Open Collective
Open Collective
Changes coming to – please read
Published on February 9, 2023 by [email protected]

Dear members, started as a project in the early days of the pandemic to provide a commons-focused, cooperative video conferencing option running free-libre software. The project has now reached a point where the current organisational and financial structures are no longer sustainable. We (the Board of Stewards and Operational Members) have therefore made the decision to fold and end the service within the next six months.

We are hoping to find a new host organisation to step in, but what this transition looks like is still in development. We will keep you informed as our plans evolve, most directly in our forum. We are connecting with other interested co-ops to better understand our options. 

Our overriding goal in this transition process is to ensure that existing members can continue to enjoy the service in the knowledge that it is being managed by an organisation that is aligned with the founding values and principles of the project.  

What does this mean for members of

We are cultivating two scenarios:

  1. Finding another co-op to take on as it exists now, i.e., a BigBlueButton platform service, and a multi-stakeholder co-op with a community of members. This would likely result in some minor disruptions and process changes, but the service would be available to members through the transition. We don’t know whether the brand would continue, but the service, and perhaps the community, would.  

  2. Identifying other tech co-operatives that provide similar services, and encouraging members to take up with one of them instead. This option means that you would no longer be using as a service; however, you could still support other commons-focused platforms. These co-ops would offer video-conferencing services, but they might not be BBB-based. We would aim to give you at least three months notice in this case before closing our service, so you have time to adopt another video conferencing option. 

We’ve accomplished great things in the past three years, starting from an idea, prototyping some practices, and proving that there is a demand for services outside the Big Tech paradigm. Thank you for joining us in this wild and evolving journey! We could not have made it this far without your support and belief in the project. 

Please post any questions you have in the forum thread. We’ll update you and invite responses, as we know more. Ops Members

Members of the Board of Stewards

Juan Luis Cano Rodríguez

Posted on February 9, 2023

Hi folks, this is really sad news and I'm sorry you've reached this point. Could you share more details on what exactly caused it? Was the service not financially sustainable? Should the membership fees have been higher? Or are there other logistics or organizational problems?
👍️  2

Dawn Walker

Posted on February 10, 2023

I posted something on fediverse: but wanted to also share here:

My gratitude for all of you who have been working on this service over the last 3 years. 🙏🏼 
Video conferencing is hard and expensive to get right, and that can be difficult to position against lower cost proprietary options. Very impressive what you all achieved with a multi-stakeholder coop model. Likewise I hope at some point you are able to share more about the constraints and challenges.

Benjamin Melançon

Posted on March 17, 2023

See more detail and discussion at (linked in the body above) and in particular:

Glad to be a member of and want to raise my colleague Micky's is the most compatible in the focus on Big Blue Button and cooperative aspirations, and i am encouraging the team there to put in a serious offer to be the new operational home of, keeping the essential cooperative aspects.

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