Think NPR (4.88 / 9) (#17)
by rusty on Mon Aug 19, 2002 at 07:54:43 PM EST

Not everything has to be a business. Some things, in fact, merely get worse when you try to pretend they're a business. Like news reporting, which, IMO, has suffered tremendously ever since it started being viewed by media companies as a profit-making enterprise. NPR does an extremely valuable service by being a news organization that is beholden to us, their listeners, because we're the ones who pay for it, not advertisers.

Similarly, a site like this is more community than magazine. It doesn't cost much to run, but we get the most benefit from it when the people running it are primarily there to serve the needs of us, the reader/contributor. A nonprofit structure is simply the most sensible way to organize something that should be funded and controlled by the contributors.

Becomng a nonprofit doesn't increase income, it just provides a means of ensuring a transparent and accountable management structure, and collecting income from the people who should be controlling the site.

Having just written that article, my supply of words is way too depleted to go through the entire argument for why this makes sense to me. But the super short description is it's about cooperative ownership of a shared resource, rather than concentrated ownership in a business structure.

It appears I need to write out the long version of the argument. I will try to do so soon, and meanwhile I apologize for not being more coherent at the moment.

____
Not the real rusty
[ Parent ]

Thanks (3.88 / 9) (#22)
by Rogerborg on Mon Aug 19, 2002 at 08:17:13 PM EST

Sorry to be so pushy, but it kind of looks (from the point of view of a clueless observer) as though you're adding rules and roles and guys in suits and such while avoiding the basic problem that income has to exceed expenditure, and that all else is dependent on that. It's probably just a lack of understanding of what goes into running K5.

I mean, it looks (clueless observer!) as though it's just a big honking web site, which means you pay for a server and bandwidth, and then you take in ad money and sub money and donations, and you sit around in your underpants all day drinking beer and surfing the web.

To dress it up as a community or a corporation just seems (to me) to add complexity and an artificial sense of investment and commitment without fixing the basic problem of who pays the rent.

But as I said, I'm probably just not getting it. I hope I'm just not getting it.


"Exterminate all rational thought." - W.S. Burroughs
[ Parent ]

Not True!! (4.60 / 5) (#26)
by wiredog on Mon Aug 19, 2002 at 08:29:56 PM EST

you sit around in your underpants all day drinking beer and surfing the web.

He also kayaks around the harbor, hikes in the mountains, rides his Vespa, and is looking at boats.

Can't sleep. The clowns will get me.
[ Parent ]

Exactly (4.57 / 7) (#34)
by Anonymous 242 on Mon Aug 19, 2002 at 08:57:24 PM EST

I mean, it looks (clueless observer!) as though it's just a big honking web site, which means you pay for a server and bandwidth
An observer with a clue would notice that both the bandwidth and the servers that k5 runs on are donated. ;)

An oversimpliefied version of k5's expenses are:

  1. Rusty's salary.
  2. Legal fees.
Have a day.

-l

[ Parent ]

You forgot (5.00 / 5) (#36)
by wiredog on Mon Aug 19, 2002 at 09:00:38 PM EST

Cat food.

Can't sleep. The clowns will get me.
[ Parent ]
Ah, ah! (4.20 / 5) (#37)
by ubu on Mon Aug 19, 2002 at 09:09:12 PM EST

Lobster boat, replacement CDs, Vespa.

Ubu


--
As good old software hats say - "You are in very safe hands, if you are using CVS !!!"
[ Parent ]
You're forgetting the most important thing (5.00 / 8) (#41)
by KilljoyAZ on Mon Aug 19, 2002 at 09:30:52 PM EST

rusty's monocle, monocle accessories, and expenses related to the care and maintenance of the aforementioned monocle.

===
Creativitiy cannot be SPELT by over 98% of all American troops. - psychologist
[ Parent ]
Gas Face given, I beg to differ. (3.66 / 6) (#38)
by ubu on Mon Aug 19, 2002 at 09:19:24 PM EST

and you sit around in your underpants all day drinking beer and surfing the web.

No, stupid, he's sitting around coding the search engine. That's his big programming project right now.

Ubu


--
As good old software hats say - "You are in very safe hands, if you are using CVS !!!"
[ Parent ]
"non" profit (4.00 / 2) (#55)
by tpv on Mon Aug 19, 2002 at 11:08:04 PM EST

the basic problem that income has to exceed expenditure

Actually the basic principle is that income should match expenditure.
If the income exceeds expenditure, then you need to increase your expense. (i.e. Start a new project etc.)
--
'I would therefore like to posit that computing's central challenge, viz. "How not to make a mess of it", has not been met.'
Edsger Dijkstra (1930-2002) EWD1304
[ Parent ]

Not necessarily (5.00 / 1) (#99)
by dark on Tue Aug 20, 2002 at 05:08:14 AM EST

Non-profits are allowed to build up reserves. They can even invest them and try to live off the interest. I don't know if Rusty's "public educational" status allows this, though :) But for example Debian has built up considerable funds, just in case it will ever have to actually pay for the bandwidth and servers that are currently donated. Of course, the funds wouldn't last very long in such a case, but perhaps just long enough to find new sponsors.

[ Parent ]
It's a wonderful plan (4.60 / 5) (#49)
by maynard on Mon Aug 19, 2002 at 10:32:49 PM EST

Rusty,

You should be commended for embarking on this plan. Seriously. You're created a corporate structure to maintain K5 as a legal entity indefinitely, and you've selected a nonprofit model which allows (and demands) strong community input. This reminds me of the creation of a food cooperative. I'm impressed by this nonintuitive choice. I'm sure organizing this was hard work. And I'm OK with the idea of regular K5 pledge drives. That some of the money is used to pay your salary doesn't bother me either. It never bothered me when Rob and gang made out with the commercialization and then sale of /., but I certainly respect this decision far more. I'll do what I can to pledge ASAP.

Best wishes,
--Maynard



Read The Proxies, a short crime thriller.
[ Parent ]

Organization is good, a solid plan is better! (4.33 / 3) (#70)
by traxman on Mon Aug 19, 2002 at 11:54:42 PM EST

I wholeheartedly agree in the logic that is being used to form this plan. The lack of a specific goal, (aside from the increase in $$$) was one of the things that sounded the death knoll for the .bombs.

Since the first day I read a story here I've been hooked. Now I can't imagine not coming here. I am glad that rusty has chosen to solidify his commitment to this site. What we have here is a good thing. If this change in status is indicative of what the future holds for kuro5hin, the future is bright indeed.

You can count on my continued support rusty. I have made this one of my online homes, and I want to continue to see the quality content that exists here. Having trusted leadership, and a succinct mission, will go a long way in insuring the long-term viablity of this site.

Plus I can't wait to write off a donation to K5 on my tax returns. ;)


traxman


[ Parent ]
Think NPR twice (4.25 / 4) (#123)
by mami on Tue Aug 20, 2002 at 12:30:57 PM EST

NPR does an extremely valuable service by being a news organization that is beholden to us, their listeners, because we're the ones who pay for it, not advertisers.

A nonprofit structure is simply the most sensible way to organize something that should be funded and controlled by the contributors.

That's all nice, but there is a difference that you haven't commented on and I hope you will.

NPR's listeners are financial contributors, not content contributors. Their donations merely reflect that they appreciate what the producers, editors and journalists are offering them as content and how they do it.

NPR has content to offer, which is under the scrutiny of editors and not under the scrutiny of wildly trolling, vandal voting, multi-personality challenged, anonymous nicky-dickles.

If you want to have something non-profit, that is owned, funded and controlled by the contributors and still want to generate enough donation money to function as your income, then you would have to find a way to get the content contributors to agree to a content-production mechanism, which actually produces content, which the financially funding readers will find worthwhile paying for. I am not that confident that this will happen just out of the blue.

The fact that you establish a non-profit frame around something, which still is in need of a for profit business plan to generate the money you need to continue running this site, is somewhat shallow, if you can't guarantee that your content contributors (us) actually provide content that's worth paying for.

I remember you once said somewhere that this site is "ours". Well, "we" won't generate worthy content at "no cost" the same way as you won't continue to put in your worthy time and professionalism into this site at "no cost".

The question of being non-profit or for-profit for this site in fact isn't even relevant at this moment, because so far there isn't enough money generated to pay for the only employee of that non profit entity that is you.

If at least you could technically control that nobody could vote under two different nicks, that would already be a step in the right direction to actually make this site "a little bit more democratic". If you can't handle a serious voting system, I doubt that this site will have a chance on the long run.

Well, I am always a nay-sayer, just ignore it.

[ Parent ]

The rewards of kuro5hin (5.00 / 1) (#128)
by JoshKnorr on Tue Aug 20, 2002 at 01:25:12 PM EST

I remember you once said somewhere that this site is "ours". Well, "we" won't generate worthy content at "no cost" the same way as you won't continue to put in your worthy time and professionalism into this site at "no cost".
But "we" have been doing exactly that for years now We generate this content (stories, comments, diaries, votes, ads) for (at least) two reasons.

First, generating quality content has demonstrated to be its own reward. Seeing a story published, engaging in thoughtful conversation with others through comments, venting on a diary. The act is the reward.

Secondly, some of us hope that by brining quality content to the site, we increase the chances that more quality will come in the future. The reward for participation in k5 today is (hopefully) an even better k5 tomorrow.



[ Parent ]
"We" have generated the content, yes (none / 0) (#140)
by mami on Tue Aug 20, 2002 at 02:51:52 PM EST

... but if I am not mistaken, "we" haven't "paid" enough for it to make this site's survival a sure thing and "we" have enjoyed to read the "quality" content and the "thoughtful" conversation very much for free. Whereby I have to add that most people may enjoy just the opposite, ie "funny" content and "weirdo-silly-trollish conversations".

Most enjoy using their diaries, for free. "We" are the guys who want to have a own the cake and eat it too.

Most are just looking at K5 to see what's going to happen with it. It's more or less the curiosity for this specific experiment what makes people stay.

What do you do if an experiment doesn't produce results, from which you can draw conclusions? Deny that the experiment was unsuccessful? Redo the same experiment under other conditions? Redesign the experiment and try something else?

Could it be that one just has a hard time to acknowledge that the K5 experiment so far didn't reveal data that allows one to redesign the experiment in a way that it will generate enough financial support and quality content?

Other than that "we" didn't raise $ 70,000.00 in the first pledge, "we" know nothing aside from the fact that Rusty still hasn't given up and may be thinking about restructuring parts of his "non profit business plan".

I am looking forward to regular pledges and wish K5 luck to generate enough financial support. I love and hate this site's experiment dearly, but I always end up doing that with anything ...

[ Parent ]

Payment in Kind (none / 0) (#130)
by Wah on Tue Aug 20, 2002 at 02:11:58 PM EST

To cut it very short.
  1. Get a story posted.
  2. Get a FREE WEEK! of membership.
There, now you're getting paid...in kind.

Well, I am always a nay-sayer, just ignore it.

This reminds of some lyrics from a Sublime song [snipped in the hopes of continued civil discourse].
--
Where'd you get your information from, huh?
[ Parent ]

I don't know that song (none / 0) (#131)
by mami on Tue Aug 20, 2002 at 02:27:54 PM EST

so the joke or insult is lost on me.

[ Parent ]
Neither (5.00 / 1) (#143)
by Wah on Tue Aug 20, 2002 at 02:59:54 PM EST

it's not really an insult, although it probably would have seemed like one.  Oops, it was a 311 song, my bad (memory).

anyway, in response to nay-saying...

And fuck the naysayers cause they don't mean a thing
'Cause this is what style we bring

link.
--
Where'd you get your information from, huh?
[ Parent ]

Points (5.00 / 1) (#136)
by rusty on Tue Aug 20, 2002 at 02:44:07 PM EST

If you want to have something non-profit, that is owned, funded and controlled by the contributors and still want to generate enough donation money to function as your income

If the Board, elected by you, decide I'm superfluous and not needed to run the site, I will be fired. One of the points of having an open structure is so that I'm not the one making that decision anymore.

If they say I'm needed, will you believe them? Will you run for election to the Board to ensure that everything is being done properly?

____
Not the real rusty
[ Parent ]

A bit of a tangent.... (5.00 / 1) (#150)
by dram on Tue Aug 20, 2002 at 03:13:40 PM EST

Clearly most of the members of the CMF will come from and regularly check K5. Hopefully Scott will post a story on e-thepeople about it and if he does not I will, but still, e-thepeople is a much smaller site than K5 with a smaller user base.

That all being said the most likely place to campaign for being voted to the board would be K5*. I think this will lead to a lot of diary abuses where people just keep on posting "Vote for Grant M Henninger for the CMF board!" in their diary 100 times a day.

Clearly diary abuses such as this would require corrective action by the the K5 admins. However, if you or they were also running for a seat on the board I think taking corrective actions would create a conflict of interest. Since there is no black and white, this is abuse and this is not standard that is followed on K5, at least no one that is written down, it would be quite easy to say that you were trying to thin out the competition by effectively silencing the users you do not want on the board.

Hopefully you see the problem with this. I bet you saw it long ago, or somebody else pointed it out to you. But just incase, there are my 2˘.

Just some other thoughts I have had since reading this story: Maybe you should talk to Wil Wheaton and Moby and see if they wish to be appointed members to the board. Wil Wheaton has WilWheaton.net and is probably the best blog by any entertainer. Moby runs (or has somebody run for him) Moby.com where he has his blog section and also has his Forums where fans post things and he reads them and sometimes mentions them in the blog part of his site. It is not exactly collaborative media, but it comes close and he is a big name. I thought these might be good famous people to help get donations as you had mentioned in earlier comment.

And FYI, yes, I plan to run for a seat on the board.

*: I don't now if one can campaign for such a position, maybe the best way to avoid this would be to disallow campaigning all together and just have a page with each candidate and a link to their resume for the job. Also when you send out (s-mail) voting material include a packet of such material.

-dram
[grant.henninger.name]

[ Parent ]

scaling concerns (5.00 / 1) (#154)
by aphrael on Tue Aug 20, 2002 at 03:38:09 PM EST

Since there is no black and white, this is abuse and this is not standard that is followed on K5, at least no one that is written down

That could be alleviated by written rules on what constitutes diary abuse. Such rules would probably be a good thing in any event. Unfortunately, it is too late *now* to implement such rules prior to a board election. :(

Clearly most of the members of the CMF will come from and regularly check K5

This is true today and for the medium-term future, but it isn't necessarily a valid long-term assumption if the CMF's other projects are successful. Which brings up a point that I hope are addressed in the bylaws: what happens if at some point the CMF chooses to divest itself of K5, or of one of its other projects which are at a successful stage? (Clearly, the CMF should have the power to kill outright a failed project --- but it's more difficult when you have established projects with a large user base).

