State of the Snowdrift 2023

Two whole years ago, we posted about What needs to launch. It's still mostly relevant. The core team of volunteers have had a couple years of distracting life challenges: births, moves, job changes, health issues, family medical crises… Still, we at least kept checking in every week and clearing a few shovels of snow here and there.

Governance and legal stuff: We updated our Articles of Incorporation, did some drafting on our still incomplete Bylaws, one Director stepped down, a couple volunteers on hiatus… We're not totally stuck, but help would be quite welcome. This remains a struggle.

Historically, we have done tons of valuable work on optimizing team and community communication, decision making, health, and related topics. Now, that work is getting updated and consolidated in improved form as a separate FLO project since it really is not Snowdrift-specific. More on that some day soon…

Web development: we still are running the stagnant old site built in Yesod (a Haskell web framework), but has an incomplete, in-progress demo of what we intend to get in place to ease our web development workflow (it uses Elm and Typescript, repo is at When that gets to its next milestone, we might see more rapid progress from then on.

We do have another update, though we're being quiet about it (we're still pretending that this mention here is not a "real" announcement): we began actually processing crowdmatching charges. Some of us have been pledged long enough that our monthly amounts have added up to several dollars over the years. By charging the oldest patrons one-by-one, we are testing things and making sure the experience is okay enough. So far, so good. We've made minor improvements with the feedback. If you are one of the longest-term of the current 160 patrons, you will hear from us about this sometime soon. And once we get the initial co-op rules settled, these patrons who have actually donated through crowdmatching will be the first eligible co-op members.

What else do we need to clear the road for smooth travel going forward? A careful and well-described assessment would be nice but is itself yet another task. We do have a couple new links that provide some broad perspectives on the overall situation of

I was a guest on the Sustain OSS podcast:
The focus there is an overview of's history and general attitude and struggles from a personal perspective.

In July, I gave a presentation at FOSSY (the Free Open Source Software Yearly) conference in Portland, OR. The talk covered public-goods economics,, cooperation, and more (unfortunately not great lighting in the video, but the presentation itself went well, and audio is clear).

The FOSSY talk included a rushed summary of a longer economics talk I gave at LibrePlanet 2022: Why our economy fails public goods like free software (especially oriented toward a software-freedom-focused audience but also aiming for broad perspectives on economic topics).

The slides from both talks are linked at the bottom of

Next, the updated ideas discussed in those talks need to be incorporated into updates to the website and wiki and elsewhere. Whatever else happens with this project, the more people understand the issues well, the better the chances for society finding solutions.

May go on to make enough efficient progress to really achieve whatever its potential turns out to be… We are still here, and the problems we are working to solve still remain…

As always, you can get involved in many ways. It can help just to come by the forum or Matrix room or elsewhere to encourage those of us doing the shoveling. Critical questions and feedback are always welcome too. And if you're up for directly helping to shovel the snow, you can fill out our volunteer form.