TiddlyWiki is using Open Collective as part of an experiment in community funded support and development of major new features, plugins or community infrastructure. Open Collective is a platform for transparent fundraising and expenses for projects like TiddlyWiki.
As a general fundraising strategy, i applaud this initiative, but would like to know more about how it works (have browsed the links, but am not finding such details), regarding:
Governance of the decisions regarding how money contributed to the general fund is spent; and
Regarding particular projects on the TW platform, how do they get launched, and -again- governed.
Regarding (2) above: i have myself contributed, in context of a particular project (tiddlywiki-on-fission), and i think this mechanism could be useful in support of other projects (e.g. this GTD-on-TW5 idea seems a winner to me ;-), but i wonder what would be the procedure for launching such an initiative. ?
Hi Walt, excellent questions and I am very glad you have brought them up. The entire process is still an experiment that needs our engagement as a community.
What I share below are my personal thoughts only and much of it is just thinking out loud.
I think the governance of decisions regarding how money contributed to the general fund is spent is something that we as a community need to discuss and help reach consensus on. Personally, I would be very happy for this to be allocated to Jeremy or be left at this discretion in light of the enormous amount of work put into the project.
Regarding launching particular projects, I think the first step is for there to be interest from the community. We probably don’t want a plethora of options at Open Collective lest they become difficult to navigate, so at first maybe we need to be somewhat selective about which new projects to support until we have learnt our way around this as a community. I think the primary requirements that might make sense are:
a well defined user problem or vision of what is desired.
a threshold of users who express the desire or need for the project and the willingness to work on it or support it, which could be as low a number as we thought appropriate.
someone (one or more) with good standing in the community who volunteered to govern the project in terms of how it is run, what precisely is being developed and fundraised for, who does the work and who ensures the quality of the work, and how the funds raised are allocated. We need to make sure that any project supported in this manner has a reasonable chance of success.
A secondary requirement would be to find volunteers and/or semi-paid community members to work on the actual implementation.
It definitely seems like there is some interest there, and to try to support an edition via Open Collective would be very interesting. I think a good first step would be for a person or person(s) from the community to take the lead on establishing consensus around what exactly the user needs are and what the requirements are for meeting those needs, to better define the work that needs to happen.
With that in place, it would make sense to then request that the project be added to Open Collective, with that decision perhaps resting with Jeremy (and maybe Boris?). Ultimately it would be good to develop a community governance model for this so that it is the community that makes these judgement calls, following some guidelines and norms that have been established.
Thanks all for engaging with this. I haven’t been able to find people to take this on with me other than the usual suspects of Saq and Jeremy. The work to be done is to help run a vetting, marketing, and governance program. No technical skills are required. I would like to have a 6 month commitment to start.
I agree with @saqimtiaz’s suggested flow with a slight nuance. We can get started by having one or more individuals propose the project, have a review, and then it can be added as a sub-project.
We don’t need to wait for a technical implementor: the first step is raising some minimum funds.
For Editions, this may be large enough for its own OpenCollective (which can in turn also flow some funds to the core TW OC), or it could just be a project.
The Twitter Archivist is “small enough” to be just a project.
As for disbursement, Jeremy has indicated that he mostly wants to see other contributors to be able to invoice and get funded so that there are more people who get at least honorariums for work done.
Again: while this sounds to me like a promising direction, i’m still pretty fuzzy on the basics of OC mechanics in our context -so please forgive my n00b questions. Regarding this statement:
Q: What is the difference between “own OpenCollective” and “just a project”?
Q2: And how would the former “flow some funds to the core OC”?
As one who contributed to the “TiddlyWiki on Fission” project (? i guess it WAS a project… But having just logged into my OC account after a long time away, i see no sign of that project), i was never entirely clear about how that money ($5/month for 12 months) flowed, but i presumed that it went to @boris &/or others who may have written code for that particular project -yes?
Now on the OC page for TiddlyWikiDotOrg i see my own icon featured rather prominently in the gallery of “Top Financial Contributors,” though i’ve given relatively little, and that only to (i thought) a specific (i.e. non-core) project. This says to me that there is no mechanism for flowing funds to a specific Project (e.g. an Edition?), unless it has its “own Open Collective” -correct?
Q3: And what is the process for getting either a Project, or an “own OpenCollective” up on the TWdotOrg site, to attract some funding for itself? Is it indeed for @jeremyruston (and maybe @boris ) to approve, as @saqimtiaz suggests above?
I guess some of these questions are still being figured out, but i’d just like to see them get addressed (by&by, no urgency here ), in a definitive way that might get nailed-up somewhere so all interested parties can be clear about the rules of this game. Will be great to see some more significant funds flowing to developers of this amazing platform!
NB: Much as i like your RFI (indeed i see significant potential synergy w/ mine), i chose not to follow that template, but rather to take a more market-oriented/ less developer-driven approach to the problem. I’ll be curious to see the sorts of responses that will be generated by these two different approaches.
 It seems to me that a script for Static Publishing to a GitHub Pages site could potentially be the best way to achieve the need for cloud sync that my RFI calls for -if i’m understanding yours right (?)
I am not sure that I see it as a transition is to a costed model from the existing one, but rather as:
Making the current model sustainable.
Generating the means (financial and personnel) to address the shortcomings in TiddlyWiki - the product, its features and associated documentation and community infrastructure. As a community we frequently discuss these issues but never manage to make any real progress towards addressing them. This would be an important step in that direction.
I use tiddlywiki.com for all my go to for new release info, discovering this talk forum, github links, plugins, saving mechanisms, WikiText references, filter documentation, etc. I use tiddlywiki.com/dev is for developer docs.
I didn’t even know tiddlywiki.org was something maintained or used to convey news and updates.
These are some of the ideas being considered to better highlight how users can support TiddlyWiki:
adding a banner in the GettingStarted tiddler in empty.html that leads either to a relevant tiddler on TiddlyWiki or to the Open Collective directly.
incorporating Open Collective statistics into TiddlyWiki.com as part of the build process.
adding a fourth sentence at the beginning of the HelloThere tiddler on tw-com that talks about the open source nature of TiddlyWiki and how it is funded.
a banner link in HelloThere or the sidebar on tw-com that leads to a tiddler explaining how users can support TiddlyWiki financially, and also ties in with the proposed marketplace.
One of the other ideas that has come is that it would be interesting to have a fortnightly or monthly newsletter that discusses what is new in the TiddlyWiki community and is perhaps published on tw-com or linked from it. This however would need an editor(s) to lead the effort and if there was interest from someone in taking it on, further details could be discussed.