Granted, i'm overly paranoid about political systems degenerating and changing their nature over time --- but I think the evolution of most idealistic governments, not to mention things like the evolution of HP, demonstrate that there is ample room for it, and that there is a certain entropy of political systems which suggests that structures built by idealists will eventually come to be run by pragmatists who don't share the idealistic vision of the founders. This leads to a design problem in constructing the system: how do you ensure that the system continues to reflect the idealism of its founders, while still providing flexibility of action in evolving circumstances?

The particular issue i'm concerned about in this post is: what happens if the membership of the CMF, over time, becomes alienated from the K5 membership, and wishes to disassociate? How can the interests of the K5 user community be preserved through that process? (I think this is a nil-likelihood event in the next 5 years, say, but a high-likelihood event if you project out 20 years). Alternately, if the CMF's interests become sufficiently different, it's possible that *K5* may wish to disassociate from the CMF; a process for that type of thing should be codified as well. (Basically, this is a concern about *scaling* of the CMF over the medium-term). I would hope that there would be some sort of rule that allows, in either such case, the spin off of the project as a seperate nonprofit, and prohibits either (a) sale of the project's assets to some sort of for-profit entity, or (b) absolute abandonment with no attempt to ameliorate the desires of the participant-members of that project.

There are other, related issues: should parts of the bylaws be immune to amendment? This makes it more difficult to pervert the intent of the organization, but imposes restrictions on its evolution (which in a sense is part of the point).

I don't now if one can campaign for such a position, maybe the best way to avoid this would be to disallow campaigning all together and just have a page with each candidate and a link to their resume for the job. Also when you send out (s-mail) voting material include a packet of such material.

Such a rule would be difficult to enforce; what, exactly, constitutes 'campaigning' is hard to pin down. sure, saying 'vote for me', is campaigning, but there are more subtle things that *could be interpreted* as campaigning; if everyone were being mature about it, there probably wouldn't be a problem, but i think we'd end up with lots of nasty arguments about whether or not [x] is campaigning and why [y] is when [z] isn't.

[ Parent ]

That's an easy one (5.00 / 2) (#163)
by mami on Tue Aug 20, 2002 at 03:49:20 PM EST

If the board would be elected the democratic way (one man - one vote - single-identity candidates) with a functioning voting system, where board members have to reveal their identity and stick with it, when they couldn't work on the site as multiple-identity-men, when members couldn't submit multiple votes under multiple nicks, sure I would trust the decisions of the board.

And of course, most probably nobody would want to fire you, because I don't believe it's such a great job to have for anybody else than you.

The reason why I wouldn't trust anything, is because I would have to vote for a nick with multiple personalities and I myself could vote under multiple nicks. How do you want me to vote for something like that and take it seriously?

[ Parent ]

on the subject of NPR (5.00 / 1) (#139)
by gbroiles on Tue Aug 20, 2002 at 02:51:04 PM EST

.. take a look at this chart which shows their income and expenses for FY 2000 - only 2% of their revenue came from membership dues, with 30% coming from getting paid to syndicate their content, and another 30% which was corporate and government grants. (26% was from "Distribution and Satellite Replacement", and I've got no clue what that is, unless it's rental of their satellites by third parties).

If that's the road K5 is going down, that's a pretty big change from what created the initial capital bolus.

[ Parent ]

NPR (5.00 / 1) (#145)
by rusty on Tue Aug 20, 2002 at 03:04:43 PM EST

Most people aren't very clear on how NPR works. NPR, the main organization, produces shows which it sells to local NPR stations. Almost no one is a member of national public radio -- people are members of, like in my case, Maine Public Radio. The local stations have to raise money to buy programming from NPR and to pay their local costs (employees, office space, equipment, etc).

So, in the chart above, that 30% for syndication is coming from local station members. Then there's the grants, which often help pay for individual programs.

____
Not the real rusty
[ Parent ]

AMEN! (none / 0) (#211)
by artsygeek on Thu Nov 21, 2002 at 06:13:53 PM EST

But I must also say that consolidation also contributes to the suckification of the media....which is why That Other Website ends up reporting on its "partners".

Keep up the good work Rusty..... We love the site...and it's like our little vacation shack on the lake.

[ Parent ]

How it can increase revenue (5.00 / 3) (#68)
by Sloppy on Mon Aug 19, 2002 at 11:41:40 PM EST

Let's look at a $100 piece of one of your paychecks.

It's mid 2002 and K5 isn't a non-profit org. You earn $100, accrue $33 liability to Uncle Sam (which is withheld), and you give $67 to K5. K5 got $67, you lost $100, Sam got $33.

It's mid 2003 and K5 is a non-profit org. You earn $100, accrue $33 liability to Uncle Sam, and give $100 to K5. And end of year, you report the $100 on your 1040 and the $33 liability is reversed and refunded. K5 got $100, you lost $1 (interest on $33 for half a year) and Sam got interest on $1 (interest on $33 for half a year).

When K5 is a non-profit, Uncle Sam doesn't skim as much of your income, should you choose to give some of it to K5.

[Heh, K5 spelling checker doesn't think "K5" is a word.]
"RSA, 2048, seeks sexy young entropic lover, for several clock cycles of prime passion..."
[ Parent ]

By collaborative media, do you mean a lot of this: (3.16 / 6) (#16)
by frillyfrufru on Mon Aug 19, 2002 at 07:47:25 PM EST

Heh (4.25/8) (#17)
by kur0n on Mon Aug 19th 2002 at 07:13:20 PM EST
(fakemail@geekjoke.org)

anecdote
anecdote
unsupported claim
dubious prediction
anecdotal generalization
anecdotal generalization
unconnected conclusion
mix of unconnected historical statistics presented in such a way as to imply cause and effect
random fact
unsupported claim
vague irrelevant appeal to questionable authority ("Most Linux developers dismissed Microsoft's security model...")
post hoc, propter hoc conclusion
sputter
sputter
bluster
sputter
cunt! anecdotal generalization
anecdote
random fact
anecdote
anecdotal generalization
heh
anecdotal generalization
anecdote
unsupported sweeping conclusion ("ESR's stories help explain...")
anecdote
colourful anecdote ("I need Windows to play games, but I also want to earn huge consulting fees installing Linux.")
anecdotal statistic
unsupported claim about "choice"
anecdotal generalization
biased judgemental statement, "Government and industry is awakening to the need for Open Source.")
anecdotal generalization
anecdotal generalization
smiley

If so, fight the power! If not, there's always the Internet, I guess.

---
Madame Bovary, c'est moi!

Stuff like (5.00 / 1) (#18)
by wiredog on Mon Aug 19, 2002 at 07:55:26 PM EST

the Confusingly Titled Meta Story

Can't sleep. The clowns will get me.
[ Parent ]
dr k is a genius. (5.00 / 1) (#19)
by frillyfrufru on Mon Aug 19, 2002 at 07:58:04 PM EST

Do you have trusted user status? Give yourself a 1.

---
Madame Bovary, c'est moi!
[ Parent ]

Welcome to the world of the Philosopher Kings. n/t (none / 0) (#73)
by traxman on Mon Aug 19, 2002 at 11:58:09 PM EST


traxman


[ Parent ]
So I guess... (5.00 / 6) (#20)
by wiredog on Mon Aug 19, 2002 at 07:58:56 PM EST

you've given up the idea of dictatorship backed by Total Force?

Can't sleep. The clowns will get me.
OMFG!! (5.00 / 3) (#24)
by jabber on Mon Aug 19, 2002 at 08:22:44 PM EST

You know, that was my absolute favorite K5 article. Ever! Seriously! Man, I can't even put into coherent words why, and it's not the beer talking either! Thanks for the reminder.

[TINK5C] |"Is K5 my kapusta intellectual teddy bear?"| "Yes"
[ Parent ]

That and (5.00 / 1) (#27)
by wiredog on Mon Aug 19, 2002 at 08:32:27 PM EST

The K5 Cabal articles. Hmmm. I wonder what the Cabal thinks of all this...

Can't sleep. The clowns will get me.
[ Parent ]
There is no Cabal (5.00 / 1) (#44)
by jabber on Mon Aug 19, 2002 at 09:44:02 PM EST

Shhh!

[TINK5C] |"Is K5 my kapusta intellectual teddy bear?"| "Yes"
[ Parent ]

duh (5.00 / 1) (#46)
by speek on Mon Aug 19, 2002 at 10:00:02 PM EST

There is now.

--
what would be cool, is if there was like a bat signal for tombuck - [ Parent ]

Careful now (none / 0) (#114)
by jabber on Tue Aug 20, 2002 at 10:11:20 AM EST

Don't make wild and unsubstantiated claims like that, or the guys with thick glasses, Tux t-shirts and pocket protectors will pay you a most unpleasant visit. You DO NOT want that. Rumour-monger!

[TINK5C] |"Is K5 my kapusta intellectual teddy bear?"| "Yes"
[ Parent ]

Perhaps you are unfamiliar with... (none / 0) (#116)
by speek on Tue Aug 20, 2002 at 10:37:07 AM EST

...this announcement by the cabal. It even names names.

--
what would be cool, is if there was like a bat signal for tombuck - [ Parent ]

Zen and the art of K5 cabalism (5.00 / 1) (#122)
by jabber on Tue Aug 20, 2002 at 12:23:00 PM EST

The Cabal that can name names is not the true Cabal.
The Cabal that admits its existence is not the true Cabal.
There is no Cabal.

[TINK5C] |"Is K5 my kapusta intellectual teddy bear?"| "Yes"
[ Parent ]

Come on, it's just a website. (3.20 / 20) (#21)
by Estanislao Martínez on Mon Aug 19, 2002 at 08:10:11 PM EST

Ok, a pretty good one, I'll admit, but a website still.

How's the job hunt going, rusty?

--em

"Community" eh? (3.06 / 16) (#23)
by ennui on Mon Aug 19, 2002 at 08:20:38 PM EST

Why did you not solicit feedback from the entire site before forming this "provisional" board, if you're trying to sell us that this reflects the k5/CMF "community?" I think appointing your buddies and somebody totally unassociated with k5 is perhaps not the best way to get people to buy into your concept, especially if you're planning on going to the well again in the near future, this time in the name of the foundation.

Not to mention, the editors (and former deposed editors) of this site have on various occasions been at loggerheads with some of the "community" I think you think this CMF's supposed to reflect...can you explain how this isn't a rusty-oriented clique/personality cult just paying lip service to "community" but rather the core of a foundation that's supposed to represent, I guess, maybe, people who use this site other than editors? And to make my point totally clear, I fully expect you to say "if you're not interested don't contribute" and I respond in advance with "that's begging the question" and "that's a pretty elitist answer also for somebody who's doing this for the sake of 'the' community."

"You can get a lot more done with a kind word and a gun, than with a kind word alone." -- Al Capone

Don't read too much into it (5.00 / 3) (#25)
by CaptainSuperBoy on Mon Aug 19, 2002 at 08:24:09 PM EST

Like he said, the appointed board's job will be to determine how the real board is selected. As Rusty's previously said, the members will eventually select the board.

--
jimmysquid.com - I take pictures.
[ Parent ]
Actually... (4.00 / 1) (#32)
by crowbraid on Mon Aug 19, 2002 at 08:43:52 PM EST

Quote "The real Board will be larger than five people, and be at least partly elected by members, but for now, we have no bylaws, and therefore no specified way to determine who is a member or how elections work, or any of it."

Looks like the members here will have some say on who is/isn't on the board. How much is unknown.


[ Parent ]

As much as possible (4.00 / 1) (#42)
by rusty on Mon Aug 19, 2002 at 09:39:13 PM EST

The really short answer to that is members will have as much say as possible. There are problems with a 100% elected board, like where do you get your famous people who make it possible to raise funds and get grants. But I'm definitely aiming to ensure that the elected Board is the arm with most of the power. Most likely, there will be a majority-elected Board, and the board as a whole will appoint non-elected seats (hence the elected Board would have majority say in what happens and who gets appointed).

This is one of the issues we have to work out the exact specifics of.

____
Not the real rusty
[ Parent ]

as long as. (5.00 / 3) (#57)
by /dev/trash on Mon Aug 19, 2002 at 11:09:40 PM EST

You don't pull an ICANN.

---
Updated 02/20/2004
New Site
[ Parent ]
Yeah (5.00 / 3) (#62)
by rusty on Mon Aug 19, 2002 at 11:16:29 PM EST

No kidding! I'm taking ICANN as the model of how not to do everything.

____
Not the real rusty
[ Parent ]
Disbelief (5.00 / 2) (#82)
by sigwinch on Tue Aug 20, 2002 at 01:18:21 AM EST

Then why, an inquiring mind might ask, did you put a root server operator on the board? I think it's a nefarious plan to monopolize the .kuro5hin TLD. "Rusty and Robin -- we put the dot in dot-kuro5hin." I'll bet right now you're prostrating yourself in front of Esther Dyson, sitting on her Throne of Despair atop a.root-servers.net.

--
I don't want the world, I just want your half.
[ Parent ]

K5 vs CMF Community (5.00 / 4) (#39)
by TON on Mon Aug 19, 2002 at 09:21:19 PM EST

Read Communities for community and things might get a bit clearer here. It appears that the CMF will be a mechanism to raise funds and select worthy causes.

The plan for the CMF is for it to be structured as a membership-driven "umbrella" organization, which will act as a central body to perform the administrative and legal work for a variety of individual projects.

As such, the CMF is not coincident with K5. Now admittedly, many K5 people donated funds to an differently constructed organization. I think it was pretty clear at that time that people were supporting a work in progress. In the end, the CMF community will be a community of donors. If you donate you are part of that community. The CMF may decide that it has wider responsibilities out in the world, but I expect the primary responsibilities of the CMF board will be: a) to make sure that nobody is lining their pockets- this is a legal responsibilty of such a board b) that the money is well spent.

The K5 community we all know and love will continue as ever. People have been generally satisfied with the leadership and creativity of the folks behind K5. Now K5 will be a project that can get money in two ways: it can solicit it from K5 members, who will continue to <ahem> have just as much say in the workings of K5 as they ever did, or, it can ask the CMF for money.

For example, K5 itself will be the first official project of the CMF. Projects will be run by their own operating committees, which will have the primary responsibility for things like budgeting, staffing, and so on, and will report periodically to the CMF Board.

K5 can be independent if the members pony up for it, or can get cash from CMF in return for meeting legal and fiduciary standards. That's not a bad thing.

I wonder what else might come of this? Will the scoop site and scoop developers be asking the CMF for some cash? I hope so. Practical rewards for creating good software are not a bad thing either. Will other sites be asking the CMF for cash? Why not? Even a small amount of money can provide resources for a "community" website. If you don't wish to support these things don't give to the CMF (Sorry, the first 35K is water under the bridge, but you were warned.) If you like K5, just give your cash to K5.

K5 and the CMF will be different things with different responsibilities. They will function differently too. Let's see how this goes. If you don't like the structure of the CMF, don't give them anything, but you'll probably still have your K5 just as it is.

