“Ask not when Snowdrift.coop will be launched, but what you can do to get there.”
We've been pretty quiet for the past… er… five(?) years. We'll share more details and what we have been doing and our current status soon™.
For now, a look forward: We're finally gearing up for a push toward our alpha launch. Snowdrift.coop itself is the first project and we'll add others soon afterwards.
To get launched, we can use your help with these things:
Running the organization
Governance: Co-op + Volunteer Wrangling
In a single-person project, it's obvious who makes decisions. Adding a second person also adds more options — maybe all big decisions need consensus, or maybe one person leads, or maybe each person has a different focus.
Snowdrift.coop has a core team of eight volunteers. It's been challenging to decide how to distribute authority.
- With this many people, consensus is very time-consuming, especially for volunteers. It's tough to put together a coherent, focused plan for getting launched this way.
- On the other hand, the BDFL model is common in FLO software development. While effective, it doesn't fit with our democratic, cooperative values.
While our team is large, we're mostly new to running cooperatives or democratic volunteer organizations. We would appreciate the perspective of anyone who's been involved with (running) a co-op or similar organization; a list of references to research is a poor substitute for personal experience.
Bylaws + Legal Incorporation
We are working on finishing our incorporation as a nonprofit cooperative in Michigan, USA. This mostly involves writing bylaws based on the decision-making choices we end up making above.
Legal expertise isn't required to help with this. However, if you are a lawyer (or law student, etc.) and can help reduce the amount of time we need to spend with our lawyer, the bank account would appreciate it.
Front-end: Elm + Html + CSS (Tailwind)
One long-outstanding blocker has been that our current front-end tech stack is not maintainable (by us, anyway). We've finally taken the plunge and begun re-writing it
There is also some content that needs to be updated before launch:
Back-end: Haskell (Yesod, Persistent) + Postgres + Stripe
We don't plan to migrate away from Haskell and Postgres for our backend, and the current functionality is reliable. However, we will need to update how the backend interacts with the post-rewrite frontend.
A few backend tasks also remain before we're production-ready— mainly around Stripe interaction. In theory everything works, but we need to verify that this is actually the case (e.g., adding Stripe integration tests, so that we can be confident it stays working).
…And some updates to our auth system:
Deployment/sysadmin: CiviCRM + GitLab CI + …
While our team technically has the expertise to manage our infrastructure, it's a big drain on our limited volunteer time. Sysadmin help would reduce bottlenecks and speed up the pace of development.
Please Get in Touch
Social Support + Networking
The easiest way to help is to just come chat. It helps— Really!
- Having a social space filled with people who care about public goods is energizing, regardless of the conversation topic.
- Keeping in touch with like-minded folks leaves the door open to make connections and find opportunities we might otherwise miss.
This post has been heavy on the specifics of what we need to launch. However, it's important to step back and remember our goal: to demonstrate that solving coordination problems is possible. And that requires people to join us. In other words:
“Better for Snowdrift.coop to succeed politically and fail technically than the other way around.”
Matrix/IRC + Forum
If you're interested in helping with any of the areas listed above, or connecting more generally, come chat with us on Matrix at
#snowdrift:matrix.org and/or introduce yourself on our Discourse forum. We are also happy to answer questions on any specific GitLab issues you would like to work on.