Ted
---
"I could say it stronger
But it's too much trouble"


[ Parent ]

Oof, talk about putting on airs. (3.00 / 5) (#64)
by frillyfrufru on Mon Aug 19, 2002 at 11:21:45 PM EST

The suggestion that kur0shin might become a benevolent organization is risible. If the CMF wishes to look useful by adopting "wider responsibilities out in the world," it can submit MLPs to sites soliciting donations. Individual Kurobot5wanans can then part with their money according to their conscience and the cause. For example, although I will never fund kur0shin, I will and have parted with money after an article drew my attention to a worthy cause. This is collaborative media done right.

If Rusty wants us to pay him to spend our money for us, he should, first, say so, second, look for a job after we stopped laughing long enough to vote his profligate ass out of the queue.

If there's one thing worse than a forthright grunting pig, it's a sensitive whining pig that expects gratitude for spooning a mere drip of supportiveness out of an ocean of oppression. I am not saying Rusty is a pig, or that Rusty does not "deserve" to make a living off his hobby; I am saying your spurious rationalizations for paying Rusty are woven from the Emperor's clothes.

Let's cut the bullshit. If you want to do anything other than support Rusty, there are better, less convoluted ways to spend your money.

---
Madame Bovary, c'est moi!
[ Parent ]

Rusty (4.50 / 2) (#74)
by Sloppy on Mon Aug 19, 2002 at 11:59:05 PM EST

The whole ball of wax is based upon having at least some trust in Rusty's judgement. In the opinion of most of the people who have signed up, the trust has been earned. Or he has enough online charm to conjure up some faith. Whatever.

Basically, it comes down to this: he has shown some initiative and energy, and we think he's not a total dumbass or a crook. OTOH, he's somewhat of a newbie at this big step, so we still get to look forward to some possibility of experiencing "interesting times" -- though Rusty probably dreads the possibility. ;-)
"RSA, 2048, seeks sexy young entropic lover, for several clock cycles of prime passion..."
[ Parent ]

Let me talk of the people on the provisional board (5.00 / 2) (#87)
by dram on Tue Aug 20, 2002 at 03:12:03 AM EST

First off let us talk of the people that Rusty asked to help put this new foundation together. I will start with the last person Rusty talked about Scott Reents.

Scott Reents is one of pioneers of online democracy. Some time about 1998 (I don't know the exact date) he co-founded The Democracy Project and from that created Quorm.org which is now E.ThePeople. In 2000 he co-wrote a white paper entitled A Citizen-centric Internet which discussed why candidate, advocacy group and other political sites fail, and what they can do about it. And, as Rusty has mentioned, he has gone through the non-profit process before. He is probably the single greatest asset this board has, don't knock him just because he isn't a member of K5.

More or less the rest of these will be reitterating what Rusty has already said, but I will also try to point out why these peoples skill sets are important in creating these bylaws.

Peter Whysall as Rusty said, has been around since the beginning of time when it comes to 'collabritive media'. He has seen what works and what doesn't and can steer Rusty in the right direction. Also he can shed light on what it is like helping edit a collabritive media site and will be able to help in that regard, being a counter view to what Rusty thinks.

Robin Bandy I know almost nothing about, so I can't speak on the issue except for the fact that he represents the average user on K5.

Karsten Self represents the Scoopers. He is not Hurstdog or Panner, two of the more active people working on Scoop today, but anybody who helped put together mojo and comment ratings cant be bad. Also, since he knows the legal issues fairly well it will be cheaper than running to the lawyers every time a simple question pops up that the rest of the board might not know the answer to.

Lastly, the most important feature that all of these people have is that Rusty trusts and respects them and will listen to their issues and ideas. This, above all else, will help build a good foundation for the CMF.

-dram
[grant.henninger.name]

[ Parent ]

Arkady (none / 0) (#118)
by aphrael on Tue Aug 20, 2002 at 11:53:02 AM EST

is also active in co-op anarchist circles, which means he has experience that the board will need to be able to understand, and deal with, the kinds of issues that often come up in co-op politics.

[ Parent ]
This is not supposed to be the community (5.00 / 3) (#88)
by rusty on Tue Aug 20, 2002 at 03:31:08 AM EST

Why did you not solicit feedback from the entire site before forming this "provisional" board, if you're trying to sell us that this reflects the k5/CMF "community?"

I'm not trying to sell you that at all. I thought I described it better in the story, but this Board isn't really suppoed to reflect the community. It's supposed to be smart people who can work together effectively and get some relatively dull work done in a short time. Their job is design a structure that will represent the community, and I picked them all because they share that goal with me, along with the other things they bring to the table, which dram lucidly describes below.

can you explain how this isn't a rusty-oriented clique/personality cult

Well, it isn't because all of these people know me pretty well, and all of them (except perhaps for Scott, who I haven't known for long enough) have, at one time or another, told me to "shut the fuck up and listen." That is, they're not about to go around kissing my ass. They'll say what they think.

But your real question, I think, is "why isn't the public represented?" The answer to that is above. This isn't the core of the Foundation. This is just the gang of five who are writing the legal code.

Now, some or all of them might choose to run for the first Board, and I think they'd all be great assets, but no one gets a free pass. Not even me.

____
Not the real rusty
[ Parent ]

Uhm (4.00 / 1) (#172)
by Miniluv on Tue Aug 20, 2002 at 05:58:18 PM EST

Well, I hate to say it, but not giving yourself a free pass here is a pretty stupid idea.

This is your brainchild, your baby. People are going to love you and hate you based mostly upon this for the next few months (at a minimum) so you should at least gaurantee yourself a seat for a year or two. For no other reason than to inject yourself as the poison pill to prevent this from becoming something other than what it ought to be (in your mind).

"Too much wasabi and you'll be crying like you did at the last ten minutes of The Terminator" - Alton Brown
[ Parent ]

Nope (none / 0) (#180)
by rusty on Tue Aug 20, 2002 at 11:57:09 PM EST

Yeah, perhaps a lot of people would approach it that way, or even not fault me for approaching it that way, but it wouldn't be the right thing to do. I hope people vote me on to the Board, and I (obviously) thnk it would be dumb not to, but how you do things matters a lot more than how they turn out. I'd rather lose a proper election than appoint myself without any community say,

And, if I'm not elected, I could always be appointed by the elected members, if it came to that. The point is doing it right.

____
Not the real rusty
[ Parent ]

If I were a board member... (none / 0) (#181)
by dram on Wed Aug 21, 2002 at 01:51:30 AM EST

and you ran and lost the election I would not vote to appoint you to the board. I would feel that it would be betraying the communities trust in me to carry out their wishes. Obviously not enough of them had wanted you on the board to get you elected and I would see it as me spitting in their face if I were to help appoint you.

However I doubt it would come to that. Hopefully we are both on the board when the time comes. As long as I am able to vote for more than one person (along with everybody else being able to vote for more than one person, of course) I will vote for you. If I can only vote for one I must say that the vote will be going to myself, sorry, but I'm sure you understand.

-dram
[grant.henninger.name]

[ Parent ]

Good point (none / 0) (#184)
by rusty on Wed Aug 21, 2002 at 05:08:03 AM EST

If I were a board member and you ran and lost the election I would not vote to appoint you to the board.

That's actually an excellent point. You just probably earned my vote simply by thinking of it that way. I think you've got the right idea here.

It would seem like the most obvious way to vote would be for people to vote for as many people as there are empty seats. Like, if it's three seats, you'd vote for three of the candidates. Or there could be some more complex ranking-based thing, but I doubt that adding complexity would really add much usefulness.

____
Not the real rusty
[ Parent ]

Perhaps (none / 0) (#188)
by Miniluv on Wed Aug 21, 2002 at 10:56:08 AM EST

I can see your point, however I hope you're also seeing the validity in my concern...a foundation like this is ripe for the picking by people far more experienced than us at this whole process.

In corporate America its called the "hostile takeover", whereas here it'd simply be good politics. More than anyone would blame you for setting it up wrong, I know you'd blame yourself for letting it happen.

Also, despite even dram's excellent point about the ethics of being appointed by a board to a board you were not elected to, there is the issue of why do the bylaws allow board appointees? If the board needs to be voted in by some community (whatever its criteria are) then they must not be allowed to appoint new voting members. Normally this doesn't need to be specifically allow as the size of the board is tightly regulated in the by-laws.

"Too much wasabi and you'll be crying like you did at the last ten minutes of The Terminator" - Alton Brown
[ Parent ]

You have to start somewhere (none / 0) (#121)
by unDees on Tue Aug 20, 2002 at 12:19:56 PM EST

We had to do the same thing at our nonprofit (blatant plug). Forming a corporation? Need a Board. How do you get a Board? The procedure's defined in the By-laws. Need to write By-laws. Who approves them? The Board. Need a Board. Hmmmm....

So, we chose the most heavily involved people to be the initial Board, voted in the By-laws, and then the nonprofit followed the rules therein to choose the real Board.

The only loophole here is that you could, I guess, just choose a bunch of cronies to approve By-laws that say, "So-and-so is King and Absolute Dictator of this nonprofit." But I suspect you'll have a hard time getting such an organization approved as a public not-for-profit corporation by your Secretary of State, not to mention the IRS.

For any given organization, the By-laws and Board are a matter of public record anyway. If you don't like the management structure of a nonprofit, don't support the organization! And go look up the definition of "begging the question" to see if you still think it applies to this argument.

The real test will be time, though. See what the actual By-laws look like. Comment on the early drafts as soon as they're available. If you don't feel they provide enough representation of the community, then say something! Of course, the provisional Board is under no obligation to implement any of your suggestions, but the community will likely lose a lot of members (including me) if the By-laws make it easy to restrict management of the CMF to some sort of clique.

Your account balance is $0.02; to continue receiving our quality opinions, please remit payment as soon as possible.
[ Parent ]

Question: (2.16 / 6) (#28)
by frillyfrufru on Mon Aug 19, 2002 at 08:38:13 PM EST

Why shouldn't kur0shin make a profit? This is a serious question. Normally, not-for-profits serve a purpose other than lining their board's pocket, and I don't see much purpose to this site apart from squandering space in Google's index of 2.5 billion sites. Do you see what I mean? I mean this: kur0shin is just an Internet site. Now, there's nothing wrong with making a living, but why poison the minds of a generation of budding intellectuals who should be reading Rothbard instead of posting anti-American invective? For anyone who resents being shrewdly and deviously influenced for the Leader's personal advantage, there's this blog dawdling fitfully along on the United Nations Network that would be honored to publish appropriate comments penpals might like to write for the common weal.

---
Madame Bovary, c'est moi!

Why not? (none / 0) (#66)
by TheOnlyCoolTim on Mon Aug 19, 2002 at 11:30:52 PM EST

Because, eventually (I would guess either when they make the mistake of "going public", if rusty falls on hard times and has to sell the company, or when rusty dies) the goal of CMF Inc. would change from "promoting good community websites such as kuro5hin" to "getting money, cash, moolah, bling bling, greenbacks, etc." and in the process it is quite likely that K5 would go to shit.

Look at what happened to PBS over recent years. They didn't even go for-profit, they just started taking too many corporate donations, so now they have advertisements AND begging for donations from Viewers Like You.

Here's a suggestion for the bylaws - The publicity and visibility given to corporate donors is limited to their name or logo on a separate, single, "Donors" page.

Tim
"We are trapped in the belly of this horrible machine, and the machine is bleeding to death."
[ Parent ]

Answer: (none / 0) (#90)
by Overnight Delivery on Tue Aug 20, 2002 at 03:50:43 AM EST

If the rules that govern non-profits are even half sane it will be very hard for CMF to simply line the boards pockets.

Yes K5 is just an internet site but I get the feeling that as time goes on there will be less and less of these. Nefarious bits of legislation around the world (and especially in the USA) have the potential the lives of sites like this very difficult.

For example, a lot of people here critisize various people/corporations/governments (you don't had to agree with what they say to agree that it is important they CAN say it). One single law suit could easily shut a site like this down because there is no money to fight the allegations.

That is why I think CMF is a good idea, and if it does just exist to line the boards pockets I won't renew my subscription.

Oh, and if you think this place will "poison the minds of a generation of budding intellectuals", either reply to their posts and "educate" them or don't subscribe and fuck off.

[ Parent ]

well (none / 0) (#162)
by Delirium on Tue Aug 20, 2002 at 03:48:59 PM EST

If the rules that govern non-profits are even half sane it will be very hard for CMF to simply line the boards pockets.
Unfortunately, the rules governing non-profits are not even half sane. It's not uncommon for the people in charge of non-profit organizations to be pulling down hefty "salaries".

[ Parent ]
It's not uncommon... (4.00 / 1) (#198)
by TON on Wed Aug 21, 2002 at 08:56:45 PM EST

It's not uncommon for the people in charge of non-profit organizations to be pulling down hefty "salaries".

How common is it? Who? How much is hefty?

I did serve on the board of an educational non-profit for one year. None of the board members received salaries. In fact, the whole experience cost me some money, but I feel it was money well spent.

The accountant, grant writer, teachers, and coaches all received salaries because they were employees of the non-profit. There is nothing wrong with getting paid for doing good and valuable work. If you want qualified professionals to work full-time, you usually have to pay them something. As I recall, none of the paid pros were getting anything "hefty". They probably could have done better financially elsewhere.

Yes, this is anecdotal evidence. You can disbelieve it. If you want people to believe your claim, show some numbers to support it, please.

Ted
---
"Aye, aye, certainly the Roman Empire would still be standing if only
[
Parent ]

I have seen a list of some of the salaries. (4.00 / 1) (#199)
by dram on Thu Aug 22, 2002 at 01:14:57 AM EST

It was for the heads of many of the well known non-profits, things like Red Cross, WWF, and others that I cannot think of off the top of my head. Many of these people got a few million a year. I tried finding a link to where I saw it but I couldn't. I think it was in the National Journal maybe 6 months ago. Maybe somebody who really cares is willing to find it. But I don't think those numbers really apply to the CMF, it wont have that much money no matter what.

-dram
[grant.henninger.name]

[ Parent ]
some googling turns up a list (none / 0) (#201)
by Delirium on Thu Aug 22, 2002 at 05:12:42 AM EST

Top 20 Salaries of Charity Executives. Not quite as bad as I had assumed; there's only 4 making in the millions, and only 19 making $400k and above, out of the thousands of charities in the U.S. The fact that the Boy Scouts CEO is making such a ridiculous amount of money certainly would make me think twice about donating to that organization though.

[ Parent ]
my answer (5.00 / 1) (#92)
by Delirium on Tue Aug 20, 2002 at 03:55:40 AM EST

Because kuro5hin's main asset is its community -- the people who write the stories and post the comments. If anyone should make a profit, it should be them. If the admins and code writers (who do a relatively small percentage of the work that makes kuro5hin what it is) were to make a profit off of them, I'd consider that unethical.

[ Parent ]
I nominate E r i c as CEO (en tea) (1.33 / 9) (#31)
by Nine Eleven on Mon Aug 19, 2002 at 08:43:37 PM EST

 

Hilarious (2.47 / 17) (#35)
by ubu on Mon Aug 19, 2002 at 08:59:10 PM EST

This is richer than evar. Best thing that ever happened to a cynic like myself.

So my idea was to found an organization dedicated to helping support and develop online community and collaborative media.

God forbid I should quote ESR, but here I go: "Show me the code." Which part of your board, let alone "foundation" is going to be enabling this grand vision? I thought we'd seen the last of the Doc Searles and Guy Kawasaki types with the market crash of 2000. But apparently it's never to soon to give "Civic Leader of the Intarweb" another try.

They won't be engaging in any of the normal activities of the Foundation, simply ensuring that control is passed smoothly to the first real Board. I've been mentally calling this the Provisional Board, which is probably as good a name as any for it, to distinguish it from a fully-empowered Board.

"Blah blah blah INTERIM CEO." Sure, Steve Jobs, we all believe you. There's no political agenda here. There are 40-odd thousand dollars on the table "to keep the site going" and next thing we know it's getting spread around to God-only-knows what end.

One might have expected updates, information, etc. One might have expected a budget plan, a business plan, and detailed expense sheet. But in the fast-and-loose climate of today's accounting frauds you've managed to capture the zeitgeist of the New Economy: "When you're spending Other People's Money, everything is free."

Bah, I was going to go on and on but this is just too fucking tiresome. I still want to know why it took an originally-estimated budget of $70,000 to keep a goddamned Website running (sans FUCKING SEARCH ENGINE), when we could all have moved to Satanosphere for fucking free.

Goddamned unbelievable. Nobody ever lost money betting on stupidity.

Ubu


--
As good old software hats say - "You are in very safe hands, if you are using CVS !!!"
Cynicism for fun and profit (4.83 / 6) (#43)
by rusty on Mon Aug 19, 2002 at 09:43:31 PM EST

"Show me the code."

You're looking at some of it.

"Blah blah blah INTERIM CEO." Sure, Steve Jobs, we all believe you.

It doesn't matter if you believe me. Just watch what I do.

But, if Satanosphere is where you want to go, I'm the last one to stand in your way. The bitterness of a few of you, watching what I said would happen actually happen, is amusing though. I wish you'd stay and continue to naysay and be proven wrong. :-)

____
Not the real rusty
[ Parent ]

Lovely (2.70 / 10) (#45)
by ubu on Mon Aug 19, 2002 at 09:47:44 PM EST

You're looking at some of it.

And you're asking for it. When was the last time you wrote a goddamn line of Scoop? Which current Scoop developers are part of your board? Can I spell this out any more clearly for you?

Let's not bullshit each other, and I won't have to throw low blows.

It doesn't matter if you believe me. Just watch what I do.

Oh God, like any of us could tear our eyes away from the spectacle.

The bitterness of a few of you, watching what I said would happen actually happen, is amusing though. I wish you'd stay and continue to naysay and be proven wrong. :-)

If wishes were fishes, Rusty, you'd earn a nice living the way your maritime neighbors do. I should know, I grew up in Kennebunk.

Ubu


--
As good old software hats say - "You are in very safe hands, if you are using CVS !!!"
[ Parent ]
Provisional board != running Board (5.00 / 2) (#51)
by aziegler on Mon Aug 19, 2002 at 10:47:45 PM EST

The provisional board is the one that writes the by-laws. I wouldn't expect any Scoop or Slash developers on the provisional board as the required experience is different.

I'd also expect that the board is going to be larger than five people when it's done.

-austin

[ Parent ]

Real board (none / 0) (#54)
by Nick Ives on Mon Aug 19, 2002 at 11:03:53 PM EST

If you reread the article, Rusty states that the real board will most likely not be larger than five people. Probably fairly wise, I mean, I should imagine it'll be hard enough getting even a token lump of cash for those five (beyond Rusty's full time devotion salary).

--
Nick
deafness

[ Parent ]

No, no (5.00 / 1) (#63)
by rusty on Mon Aug 19, 2002 at 11:21:07 PM EST

The final board will be larger than five. And Board members will almost certainly not be paid. Honestly, being on the Board of a nonprofit is not a huge time commitment, generally. They oversee and set broad policy, and usually act as spokespersons for the organization. The people running projects would be "staff" and would be paid if there's money to pay them (which will likely vary on a project-to-project basis).

Incidentally, this wasn't very clear in the article, but the assets of K5 (i.e. the money you contributed) will be used for running K5, not generally spread all around some larger organization. Projects will have their own budgets, and everything that came from K5 will go back into running it.

____
Not the real rusty
[ Parent ]

Damn you reality! (5.00 / 1) (#69)
by Nick Ives on Mon Aug 19, 2002 at 11:52:24 PM EST

You know, I read that about 3 times just to make sure and the "comprehension" part of my brain kept on telling me that it wasn't going to be more than five. If you hadn't pointed this out to me now, I'd most likely have been surprised when you announced the final board with more than five people =P.

Incidentally, I notice that you seem quite interested in the "news" aspect of CM, whereas k5 seems to be more a general entertainment/community site. We produce "media" for our own amusement, so to speak. Thinking along those lines, I thought it might be interesting to have a site kinda like k5 except more focused on the news aspect, maybe find a way to get professional journalists (which would most likely require giving them money) to contribute content (i.e. real investigative reporting etc) without them having to worry about pleasing the corporate media and their advertisers. There are a few problems that I can think of offhand, like how to differentiate between professional and amateur reporters or if thats a real distinction to make at all. Either way, I'd be very interested in a reliable independent news site like that, it'd make a change from IndyMedia's unreliable yet usually independent news.

Anyhoo, I should you had exactly projects like that in mind when you decided to setup this nebulous "Collaborative Media Foundation" and I say good luck, hope it all works out.

--
Nick
headache...

[ Parent ]

News (4.50 / 2) (#77)
by rusty on Tue Aug 20, 2002 at 12:10:59 AM EST

Incidentally, I notice that you seem quite interested in the "news" aspect of CM... I thought it might be interesting to have a site kinda like k5 except more focused on the news aspect

Shh! You'll give away my first other project! :-)

Yeah, you noticed correctly (or should that be "astutely"?). That is one of my personal interests, and the hope of having a working structure within which to develop it is one of the motivations for founding the CMF with a bigger scope than just running K5. I've got that idea and one other that I hope to get off the ground. All that aside, I can't wait to see what other people come up with. I think that'll be one of the best things, just being in a position to help develop new stuff that comes out of the blue.

____
Not the real rusty
[ Parent ]

Cool (none / 0) (#81)
by Nick Ives on Tue Aug 20, 2002 at 12:55:48 AM EST

Man, I'm getting good at this prediction thing. I'll try watching even more closely to see if I can figure out what the other project is, or maybe see if I can turn my precognition skills towards winning the lottery =P.

But yea, I do think your onto a good idea with that one hope it changes the world and everything. Yea =).

--
Nick
"It all makes perfect sense"

[ Parent ]

also make sure... (5.00 / 1) (#96)
by blisspix on Tue Aug 20, 2002 at 04:23:04 AM EST

that there's no conflict with the journalists' other employers. most journalists work more than one job, and most employers are fine with that, but once you get into the realm of 'blogging' which k5 is to an extent, employers start to get upset because it's hard to monitor the employees' output.

[ Parent ]
hmmm... (5.00 / 1) (#94)
by blisspix on Tue Aug 20, 2002 at 04:21:10 AM EST

I'm on the board of a non-profit radio station. hard times being what they are, we have no money. we have a very lazy membership, and thus all the work in the station is up to us. my partner puts in over 20 hours a week as chairman, for free. i don't do that much, but i do spend a lot of time looking up copyright law, checking out equipment, running databases and the like. for free.

not many people would spend that much time doing things for free. be aware that if your funds dwindle, the board is all you've got. they should be aware of the possibility that they may have to do a lot more than show up for meetings.

[ Parent ]

wow. (4.00 / 1) (#59)
by /dev/trash on Mon Aug 19, 2002 at 11:09:56 PM EST

What did you contribute like 2 dollars and didn't get a prize? I mean if Rusty was your town mayor, yeah I could see you getting a little upset but it's just a website (please repeat) if he makes money from it ( non profit status or not) who cares. Take an idea you have and run with it. It takes balls.

---
Updated 02/20/2004
New Site
[ Parent ]
He did write... (5.00 / 1) (#102)
by ti dave on Tue Aug 20, 2002 at 06:23:24 AM EST

He wrote the No-Diary-Mojo patch, which subsequently led to the Great Mojo Purge of '02.
"If you dial," Iran said, eyes open and watching, "for greater venom, then I'll dial the same."

[ Parent ]
The rust is strong... (4.50 / 2) (#76)
by Col Klync on Tue Aug 20, 2002 at 12:05:47 AM EST

I thought the article was superb; what is happening with k5 is excellent. As I stared in disbelief at the few who trolled on this piece, I couldn't help but wonder about how trolling fits in with collaborative media. Good that you can get the apathetic talking, at least. And yet, they don't have to just wait and see -- they can continue to participate. Indeed k5 and CMF will have many adventures in the years ahead.

[ Parent ]
Bylaws (5.00 / 2) (#47)
by whojgalt on Mon Aug 19, 2002 at 10:30:02 PM EST

I think the bylaws should be submitted to the queue for approval. And I'd like to suggest one now:
Article X: The permanent governing board shall herafter be officially known as "The K5 Cabal"

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
If you can't see it from the car, it's not really scenery.
Any code more than six months old was written by an idiot.

Probably not to the queue (5.00 / 2) (#50)
by aphrael on Mon Aug 19, 2002 at 10:36:36 PM EST

as (a) the queue doesn't distinguish between people who are members of the cooperative and those who aren't (and the account-creation mechanism isn't sufficient to prevent double-voting, etc, which could be a real problem once voting applies to something beyond articles), and (b) there may be security-related issues with legally binding voting via the queue.

I agree that they should be posted for discussion as an article, probably MLP, but that should not be the forum for binding approval. :)

[ Parent ]

Not to mention (5.00 / 3) (#52)
by rusty on Mon Aug 19, 2002 at 10:49:11 PM EST

The vast majority of the bylaws is eye-wateringly dull legalese.

My plan was to work out something the P. Board thinks is good, then smush it into html and post an MLP to it, with some highlighting discussion of what the important parts are saying. Discuss, discuss, discuss, edit as necessary, and eventually the Board votes to adopt.

Your point about legality is true, as well. No way would a vote here count as anything even remotely resembling legal. Board elections probably will have to be done by mail, too, for the forseeable future. There's just no legal framework for recognizing online voting yet.

____
Not the real rusty
[ Parent ]

strange. (5.00 / 1) (#58)
by /dev/trash on Mon Aug 19, 2002 at 11:09:46 PM EST

I am a Co-County leader on a Volunteer Genealogy website.

Every year we get an email with a password and login to go vote for state and national Board members.

Seems pretty binding to me.

---
Updated 02/20/2004
New Site
[ Parent ]

Really? (none / 0) (#60)
by rusty on Mon Aug 19, 2002 at 11:15:00 PM EST

Well. I'll have to look more carefully then. Do you know any more about what they run it with? Or, does anyone else?

____
Not the real rusty
[ Parent ]
Online Elections (5.00 / 1) (#72)
by j harper on Mon Aug 19, 2002 at 11:57:52 PM EST

I believe Arizona or New Mexico (I think it's Arizona) is allowing online voting for elections now. You might look into that, too.

"I have to say, the virgin Mary is pretty fucking hot." - Myriad
[ Parent ]

Gnu.Free Internet Voting System (5.00 / 1) (#98)
by Master Of Ninja on Tue Aug 20, 2002 at 04:59:06 AM EST

There's always the GNU.FREE internet voting system. It is GPL'd and is apparently Java based. IANA programmer but it says it might need some skill to set up. On the flip side it has been designed with online voting in mind, plus communication is encrypted so it might suit your needs.

[ Parent ]
Could make a good article (none / 0) (#104)
by wiredog on Tue Aug 20, 2002 at 07:29:41 AM EST

no coffee

Can't sleep. The clowns will get me.
[ Parent ]
Other non-profits do it too, and structural ideas (4.00 / 1) (#109)
by vastor on Tue Aug 20, 2002 at 08:54:37 AM EST

APANA (www.apana.org.au) allows proxy voting by email. Sure it is Australian rather than USAian, but the legalities ought to be somewhat similar (it is a non-profit org too). It'd be up to the state laws that the non-profit is registered in though (if they're state based like occurs here).

You might even like to look at the APANA constitution etc, as just substitute Regional Committee with the specialist committees (K5 etc) and there you go. Thats assuming you want a democratic forum. But the division of voting rights in the overall management committee is also pretty slick. Could make it a USD$5 annual membership to the CMF and then the rest goes to the individual special purpose organisations. Whatever is left over from costs for the central committee is then available to give the individual  units (aka K5 etc) a boost.

Of course, one problem that kicks in with such a comparison is that people may belong to K5 and K6 (for example), which would stuff things up - either they'd end up with two votes for CMF or they'd have to elect to be primarily under one as far as their committee representative went (so the idea rather falls down at this position).

Having "real life" meetings however might be nice, if only for AGMs. Have video linkups or something, I'm sure they could be organised in several cities  (and countries) and would make for a great excuse to meet and then hangout together afterwards.

So many options, I could spend all night thinking about it. Maybe something like...

Officers of CMF - President, Secretary, Treasurer, Whatever. Each position each CMF member gets one vote. Then there are Special Interest Group members, one from each group (eg. K5). So whoever had been nominated for it would then be voted on and the winner takes that position. If there are three SIGs, say K5, K6 and K7, with K5 getting 50% of the votes (people can only vote for one SIG person regardless of the slots), then the K5 representative gets 50% of the total membership of CMF to vote with at committee meetings. If K6 gets 40% of the vote, they get 40% and if K7 only got 10%, their member will get 10%. The President, Secretary, Treasurer and Whatever would each get 25% of the total CMF membership to vote.

Committee meetings here for APANA are done via phone conferencing hookup. For the CMF it might be neat to do it in IRC but have it moderated so only committee members can actually talk, but other people can come by a watch it in action (and then making minutes is less of a hassle too, just clean up the chat log). But if email voting isn't legal there, this may not be either.

Make sure it is clear how assets are disposed of if some part of the CMF wants to go its seperate way. Within APANA the national body legally owns everything, so if a region wants to break away things are a bit messy (and in such scenarios, the good will tends not to be there that would make it a painless exercise). So what happens when K6 wants to leave the CMF?

I'd tend to think it'd be nice to make Rusty non-elected (so make the officers 5 with 20% of the CMF vote each, with Rusty as Founder), but even that could become a burden a few years down the track if the CMF takes off.

It is important IMO that each project/SIG gets someone on the main committee, as there will be different needs and it is a good idea for everyone to be kept informed about what is going on (that has been part of APANAs problem at one stage, where the Regional representatives to the management committee weren't keeping the regions well informed about what was going on and things got awkward where there was a region with ill will
towards the main committee).

On another note, I think it'd be nice to have some regionally based representatives too, just to safe guard things becoming entirely US based and alienating everyone else. But with my above proposal it'd confuse things too much IMO if another 100% was given out to a number of geographic localities. Maybe the 5th officer could be made an International officer, selected to representative of the non-majority nationality (so ideally a non-USAian initially, though a USAian could be elected to represent geographical considerations just as easily as anyone else, it'd be left up to the voting process I suppose).


[ Parent ]

Let me check. (none / 0) (#119)
by /dev/trash on Tue Aug 20, 2002 at 11:56:21 AM EST

I'm in Windows right now...and the voting email with link is in my Gentoo mailbox.

---
Updated 02/20/2004
New Site
[ Parent ]
Info (5.00 / 1) (#120)
by /dev/trash on Tue Aug 20, 2002 at 12:11:49 PM EST

This is all I could find on it.  There are links you could investigate.  It seems to work, I've voted at least 3 times ( Only been involved for 3 years).

<http://www.rootsweb.com/~usgwelections>

---
Updated 02/20/2004
New Site
[ Parent ]

Holy crap, Batman! (none / 0) (#174)
by whojgalt on Tue Aug 20, 2002 at 06:14:41 PM EST

You took that suggestion seriously? I meant it to be funny just by vitrue of its absurdity.

I think I just accomplished the inverse of trolling.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
If you can't see it from the car, it's not really scenery.
Any code more than six months old was written by an idiot.
[ Parent ]

And other changes too (4.00 / 1) (#148)
by FlipFlop on Tue Aug 20, 2002 at 03:10:06 PM EST

Another proposal:

The board should not vote on any major site, or bylaw changes until the proposed changes have been sent through the queue and discussed.

Rusty has been doing this already. It, in my opinion, has been one of the most successful aspects of K5's evolution. I would like to see it codified in the bylaws.

AdTI - The think tank that didn't
[ Parent ]

Reminds me of. . . (2.41 / 12) (#56)
by Fantastic Lad on Mon Aug 19, 2002 at 11:09:36 PM EST

That dweeb who published "Hep-Cats" or whatever it was called. Martin Wagner. Rusty seems to be struggling to overcome a similar brand of make-believe business sense, poor work ethic, low self-esteem, and a Mama's Boy approach to facing life.

Nice guy with some potential, but young, young, young! (Claiming personal income tax as an operating expense? That one still makes me cringe with shame by proxy, kind of like when you see characters on a sit-com self-annihilate in some contrived social set-up.)

The one cool thing Rusty has done so far is look seriously at the fact that maybe in order to maintain a dream job, he'll just have to live with some sacrifices to his plush life-style. If he doesn't throw in the towel a year or two from now after making some sort of blanket sour-grapes denouncement of the internet, I'll be impressed.

But Chin up, Rusty! You're actually doing pretty well. This type of stuff makes your palms sweat and your mind reel, (if you're ballsy enough to face reality and don't withdraw into some bullshit denial construct), but you'll thank yourself ten years from now when you realize that you've become bigger and stronger than you are today as a direct result of these difficult trials. And who knows? Maybe you really will be able to fool most of the people most of the time. I was shocked that you managed to raise a dime after the "poor little me" shit you pulled last time! --Now we get to see just how susceptable K5'ers are to this new tack of yours; the "Big Important Very Serious So Give Us Your Money" approach. It's worked at fooling most of America for the past century, so who knows? Perhaps cashing in on the social programming already installed by powers Way Bigger Than You is the way to go. Seems hypocritical to me, but whatever floats your retirement fund, I guess.

Though, like I said, you're doing okay. Believe it or not, (look around at the people you know), most people are going through some version of this same crucible at the moment, each of us at our own levels, each of us learning some tough lesson about ourselves. Nobody gets out without paying!

Good luck with your personal growth.

-Fantastic Lad

Wow (3.50 / 2) (#67)
by ubu on Mon Aug 19, 2002 at 11:39:12 PM EST

BEST

COMMENT

EVAR


--
As good old software hats say - "You are in very safe hands, if you are using CVS !!!"
[ Parent ]
Misunderstanding (5.00 / 1) (#71)
by aphrael on Mon Aug 19, 2002 at 11:55:54 PM EST

I think you misunderstand why people gave Rusty money.

I can, obviously, only speak for myself. I spend, oh, a *minimum* of 40 hours a month reading k5. Some months more, depending on how much free time/how stressed out I am.

If I were seeing movies, that would be ~160 at normal prices, or ~100 at matinee prices (given where I live); if I were time spent reading books, it would be on the order of $200-$400, depending on what books i'd bought, and assuming i'd bought them new.

It seems reasonable to me, given the cost of the competition, to pay something for the benefit that I'm getting out of spending time here. A subscription, given how much time I spend here and what the competition costs, is *amazingly* underpriced; coughing up $100 twice a year during pledge drives *still* leaves the average cost at $20/mo, which averages out to $.50/hour ... which is well worth it for me.

Your mileage may vary.

[ Parent ]

Yes, but why are you giving your money to Rusty? (5.00 / 2) (#79)
by eLuddite on Tue Aug 20, 2002 at 12:16:45 AM EST


---
God hates human rights.
[ Parent ]

Simple.. (4.00 / 2) (#85)
by Kwil on Tue Aug 20, 2002 at 02:32:00 AM EST

..because he has, one way or another, done whatever it is that was necessary for the community that is Kuro5hin to form and exist.  Whether that was his specific site policies, the initial group that he encouraged to show up, the general direction of the site, the tone that he has set, or even just not getting bored with it and pulling the plug.

If Rusty had not done the legwork required to initially get the bandwidth/servers, K5 simply wouldn't be here. There might be something else in its place that is just as good, there might be something else right now that is just as good or even better than K5, but if there is, I haven't managed to find it yet.  If I do, I'll likely stop checking in here and start checking in there. And if the person running whatever site that is says "Hey, give me money so I can keep doing what I'm doing."  I'll consider it, based solely on what already exists, much as I did when Rusty asked.

Though it's the users that create the content, Rusty was (as far as I know) the seed that started K5 going in the direction it is, and even now is the one that makes sure it doesn't drift too terribly far - not through overt command or database manipulation, though he certainly could do such, but by how his suggestions still carry a lot of weight with the K5 community, though disagreement is certainly not stifled. It's also done through occasional editorials like these, where we see a tone that kind of pervades K5.  I've seen sites and old BBS's change owners before, and though none of the policies may change, the character always does - it comes through in responses to help requests. It comes through in the little things like the error messages (or lack thereof) when the database is down. It shows up in small places like the blurb above this very comment box I'm typing in.  These are what make a site's character, and these are what Rusty has provided - and for me, at least, it's worked to provide a site that has attracted a number of users that can give intelligent, well-thought out , humourous responses to issues all over the map. Admitted, some of them are completely wrong at the same time, but the tone is still there.

This is why K5 is not Adequacy, is not Smokedot, is not Satanosphere or AngryDot or rantapalooza or any of the others. This is also why I read K5 regularly, and only occasionally will poke my head into the others.

Why pay Rusty?
Because even though the users create the content, Rusty is still K5.

...

Now, on the other hand, if you simply mean "Why pay when you can get it for free?" I'll just respond that I like to encourage those things I find valuable.

That Jesus Christ guy is getting some terrible lag... it took him 3 days to respawn! -NJ CoolBreeze


[ Parent ]
"if rusty had not done X" (none / 0) (#95)
by frillyfrufru on Tue Aug 20, 2002 at 04:22:41 AM EST

Well he did do X but he didn't do it for the money but as it happens he decided he did do it for the money after the VA money dried up and he lost the real job hence it was very big of you to express your appreciation by paying him an honorarium just that once for that X he already done did and you feel foolish for having honored an ad hoc contract that makes little sense so you are trying to persuade me that the fine print on this ad hoc contract specifies obligations in perpetuity for creating something originally not created for money which is just as well because had Rusty created it for money none of the Internet = Information = Wants to be Free crowd would have built X up with their accounts even though if Rusty does Y instead he might be able to earn revenue the old fashioned way perhaps by charging starving third world farmers with calloused hands from counting money but that wouldn't look good and people would leave in droves and then Rusty would need to get a job so instead Rusty refrains from piety and instead conjures up collaborative economics 101 and you cant make that kind of a troll up if you tried so here we are on planet kur0shin (and isnt the view enchanting!) arguing about whether to pay Rusty for thinking big ideas which may or may not be implementated depending on what the entrails say.

---
Madame Bovary, c'est moi!
[ Parent ]

I disagree with stupid. (3.66 / 3) (#97)
by eLuddite on Tue Aug 20, 2002 at 04:25:01 AM EST

At least, I think I do. I think perhaps, "Madame" you should start over from the beginning, and eschew excessive tropes on a subject important enough to make lack of clarity, over-concision, or ironic tone dangerous. Your pitiable efforts at parody are superfluous on Kuro5hin.

At any given point in history, we find ourselves involved in a process of class struggle, and we derive our principles by abstraction from the demands of that struggle, not from any bourgeois idealism. If you wish to improve your position, kind Lady, please browse my comment history. On your substantive point, as long as you are exalting bourgeois values, you might as well establish perfect competition, direct democracy and rational religion.

P.S. Don't reply to replies to my comments, cunt.

---
God hates human rights.
[ Parent ]

I'd like to see the Articles and Bylaws (5.00 / 2) (#61)
by ip4noman on Mon Aug 19, 2002 at 11:16:09 PM EST

Rusty,

Congrats on all that you've done: making such a usuable weblog as K5, and making scoop open-source, by keeping ads unobtrusive, etc. etc. What a useful thing you've done. I hope the organization as a not-for-profit works well for you.

I'm creating a not-for-profit to act as a holding company for Public Access Television equipment in my city. I've never done anything like this, and have been studying how others have done it.

I think one of the best not-for-profit media companies has to be Pacifica Foundation, which operates a radio network in the United States. I have been studing their articles of incorporation and bylaws, and would love to see K5's, and track the history as they evolve.

Much of the laws vary from state to state (PS: thanks for the tip on the Nolo book), but I think these documents might be very helpful to others who are establishing alternatives to commerical for-profit media all over the globe.



--
Breaking Blue / Cognitive Liberty Airwaves
money flow, or Sundries to the Rescue (2.00 / 1) (#78)
by Jim Tour on Tue Aug 20, 2002 at 12:13:28 AM EST

I can't comment much on the decision to go non-profit and related issues. On the face of it, it seems pretty reasonable. In the near term, K5 and Scoop won't be making much more money than is needed to keep themselves running and to pay a few modest salaries. Why dress up as a for-profit, subject to quarterly profitability scrutiny and full corporate taxation, when all that's really wanted right now is the bucks to keep the main players fed and housed as they stay in the game, ride out this bear economy and see what develops in the next 5 or so years? It may be that a sustained web-based money flow just won't happen for more than 3 or 4 websites, ever. But we don't know that yet, and the advantages of making a living off the net doing something interesting are too great to just abandon when you're anything but certain it's an impossibility.

Anyway, the main reason I'm writing is to air an idea that will seem very incongruous during this move to non-profit status. Someone else in this thread pointed out that whatever you call yourselves, for-profit/non-profit/whatever, you'll still need a positive money flow to survive for any length of time. Invoking the NPR model doesn't quite cut it, I don't think. NPR is 100% funded by the people it serves and it doesn't look like even the best community sites will inspire quite that level of generosity. Contributions, subscriptions and advertising that doesn't drive everyone away may generate in the neighborhood of 75% of an operational budget, including salaries. But it looks like some form of commerce is needed for the remaining 25%. To get those bucks, I propose: "sundries".

By "sundries" I mean items that most K5ers know they will be purchasing on a regular basis and will choose to buy through K5 as a form of support. Why is this practical? Because people will be able to consolidate many inexpensive items into one order, probably once a month or once every two months, thus reducing the shipping cost hit. What are the things you're always running out to the drug store to get? If you look at it you'll see there are a fair number of items you know you'll be restocking which you usually take care of by running little errands, stopping to and from work or by little incidental purchases when you're food shopping. These things are non-perishable or long-shelf-life and lend themselves well to website purchase, as long as you can pool them in a mass order that reduces your shipping costs to the point where time and gasoline saved running around basically cancels shipping cost out. In any four month period (two or three hypothetical orders from CMF) I know I'll be buying: printer paper, cigarettes, aspirin, a toothbrush, toothpaste, blank CDs, soap/shampoo, batteries, envelopes, M&Ms and some sort of sour candy, nuts (usually pistachios), disposable razors, 35mm film, socks, two cigarette lighters, ketchup and pens or staples or tape. It may seem a little absurd, but think of it almost as a bake sale for CMF. Plus, it really would be more orderly and convenient if I just resigned myself to buying these things en masse and on a regular basis, so why not throw my business to a place I believe in?

The list of doable items would not be much longer than those I mentioned. I also know I'll be buying books, a few magazines, a few music CDs, soda and beer, etc., but those don't lend themselves to a CMF purchase. CMF could never cost effectively offer a broad enough selection of books and commercial CDs for me to consider it a constant source, soda and beer are too heavy and would inflate the shipping charge too much, etc.. But in any given two month period I know I'll be buying six or seven things from that list above, and the brands aren't too important. CMF could cut a wholesale deal with Mead Papers and maybe offer three of their computer printer paper types. Same with, say, TDK for blank CDs. They could find some sort of wholesale supermarket supplier to cut them some bulk aspirin and two or three brands of soap and maybe batteries. They could get a deal with Mars for M&Ms (although maybe chocolate would be a problem in shipping, so maybe substitute Skittles and Starbursts), and so on. They could store all this stuff without worrying too much about expiration dates. They could probably contract out the whole buying, storage, order fulfillment thing to one person working at home. And the profit margin on some of these items is pretty high.

It might even be feasible to specialize in something like cigarettes, if ethical qualms can be calmed. This guy does it. It might be a real opportunity, given that certain states (esp. NY) mercilessly tax cigarettes. CMF could set up an at-home worker in, say, Kentucky and make a tidy profit selling to people in certain states with high incentive for buying through CMF (serious $$ savings).

Anyway, I think sundries could be a sweet setup. It's a strategic niche that answers well all down the line to CMF's needs. You could even use the Scoop engine to ascertain which brands people most want.

even easier (none / 0) (#83)
by nodsmasher on Tue Aug 20, 2002 at 01:29:06 AM EST

set up an affiliate program with amazon, god knows i but lots of crap from there
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Most people don't realise just how funny cannibalism can actually be.
-Tatarigami
[ Parent ]
that might work if amazon takes nonobscene cut n/t (none / 0) (#89)
by Jim Tour on Tue Aug 20, 2002 at 03:43:07 AM EST



[ Parent ]
your thinking of the donations (none / 0) (#132)
by nodsmasher on Tue Aug 20, 2002 at 02:28:29 PM EST

where a large cut goes to them, affiliate if I'm correct works buy if you buy something through a link from a site the site gets money for referring people to amazon
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Most people don't realise just how funny cannibalism can actually be.
-Tatarigami
[ Parent ]
I don't want to steal rusty's thunder but... (none / 0) (#86)
by dram on Tue Aug 20, 2002 at 02:37:53 AM EST

The next article to come from him (tomorrow hopefully) will be about him selling things. I think the plan is k5.net email and some other stuff. Look at his last diary, it might have said more, I dont remember. Also I don't know if htat will be seperate or the monies from that will go into the K5 or CMF pool. I guess we will wait and see what he has to say.

-dram
[grant.henninger.name]

[ Parent ]
As is above, so shall be below... (2.33 / 3) (#80)
by Col Klync on Tue Aug 20, 2002 at 12:22:00 AM EST

Rusty et al,

I think the CMF is an awesome idea. This sounds like something close to a federation of participating blogs and indy news sites.

Many such sites have high numbers and low revenues. People value these sites in some way (yeah, like NPR). I can see how standing together would be helpful to k5 and sites like that.

Perhaps the scoop code can be used to provide the "umbrella"?

Klync

why is this necessary? (4.00 / 4) (#91)
by Delirium on Tue Aug 20, 2002 at 03:51:09 AM EST

I suppose my first question is: this is all well and good, but why do we need it? Is this non-profit organization going to do anything useful beyond consuming a bunch of money in lawyers' and accountants' fees? Kuro5hin has donated hardware and bandwidth, and if labor is needed has a large pool of computer-knowledgeable people who can help out with keeping the site running. What is this non-profit organization going to provide that makes it worth doing?

Here's why (5.00 / 1) (#107)
by the original jht on Tue Aug 20, 2002 at 08:15:56 AM EST

It'll pay someone (namely Rusty) to keep this site going full-time.  Rusty built K5, and he had to buy equipment, bandwidth, and space to run the site.  It's taken a lot of his time over the last few years.  He's not looking for dot-com wealth out of it, but he'd like to be able to earn a decent living at it - this was a good solution.

Successful high-traffic sites have one of two things behind them - either a single, slavishly devoted founder or a big corporation with money to burn.  A lot of "community" sites exist because of the largesse of some corporate benefactor, or a small team of (paid) engineers. I can't think of any site the size of K5 that survives strictly on a volunteer basis.

Besides that, if only volunteers are on the job, what's the incentive to get up and leave your wife and kids in the middle of the night to travel to the colo cage and fix a downed server?  Or deal with a hack attack?  For that matter, what happens if you have a big bandwidth bill and there's no money to pay it?  Will the volunteers fork over a thousand bucks each?

Forming a non-profit means that Rusty can accept contributions with tax benefits for the giver, he can pay himself a salary that allows K5 to be his "real" job (with the demands that entails), and if the corporation does better than breakeven, he has the ability to use money to help underwrite other, similar sites and causes, potentially ones that the whole community here can back.  There's still a place for volunteering, it's just that Rusty stays in charge.
 
- -Josh Turiel
"Someday we'll all look back at this and laugh..."

[ Parent ]

Yes, (none / 0) (#111)
by Jim Tour on Tue Aug 20, 2002 at 09:03:43 AM EST

I think this is the main subtext to this plan- a salary for Rusty. And that's as it should be. There will inevitably be those who scream he's lining his pockets with donated dollars, but hopefully they'll be a fringe. A livable salary for the guy who mostly makes this possible is a worthy cause. But don't forget that additionally the non-profit has a somewhat noble goal- the preservation and advancement of high-quality, community-mediated public discussion. It just so happens Need #1 towards that goal is to pay Rusty so he can devote all energy to it. The importance of his full-time attention dwarfs any other single item like bandwidth costs, hardware costs, etc.

[ Parent ]
i disagree (none / 0) (#157)
by Delirium on Tue Aug 20, 2002 at 03:42:49 PM EST

The importance of his full-time attention dwarfs any other single item like bandwidth costs, hardware costs, etc.
I disagree. Rusty has not devoted his full-time attention to k5 for the last few months (hell, he's even taken a few vacations). There've been no changes to the scoop codebase recently, the servers have not been mucked with, and the site has essentially been running on autopilot. And it's done just fine.

The only thing an admin is really needed for is to be around in case there's major problems (server trouble, etc.). That's certainly not a full-time job (more like a once-a-year job, hopefully). The only other thing we really need is some more additions to scoop, but that could be done by promoting it as an open source project to get some code contributions. Or paying someone to work on it, but to actually work on it. I don't think rusty spends 40 hours/week coding scoop.

Rusty's a nice guy, and I certainly think the site has benefited from his oversight. But I wouldn't go so far as to call him essential to its operation in any meaningful sense (he's only essential in the superficial sense that he could take down the site if he wanted). If he can no longer shoulder the entire load, there's lots of skilled coders, sysadmins, etc. around here who could shoulder as much of it as necessary, leaving him nominally in charge but without having to spend much time on the site.

[ Parent ]

with all due respect, (none / 0) (#155)
by Delirium on Tue Aug 20, 2002 at 03:38:43 PM EST

I don't think k5 is a "real job" for rusty. A real job is something you spend 40 hours/week on (or at the very least, 20 hours/week as a part-time job). I seriously doubt rusty spends anywhere near that much time working on kuro5hin (no, posting to and reading kuro5hin don't count).

In short, my argument is "it's just a website". Yes, there needs to be someone nominally in charge, but that person doesn't need to make much of a time commitment (they're mainly around to approve code changes when volunteer coders submit them and to deal with the colocation facility if there's a problem). If rusty can no longer do this, I'm sure there's at least a dozen people here willing to help out.

As for underwriting other causes, I'm even more stridently opposed to that. Any money that this "corporation" makes will be money it made off its own community. Using that money to fund outside causes is entirely wrong -- if we wanted to fund outside causes, we could do so as individuals ourselves (or if you want a group to fund them, accept donations, but don't charge for services and then donate the money).

In short, I'm wary of people abusing the goodwill of communities to make money (whether for themselves or to donate elsewhere). Cf. the lilo/openprojects situation for another example.

[ Parent ]

Income (5.00 / 1) (#170)
by rusty on Tue Aug 20, 2002 at 04:52:56 PM EST

Any money that this "corporation" makes will be money it made off its own community. Using that money to fund outside causes is entirely wrong

I agree. Income to K5 will stay in K5. Projects within the CMF will have to be largely self-supporting, whether that's through donations, grants, or whatever. It wouldn't be right to take money you contributed to K5 and funnel it off to something else.

Money given directly to the CMF will be used to pay for any expenses of the overall organization (which should be minimal to nonexistent), and then channeled to wherever they will do the most good.

____
Not the real rusty
[ Parent ]

Structure and stability (none / 0) (#126)
by iGrrrl on Tue Aug 20, 2002 at 12:41:55 PM EST

Basically, if Rusty got washed off the ferry by a rogue wave, it is highly unlikely that K5 would continue. You might argue that others would step up to the plate, and you may be right. However, it has very much been Rusty's efforts that keep K5 alive. By forming a structure with a board, legal foundations, and better than back of the envelope accounting, Rusty increases the chances of long-term stability. He also institutionalizes the commitment of the board members. There's a difference between being willing in the abstract to help, and taking on a legal relationship to a corporation.

Our Mr. Foster is a very bright guy.

--
You cannot have a reasonable conversation with someone who regards other people as toys to be played with. localroger
remove apostrophe for email.
[ Parent ]

I don't think that's necessary (none / 0) (#160)
by Delirium on Tue Aug 20, 2002 at 03:46:34 PM EST

A much easier way would simply be to informally give a few other people admin passwords and set them up as successors. There's no need to formally set up a bunch of legalese for a website.

I'm suspicious that the main reason for this is to facilitate the movement of money in and out of the "corporation", not to ensure the stability of the website. And IMHO, the more money kuro5hin gets, the worse off it'll be.

[ Parent ]

Doesn't work. (4.00 / 1) (#164)
by aphrael on Tue Aug 20, 2002 at 04:06:30 PM EST

Right now the server on which this runs, and the bandwidth associated with it, are donated based upon people's *personal relationships* with rusty. If he were to die tomorrow, while they probably wouldn't pull the plug, someone would have to work out new arrangements with them --- and who would that be? I could imagine a worst-case scenario of people fighting over who gets to run K5 now, which would be disaster. (Stupider things have happened in the past).

Planning for the future implies setting up some sort of legal process for transfer of assets, and maintenance thereof, if rusty dies/is rendered permanently disabled/loses interest. It also implies changing the donation of assets (bandwidth, server colocation, etc) away from being based on a personal relationship with rusty to being based on a legal relationship with an established entity (note: this would probably allow voxel and promicro to write off as tax-deductable the cost of supporting us).

And IMHO, the more money kuro5hin gets, the worse off it'll be

Why? I'm not convinced that having more money will *hurt* k5. I'm also not convinced that it will help, but since the biggest problem (in my view) seems to be a general deterioration of writing quality, the presence of money is completely orthogonal. :)

[ Parent ]

comments (none / 0) (#165)
by Delirium on Tue Aug 20, 2002 at 04:25:59 PM EST

Right now the server on which this runs, and the bandwidth associated with it, are donated based upon people's *personal relationships* with rusty. If he were to die tomorrow, while they probably wouldn't pull the plug, someone would have to work out new arrangements with them --- and who would that be? I could imagine a worst-case scenario of people fighting over who gets to run K5 now, which would be disaster. (Stupider things have happened in the past).
I was under the impression that the hosting and server arrangements were more of a quid-pro-quo -- free stuff in return for the ads in the top/right. As long as the ads remained, I don't see why renegotiations would be necessary.
Planning for the future implies setting up some sort of legal process for transfer of assets, and maintenance thereof, if rusty dies/is rendered permanently disabled/loses interest. It also implies changing the donation of assets (bandwidth, server colocation, etc) away from being based on a personal relationship with rusty to being based on a legal relationship with an established entity (note: this would probably allow voxel and promicro to write off as tax-deductable the cost of supporting us).
If this was all that the non-profit were willing to do, I may go along with it (I'd still think it's a bit unnecessary, but if it doesn't hurt anything I won't complain). But from rusty's description of it, the non-profit isn't going to be just a holding organization, whose only purpose in life is to exist in case rusty dies or loses interest. I have a sneaking suspicion it will be doing all sorts of other things in the meantime.
Why? I'm not convinced that having more money will *hurt* k5. I'm also not convinced that it will help, but since the biggest problem (in my view) seems to be a general deterioration of writing quality, the presence of money is completely orthogonal. :)
Mostly from an observation that when money enters organizations that were previously volunteer-based, they tend to quickly deteriorate. As for stories, I personally would not be willing to spend any amount of effort writing a well-researched story so others could profit from my work. I'm not sure if this is a significant factor for others, but I wouldn't be surprised if it were. Kuro5hin as a community of people talking to each other is worth participating in. Kuro5hin as a corporation with paid employees and assets I'd have to pass on.

[ Parent ]
I understand your concerns (5.00 / 1) (#187)
by iGrrrl on Wed Aug 21, 2002 at 08:52:14 AM EST

I could imagine a worst-case scenario of people fighting over who gets to run K5 now, which would be disaster. (Stupider things have happened in the past).
I was under the impression that the hosting and server arrangements were more of a quid-pro-quo -- free stuff in return for the ads in the top/right. As long as the ads remained, I don't see why renegotiations would be necessary.
You might not see it, but the companies might, in part because of aphrael's comment. IMHO, It doesn't pay to underestimate the idiocy of primate dominance behavior in humans.

You're also right the Rusty hopes for the CMF to do more than just hold K5. K5 has been a fascinating experiment. It still succeeds and recovers its equilibrium after every influx of "crapflooding slashbots". That's interesting. In part it stabilizes because higher-profile and thoughtful users (like you) spend more energy behaving in the way they feel appropriate (leading by example) than in complaining about other people's noise (whining).

But K5 isn't the end-all. The site tends to focus more on culture than on hard news. From what I've read, one of the plans of CMF is a Scoop site more limited to news reporting. I'll be interested to see how that one develops, so to me it isn't a bad thing that the CMF will do more than give structure to K5.

Your last point had to do with profit. Unless you start with the premise that anyone getting paid for anything having to do with maintaining K5 is a Bad Thing and = profit, I don't believe profit is the issue. I will continue to write occasional stories for K5 on subjects that interest me. Since I now write professionally, my subjects will be things outside what I get paid to do. And truth be told, my effort will be slightly less than paid work would command. And if some one were profiting beyond being paid to maintain the site, I'd also re-consider submitting at all. That is not, however, what I see happening. Time may prove me wrong, but I'd rather be optimistic.

I've learned a lot writing for K5. It's a free school, with brutal feedback. Definitely worth the price of a subscription for me.

--
You cannot have a reasonable conversation with someone who regards other people as toys to be played with. localroger
remove apostrophe for email.
[ Parent ]

People have short memories... (5.00 / 2) (#93)
by bobjim on Tue Aug 20, 2002 at 04:08:41 AM EST

Weren't all the reasons for going non-profit discussed during the fundraising thing a couple of months back? It's not as if this article was terribly unexpected or anything. Rusty's just checking in with the community, keeping everyone informed about what's going on (which is one of the reasons this site works).

If I had money and wasn't a penniless student, I'd probably contribute. Back when I had cash, I'd buy t-shirts from another free online sites as a way of contributing for something someone else had made that I enjoyed. (The online comic Sluggy Freelance if anyone cares). There's a point to this: I believe (and I suspect that many other k5ers believe) that contributing to the existance of something you enjoy that is provided without expectation of financial reward by people who care about their fans/members/community is something that decent human beings do.

People don't contribute to k5 because they want to line Rusty's pocket. They contribute because it's the right thing to do if you're able to.
--
"I know your type quite well. Physically weak and intellectually stunted. Full of resentment against women." - Medham, talking about me.

K5 t-shirts (5.00 / 2) (#103)
by Meatbomb on Tue Aug 20, 2002 at 07:15:46 AM EST

Would be cool, especially if they could be semi-customized to include wearer's k5 handle.

_______________

Good News for Liberal Democracy!

[ Parent ]
I contribute to line rusty's pockets (nt) (5.00 / 1) (#112)
by senjiro on Tue Aug 20, 2002 at 09:22:10 AM EST


it is by will alone that i set my mind in motion
[ Parent ]
I disagree (none / 0) (#169)
by Delirium on Tue Aug 20, 2002 at 04:35:35 PM EST

People don't contribute to k5 because they want to line Rusty's pocket. They contribute because it's the right thing to do if you're able to.
Contributing to people who provide things you like is a good idea. But I'd rate rusty's job far below:
  • The Debian project
  • The Electronic Frontier Foundation
  • The GNU Project
  • The people who write good stories for kuro5hin
  • lots more
Rusty provides things that prove useful to me, certainly. But are his pockets the first place my money's going to go? Hardly.

[ Parent ]
Probably true (5.00 / 5) (#176)
by panner on Tue Aug 20, 2002 at 06:43:59 PM EST

But then I'd rate those below other organizations such as the Red Cross, United Way, Oxfam and others with international dedications to helping the needy. So why do people donate to the EFF, GNU Project, and other, obviously insignificant in comparison, organizations? Don't those people care about the hungry? The poor? The homeless? They must be crazy!

So why do people donate time and money to these other, less important groups? Because those groups still serve a purpose that other, arguably more noble ones do not, and without donations, these "lesser" groups wouldn't be able to fulfill their purpose.

If you don't think a Collaborative Media Foundation is worthy of donating money to, then that's fine, don't send them any cash. Direct yours to Debian, the FSF, or the Red Cross. Ideally, there will be enough people that do think the CMF is a good cause to donate to, and that will keep it operating, just as enough people will hopefully think the same of the EFF and keep it operating.



--
Keith Smiley
Get it right, for God's sake. Pigs can work out how to use a joysti
[ Parent ]
Caveat (none / 0) (#177)
by bobjim on Tue Aug 20, 2002 at 06:50:25 PM EST

I was a little tired when I wrote that post and didn't say exactly what I meant.

There's obviously a limited number of things one can contribute to. Rather than 'decency' as such, I think I mean 'honourability'. It's honourable to contribute to things that are worthwhile if you're able to. Everyone's priorities are different, so K5 might not be top of your list, which is fine.

In any case, people's concepts of honour are probably differnt to mine, but I don't think mine are that unusual.
--
"I know your type quite well. Physically weak and intellectually stunted. Full of resentment against women." - Medham, talking about me.
[ Parent ]

A good list (5.00 / 2) (#179)
by rusty on Tue Aug 20, 2002 at 11:48:20 PM EST

May I personally recommend the EFF for people. Even if you do want to give to us, set some of that aside and give it to them too.

____
Not the real rusty
[ Parent ]
Membership (5.00 / 4) (#101)
by infraoctarine on Tue Aug 20, 2002 at 06:11:01 AM EST

First of all, I'm glad to see you're making progress with the non-profit transition. Now, I have a number of questions regarding CMF membership.

What exactly does membership in the non-profit entail? Is it supposed to be separate from K5-membership, i.e. can you buy a K5 premium membership and not be a member of CMF, and the other way around? What kind of influence over the CMF does one have as a member?

Also, I wonder if the non-American part of the K5 community can get involved. Is it possible for a US non-profit to have members who are foreign nationals? Board members? Would you (rusty) want this?

non-profit possibilities (none / 0) (#106)
by pantagruel on Tue Aug 20, 2002 at 07:58:52 AM EST

I like this,and would definitely support it. Perhaps it may be possible to draw various communities already out there into the CMF, for example Blackmask Online is something I think could benefit from this, and be beneficial.

http://www.blackmask.com/page.php?do=page

Considering also the number of techies we have here we may be able to build something extremely cool.



How about (5.00 / 1) (#110)
by inerte on Tue Aug 20, 2002 at 08:56:46 AM EST

Cheap Scoop hosting? I understand there are places offering for US$ 20/25, but to gather more active members for CMF, you (rusty) could make a deal with a hosting company (the one that hosts K5, for example), and offer it for 5 or 10 bucks. You can build a wider community around CMF.

Someone mentioned CMF members cards. That's an awesome idea. How about these cards give discount on CMF's websites? Either on the subscription fees or products.

Also, how about a website with tips, books and articles about online community building. Reviews of Scoop-like software. Case studies. A huge link directory. User meetings. Consulting (free or paid).

These are just some ideas before my second cup of coffee ;-)

--
I haven't found a comment to link yet.


Take a look at MEC ... (4.00 / 1) (#113)
by waverleo on Tue Aug 20, 2002 at 10:00:38 AM EST

... arguably the most successful co-op in Canada. While Mountain Equipment Co-op is not a "non-profit" in the strict sense, they are most definitely a not-for-profit corporation.

Run by an elected volunteer executive, MEC produces some of the highest quality outdoor merchandise the world-round, at prices that are more-often-than-not lower than their "competitors". They do this in a sustainable and ethical fashion, while providing useful information about their products, and a website that is more comprehensive than any I've ever seen in the same field.

Membership lasts a lifetime, and costs $5.

If you ever get a chance to visit one of their stores, you'll notice the attention paid to making it extremely environmentally friendly and at the same time pleasant to be in.

MEC is a prime example of some of the benefits of member-driven product delivery. While the incentives still exist to minimise costs, there is little desire to over-produce, and the need for marketing is non-existant. The result is a beautiful combination of sincerity in sales, ethical business practices, the best equipment money can buy, at the lowest cost.

All that, and they've also been around for 30 years.

Leo

In the states (none / 0) (#158)
by aphrael on Tue Aug 20, 2002 at 03:44:18 PM EST

REI has a similar structure.

[ Parent ]
Lawyers and Accountants (4.60 / 5) (#115)
by NotZen on Tue Aug 20, 2002 at 10:14:15 AM EST

The first step in any corporate action is to get a good lawyer and a good accountant

I thought that both Lawyers and Accountants were Lawful Evil.

Re: Lawyers and Accountants (none / 0) (#173)
by buysse on Tue Aug 20, 2002 at 06:08:54 PM EST

I would be more likely to believe that many lawyers and most accountants would be lawful neutral -- they do what they're told to by their employer within the law without applying morality. :)
WAR IS PEACE | FREEDOM IS SLAVERY | IGNORANCE IS STRENGTH
[ Parent ]
tax deductible - US only? (5.00 / 1) (#124)
by janra on Tue Aug 20, 2002 at 12:36:40 PM EST

Since you're creating the CMF in the US, donations will be tax-deductible in the US. But what about donations from people in other countries?

The lack of a reportable deduction probably wouldn't prevent me from supporting the CMF, but it would be nice to have. I know there are international non-profit organizations - the question is, do they have to register in every country, or is there one place they can go to register as an internationally recognized organization?


--
Discuss the art and craft of writing
That's the problem with world domination... Nobody is willing to wait for it anymore, work slowly towards it, drink more and enjoy the ride more.
cmf international charter (none / 0) (#134)
by pantagruel on Tue Aug 20, 2002 at 02:38:49 PM EST

there could be cmf representatives in other countries that could register it as a non-profit in each I am sure.

[ Parent ]
they have to be independent organizations (none / 0) (#167)
by Delirium on Tue Aug 20, 2002 at 04:31:31 PM EST

As I understand it, you'd have to start completely independent organizations in each country, and register them as non-profits in their country of incorporation. Then these independent non-profit organizations could accept donations (which would be tax-deductible for the donors) and in turn donate them to the US-based kuro5hin organization.

Of course I'm not a lawyer, so there may be more tricky ways to set up overseas subsidiaries and whatnot. But the above approach is the way most organizations accept donations from other countries (actually even more common is to find an already-existing organization with similar goals, and ask them if they'd be willing to accept donations on your behalf, perhaps in return for a small processing fee).

[ Parent ]

We carry too much again and lose sight of the road (2.30 / 10) (#127)
by Tony Banana on Tue Aug 20, 2002 at 12:48:28 PM EST

I'm not going to pat your back, and try to make you like me. You are not doing a good job. Don't make it generic. I know you are planning to branch out into other weblogs, but just forget it. You will lose focus, and everything will decline. Stick to K5.

Swallow the bitter pill, you are not God. Because people tell you you are right does not make you right. You are an average chap, and you will make average mistakes.

The higher you go, the higher you will fall. Drop the grandeur, and start from the bottom, rusty. We aren't all idiots, and it is relatively obvious what your plans are.

It doesn't work that way.

Plans (none / 0) (#137)
by rusty on Tue Aug 20, 2002 at 02:48:03 PM EST

We aren't all idiots, and it is relatively obvious what your plans are.

I must be one of those who is an idiot. I'm assuming you mean to say my plans aren't what I say they are. So what are my plans?

____
Not the real rusty
[ Parent ]

Rusty, I was there (none / 0) (#186)
by Tony Banana on Wed Aug 21, 2002 at 05:47:03 AM EST

When you were scared of K5 after the revenue collection, I was there. When you felt inferior, I was there. When you lay on your back, thinking up plans to make money from K5, I was there. Being big requires a small ego.

[ Parent ]
Keep It Simple, Stupid (2.75 / 4) (#129)
by gbroiles on Tue Aug 20, 2002 at 01:29:32 PM EST

I like K5; I'm happy to support it through paying for ads, premium membership, etc.

I'm much more skeptical about the CMF and nebulous do-gooder hippie projects, and am not likely to send money to the CMF unless I'm sure all of it is going to get spent on K5, and/or the CMF works on projects which are as significant as, say, the EFF or the ACLU or the NRA.

If the CMF gets flavored like a traditional "public interest" organization, it's going to have to compete with them for my charity dollars (which don't flow super-freely in this economy.) If K5 needs some money to continue operating, I think of that like my subscription to the daily paper - something I pay happily because I get immediate value in return. If you're going to force me to subsidize things like CMF in order to support K5, I don't know what I'll decide, but I don't like the idea and I'll likely send less dollars in this direction.

I would have preferred to see a majority of the board members have experience running a real business which lives reasonably and comfortably on its income - not groovy non-economic advocacy-oriented projects. If the board members have that experience on their resumes, perhaps that could be highlighted.

Since I know Arkady runs a business, (none / 0) (#138)
by tankgirl on Tue Aug 20, 2002 at 02:48:45 PM EST

...one that has remained successful in harsh economic times, I can vouch for him...but don't trust me...follow the links in each of the uid's listed....these guys have some pretty hefty resumes.

(Speaking of, I just noticed this...Hey RUSTY, there are no _women_ on the provisional board...why not?)

Plus, a little ego surfing on their behalf at Google will turn up some great accomplishments all of them are too modest to state on their resumes.

cheers,
jeri

"I'm afraid of Americans. I'm afraid of the world. I'm afraid I can't help it." -David Bowie
[ Parent ]

Women (none / 0) (#147)
by rusty on Tue Aug 20, 2002 at 03:08:06 PM EST

You're right. I don't know why. In fact, it's all white men (I haven't actually met Scott. I'm assuming here from talking to him on the phone). That's pretty sad of me.

Our lawyer is a woman. Does that help?

____
Not the real rusty
[ Parent ]

A little I guess... (none / 0) (#183)
by tankgirl on Wed Aug 21, 2002 at 02:33:17 AM EST

...but she is a _lawyer_.

Thanks for thinking about the topic seriously, and admitting that you hadn't thought about it before.

Next time don't forget.
;-)
jeri
"I'm afraid of Americans. I'm afraid of the world. I'm afraid I can't help it." -David Bowie
[ Parent ]

Still and all (none / 0) (#185)
by rusty on Wed Aug 21, 2002 at 05:14:49 AM EST

The lawyer, here, is the one who knows her ass from her elbow w/r/t the technicalities of all this. Without her, we'd be up the creek.

Screw both sides of the affirmative action debate. My experience is that people with different backgrounds bring different strengths (and weaknesses), and it's dumb to not purposely seek to have a [fill in organization here] that's balanced with different kinds of people. It's great when all the good old boys tackle something they all understand, but if something comes along that they don't know how to deal with, a monoculture guarantees that none of them will know how to deal with it. It's like stocking your pens with cloned sheep and then hoping none of them gets a cold.

Hopefully the elected thing will help with this. Were you planning to run? :-)

____
Not the real rusty
[ Parent ]

I made my comment about real business experience (none / 0) (#151)
by gbroiles on Tue Aug 20, 2002 at 03:16:23 PM EST

.. after the Google search you recommend.

I deliberately didn't say "Rusty should find some guys who are interesting to drink beer with."

Rusty has a finite amount of cash and time to do something people will pay money for. If he doesn't succeed, K5 will die or undergo big drama. Rusty needs people who will help him identify a market/constituency who can provide funding, and then do whatever's necessary to get that funding. Everything else is marketing crap or intellectual doodling.

[ Parent ]

Huh? (none / 0) (#182)
by tankgirl on Wed Aug 21, 2002 at 02:23:47 AM EST

I'm not sure if you're making a snide comment about the social habits of the board, or a snide comment about what they post to their diaries...either way, it seems you'd like to think the worst. I believe the best based on my experience with then and googling.

BTW, you mentioned previously the credibity of the EFF...not sure if you knew that Arkady used to run their network. Just another useful bit of experience he brings to the board from a credible project. ;-)

jeri.
"I'm afraid of Americans. I'm afraid of the world. I'm afraid I can't help it." -David Bowie
[ Parent ]

Business (none / 0) (#142)
by rusty on Tue Aug 20, 2002 at 02:57:13 PM EST

Robin's co-op ISP business is doing fine, and has been in operation for several years, supporting varying numbers of employees, but him and a couple others continuously for that time. He can probably give you better numbers.

Scott's organization has run for two years now, is fully self-supporting and has a full time staff of four people, and a couple of interns.

Karsten and Peter both work for others. But the two who have relevant experience running their own organizations have been successful at it, so it's not a matter of unfunded hippy-dippy bullshit.

About contributing to projects -- Everything that you contribute (moneywise) to K5 will go to K5. If you want a say in who is in charge of the organization that owns K5 (the CMF), you will need to become a CMF member and vote in Board elections. If you don't care about that, you can ignore it altogether.

____
Not the real rusty
[ Parent ]

Question. (none / 0) (#152)
by dram on Tue Aug 20, 2002 at 03:24:30 PM EST

What exactly is a co-op? I don't have a good idea of it in my head. What I think it is from reading the definition on Dictionary.com is that its sort of like collective farming except for a company. The deffinition read "a commercial enterprise run for the benefit of its owners" and I don't really see how this is different from a normal company.

-dram
[grant.henninger.name]

[ Parent ]
Co-op (5.00 / 1) (#159)
by rusty on Tue Aug 20, 2002 at 03:44:29 PM EST

A co-op is a for-profit company which has a particular kind of ownership structure. Basically either the co-op is owned by it's customers, or by it's employees. In some states, there's no official distinction made between a co-op and a regular company, and in others there is.

Mainly it has to do with who officially owns the company's equity. Robin's is an employee-owned co-op. Anyone who does any work for them becomes a partner in the company, and all decisions are made by concensus (or possibly voting) among all partners. Whereas a normal company would be owned by the shareholders, usually a small group of founders, and would make all the decisions themselves.

____
Not the real rusty
[ Parent ]

traditionally - (none / 0) (#161)
by gbroiles on Tue Aug 20, 2002 at 03:47:55 PM EST

a corporation has several different groups of participants - most relevant to this discussion are the shareholders (who actually own the business) and the employees (who provide the human effort that gets things done).

In a co-op, both roles are performed by the same group of people.

It's mostly a cultural thing - it's perfectly possible for the same (or very similar) legal and economic relationships to occur in other contexts (like small employee-owned corporations, or professional firms for law or accounting), but the political and economic approach is different.

[ Parent ]

an easier way...? (4.00 / 1) (#133)
by tonx on Tue Aug 20, 2002 at 02:38:48 PM EST

wouldn't it make more sense to partner up with an exisiting non-profit entity that supports your mission - whom tax-deductable donations can funneled through - and continue to focus on the (i presume considerable) work you already do in maintaining the site?

I refer again to the example of Erowid.org

Is Erowid a 501(c)3 Non-profit? No. The primary benefit of being a 501(c)3 would be to make donations to Erowid tax-deductible. Because we are already able to take tax-deductible donations through MAPS (the Multidisciplinary Association for Psychedelic Studies), the benefits we would receive from gaining non-profit status are not worth the startup costs and effort required to become a 501(c)3 at this time.

Clearly there are other grand schemes stewing in your head that justify the creation of a more complex entity, with a governing structure and all that cruft - and I look forward to hearing about (and perhaps supporting) 'em. Just want to point out that as far as the k5 portion of this plan goes there might be a much easier solution. (the erowid faq does a good job of laying out their lean operating structure.)



Partnering up (4.00 / 1) (#144)
by rusty on Tue Aug 20, 2002 at 03:00:43 PM EST

Actually, what I'm trying to create is the "partner" organization for K5 and other projects who want to run that way. That is, I hope that in the future other sites  will be able to do exactly what you describe, by joining forces with the CMF.

I mean, at some point, someone has to create that organization, right? Why not me? :-)

____
Not the real rusty
[ Parent ]

re: Partnering up (4.00 / 1) (#156)
by tonx on Tue Aug 20, 2002 at 03:41:45 PM EST

I mean, at some point, someone has to create that organization, right? Why not me? :-)

'cause K5 is enough work

'cause you could prolly work out a deal with EFF, IndyMedia, Alternet, or some more obscure (local Portland perhaps) existing non-profit to handle this for you - including funneling donations to other pet projects.

if you are planning on going super-big and providing risk management, loans, legal support, auditing, payroll, bookkeeping, etc - than maybe this is the way to go - but thats barely been atainable for web projects with strong initial funding and commodity-based revenue models. I don't have much money to give so I feel better when I'm giving it to someone who i know is operating lean and has a tightly articulated mission.

I guess I've got something of a punk/anarchist/DIY streak in me (and having tasted life at a very large national non-profit) I just think the simplest solution is the best one and thats the solution you should be sharing and advocating.

I'd bet you actually can create an organization that meets the needs of struggling K5-esque collaberative media projects - but I'm skeptical that burdonsome corporatization is necessary to realizing that.

my $0.02 - and much luck to you!

[ Parent ]

CMF - Warm fuzzy (none / 0) (#189)
by Swashbuckler on Wed Aug 21, 2002 at 11:12:35 AM EST

I obviously don't know the plan, but from the article I think that the CMF can be something completely different then anything else. I personally think that collaborative media is something that is getting more and more attention and that its something that deserves more and more attention. Not everybody really gets it, yet - but it will come. Check out, for instance, the Knowledge Media Design Institute at U of Toronto. Its just a matter of time before the academics pick up on collaborative media (see recent article about Jack Park). This list serve has also included a number of article about it. I think there is good reason to initiate grounding, like CMF, for the technology and I think Rusty should be the one who does it. Plus - as K5'ers - we are privy to this info before most. That gives me a warm fuzzy.


*Note* - this comment contains no inside K5 humour because inside K5 humour is only for/by K5-wankers. Media does not = "community."
[ Parent ]

PS (none / 0) (#190)
by Swashbuckler on Wed Aug 21, 2002 at 11:33:50 AM EST

If anyone has any more links to academic works about CM, I would be all about it.


*Note* - this comment contains no inside K5 humour because inside K5 humour is only for/by K5-wankers. Media does not = "community."
[ Parent ]
story idea (4.00 / 2) (#141)
by Phantros on Tue Aug 20, 2002 at 02:54:14 PM EST

Rusty,

This makes me think of an idea for a story that I'd love to read: "Building K5: What Worked, What Didn't"

This might include some of your adventures in setting up the CMF, but also such things as creating scoop, hardware and software choices, hack attempts and dealing with "bad apples", getting the word out and building a community, surprises and disappointments, etc. (Or, if it's been written, an update might be in order.)

4Literature - 2,000 books online and Scoop to discuss them with

supporting K5, and "why CMF" (4.33 / 3) (#153)
by Burning Straw Man on Tue Aug 20, 2002 at 03:37:09 PM EST

I like K5. I've bought a few ads. I'll probably buy more, eventually.

But I have to ask, "why CMF". Is there really no other organisation which does something like this. Why can't K5 parter with an existing non-profit or co-op in this space. Why do you want to extend yourself into this further space of complex headaches.

Take K5 and set it up as a non-profit if necessary. But this "CMF" thing just sounds like it will turn out to be an albatross. It sounds like a great thing, a good thing, etc. But how about some discussion about what the other players in that space are, and why they aren't suited to being an "umbrella" org. for K5.
--
your straw man is on fire...

Come on people! (3.83 / 6) (#166)
by mingofmongo on Tue Aug 20, 2002 at 04:30:52 PM EST

Everyone is saying Rusty's bit off more than he can chew. But do you really know that? How do you know that Rusty doesn't have big stainless steel teeth like that Jaws guy from 007 movies? Maybe Rusty can bite through steel cables and swallow napalm. I personaly no nothing about Rusty's powers of gnashing and digestion, and I wish him all the best.

Why should evil people like Bill Gates and Jack Valenti be the only ones to have their own gigantic media empire? Shine on, you crazy diamond! And blaze holes in the retinas of the unbelievers like a lazer beam from the heart of the galaxy!

"What they don't seem to get is that the key to living the good life is to avoid that brass ring like the fucking plague."
--The Onion

because media empires suck (5.00 / 1) (#168)
by Delirium on Tue Aug 20, 2002 at 04:32:55 PM EST

If k5 is going to turn into another Andover.net, that'd suck.

[ Parent ]
Rusty may be a superhero .. (4.50 / 2) (#175)
by gbroiles on Tue Aug 20, 2002 at 06:36:57 PM EST

and maybe he's the man to save the world from boring corporate media, but first he should finish saving K5.

Two months and three days ago, he wrote:

To summarize, we're broke. An unfortunate fact that probably bears mentioning is that there were 341,018 unique visitors last month. If every one of them kicked in a single dollar, not monthly or annually but one time, we'd be set for approximately the next four years, and you wouldn't have to read any of this. But if wishes were servers, I'd own Exodus. In the real world, we're still broke.

The other unfortunate fact is that there are a few of you who already understand all of this, and have contributed far more than your fair share of the money we do have coming in. For every thousand people who have enjoyed K5 totally for free, there's one person who has paid a lot more than they should ever have to in our ongoing efforts to remain solvent. I know who you are, and this is absolutely not your fault. The problem is that no one can maintain a business where only one out of a thousand "customers" ever pays for anything.

and I guess I missed the story where that problem was solved in more than a temporary fashion.

Before we get excited about making a hundred more copies of K5, shouldn't we get this one squared away financially first?

I don't think it's at all clear that people are willing to fund K5 to the point of self-sustainability, much less contribute anything above that for the operation of yet more websites whose users don't love them enough to fork over some cash.

[ Parent ]

Whooo Arkady (5.00 / 1) (#171)
by wji on Tue Aug 20, 2002 at 04:56:45 PM EST

You've got my vote, if I have one.

I'm not sure how this works, but it would be nice if the listserv was moderated by the directors but open to posts from anyone. Community involvement and all.

In conclusion, the Powerpuff Girls are a reactionary, pseudo-feminist enterprise.

Er.... Umm... (none / 0) (#191)
by coryking on Wed Aug 21, 2002 at 03:26:57 PM EST

Not to butt in on the good times and all, but aren't there more pressing issues then creating some super dooper organization that will save the world? I'm a paying customer and I can get my adequacy experience delivered faster then my kuro5hin experience. In fact, just to load this page to post (then preview) this comment I was able to read most of the new articles on adequacy *and* get coffee.

Shouldn't that hard earned money I paid be going to new hardware and software upgrades so I can actually *use* what I paid for?

Suckage (none / 0) (#192)
by rusty on Wed Aug 21, 2002 at 03:55:34 PM EST

I know. This sucks. The problem is we're one machine short right now, as one of the Scoop servers blew a drive. But hope is in sight. Since it's down anyway, we're putting a bigger drive in it and moving the database over to the formerly dead box, which has twice the processor speed and three times the memory of the current DB box. I think what's going on right now is that all of the story table indexes have outgrown the memory we can allow them, so a lot of index lookups are going to disk or temp tables, which is absolutely wiping us out at high-load times. The slower machine currently doing database duty will become a Scoop server, where less power is needed anyway.

This should have been fixed Sunday, but Voxel was shipped new drives with the wrong connectors. They should have the right ones tomorrow. I will do the switch as soon as the machine is back online. Sorry about this. :-/

____
Not the real rusty
[ Parent ]

You might consider (none / 0) (#193)
by aphrael on Wed Aug 21, 2002 at 05:59:31 PM EST

dropping a 'site news' box in, maybe under the sponsor box, which is normally empty but which can store updates like this when things are going on. It would be a pain to have to worry about it, but it would also wipe out a lot of the griping. :)

[ Parent ]
Yeah, that's a good idea (none / 0) (#194)
by rusty on Wed Aug 21, 2002 at 06:04:17 PM EST

It could just be made configurable, for people to turn off if they don't care. and if there's no news, it'd just disappear. Hmmm.

____
Not the real rusty
[ Parent ]
Cool... (none / 0) (#195)
by coryking on Wed Aug 21, 2002 at 06:33:27 PM EST

How many queries a second does your mysql server get? Thats one loaded DB server.

[ Parent ]
It depends (none / 0) (#196)
by rusty on Wed Aug 21, 2002 at 06:39:54 PM EST

It's not so much a matter of q/s as it is that the load is pretty ongoing and constant, and when one table's index suddenly grows over the memory boundary, and queries to that table start to take a long time, suddenly lots of tables and threads get tied up and it starts this like massive avalanche clusterfuck effect. It comes and goes. Right after I wrote that response above the whole thing mysteriously cleared up and started humming right along again.

My best guess for DB load is probably 15-20 queries per second, on average. At peak times (roughly 12-1PM and 4-5PM eastern) it spikes quite a bit higher than that. That is really just a guess based on knowing hit rates and having a rough idea of queries per hit, by the way, and should not be viewed as True in any necessarily real way.

Anyone know how to make mysql actually tell you how many q/s it's been doing?

____
Not the real rusty
[ Parent ]

a quick google search. (none / 0) (#197)
by /dev/trash on Wed Aug 21, 2002 at 07:29:16 PM EST

I found this:
<http://mrtg.tecnobrat.com/server.mysql.html>  Which means there must be some way to do it.

Also if you have php there is <http://www.zend.com/manual/function.mysql-stat.php>


---
Updated 02/20/2004
New Site
[ Parent ]

200th Post! (3.00 / 2) (#200)
by dram on Thu Aug 22, 2002 at 01:15:30 AM EST



-dram
[grant.henninger.name]

I want Democracy for CMF (none / 0) (#202)
by johwsun on Tue Aug 27, 2002 at 08:40:02 AM EST

...

If you don't get it... (none / 0) (#203)
by vectro on Sun Sep 01, 2002 at 11:00:15 AM EST

... are you going to stage a revolution?

“The problem with that definition is just that it's bullshit.” -- localroger
[ Parent ]
a revolution? (none / 0) (#204)
by johwsun on Mon Sep 02, 2002 at 02:37:26 AM EST

Well if you mean violance, killing e.t.c no, I detest that.

But I am going to stage a revolution, because I am going to proove that dead democrat sheeps DO vote.

[ Parent ]

Rusty is holding the keys. (none / 0) (#205)
by vectro on Mon Sep 02, 2002 at 06:56:14 PM EST

If you want to wrest control from the board of CMF in order to establish a democracy, you'll essentially need to undermine property rights in civilized countries.

Since CMF is a social construction (as all corporations are), the question of who controls it is one of law. The only way, under the law, that the bylaws can be changed to some sort of voting-based system is by amendment (or, currently, the agreement of the board).

If you don't get democracy for CMF, you say you're willing to stage a revolution. But what does that mean? In this context, it must mean that you'll attempt to overthrow governments - what else but the law can decide who controls such an entity?

“The problem with that definition is just that it's bullshit.” -- localroger
[ Parent ]

Please wait , and you will see... (none / 0) (#206)
by johwsun on Fri Sep 06, 2002 at 03:53:01 AM EST

the dead democrat sheeps voting on you...

[ Parent ]
who controls the law? (none / 0) (#207)
by johwsun on Fri Sep 06, 2002 at 04:48:12 AM EST

You said that the law can decides who controls CMF.who controls the law?

CMF can be owned by its members, isnt that legal ?..

Some things are owned by one person, but some others can be  owned by more than one persons.

[ Parent ]

Non-profits are not owned. (none / 0) (#208)
by vectro on Sat Sep 07, 2002 at 10:56:56 AM EST

That is the central principle of a non-profit: there is no ownership, there is only leadership. The bylaws establish the powers of the leadership and the ways in which it may be changed and/or perpetuated.

Rusty is essentially in a position where he can give as much or as little power outside the board as he pleases. If you don't like it, your only recourse is to change the law. And since this is such a strongly grounded one historically, such a change would require a revolution - either bloddy or otherwise.

“The problem with that definition is just that it's bullshit.” -- localroger
[ Parent ]

no no ... (none / 0) (#209)
by johwsun on Sat Sep 07, 2002 at 12:01:28 PM EST

you can find a way to avoid leadership, you know that!
For example, why is it necessary for the k5 community to be hosted under the US laws? Maybe somewhere there is another state that allows non-profit organisations to be based on democracy and not on this forced by the US law leadership.

Also the problem resides at the physical limitations k5 community has. K5 server(s) could be hosted anywhere, where disk space, memory , bandwidth and cpu are available.
But as we all now, both bandwidth and cpu and memory and disk space are available world wide, under the net umpbrella. if we use distributed protocols like freenet, or gnutella, or jtrix, or javagroups e.t.c. we could implement a decentralised k5.

So better for Rusty to forget about those legal stuffs and those necessary leaderships. Better for him, and for the community, to try to decentralise the whole scoop stuff, by reprogramming a more flexible scoop code that allows the 4 basic elements of the community (bw, memory, cpu, disk) to be allocated anywhere.

I propose javagroups or Jtrix for that purpose, but I am sure some other implementations can be found.

My moto is: Think as a programmer, not as a lawyer.  

And my other moto is: avoid the stupid violance, the DoS attacks, the blood e.t.c. If you are right, the dead democrat sheeps are going to reply to your requests, by moving the mountains and making you fly.


[ Parent ]

I will vote for rusty! (none / 0) (#210)
by johwsun on Tue Sep 10, 2002 at 01:25:20 AM EST

In rust we trust!

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