Open Collective
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Financial Simplification
Published on April 5, 2024 by Michael Stanclift

To all vmst.io members who have been contributing to our operations using Open Collective for the past year, thank you.

Active members may have seen us add and remove things to our offerings in the 18 months we've been in operation. Our focus is on providing a robust, highly available Mastodon platform that gives our members the latest features of that platform before almost anyone else on the Fediverse. We relay heavily so when you go look for content from other servers you're more likely to find it. We try to moderate proactively so you're not dealing with unwanted content in your timeline. We go beyond basic Mastodon by offering third-party hosted client access like Elk, Phanpy, Tangerine and Elephant (Bird UI).

You've probably seen us try some things to see if they add value to our members, like our Matrix and WriteFreely services that turned out to be more cumbersome to administrate vs the amount of usage they received. Other services have been decommissioned because they are no longer updated by their developers, like Semaphore.

After some consideration of how to simplify our financial operations, we're going to be focused on monthly subscription methods as this provides a more predictable income model. As a result, if you had a yearly subscription through Open Collective you will no longer be billed when those would have come up for renewal.

We've also decided to focus on Ko-Fi and Patreon as our primary subscription methods. Overall, only a handful of our members have been using Open Collective and only one had an active monthly subscription vs ad-hoc or yearly. Both of our other options have more robust API and cleaner reporting abilities that allow us to easier manage our finances.

I understand that some of you may be frustrated by this change, or use this as an opportunity to re-evaluate your subscription to vmst.io and that is understandable. I absolutely value everyone who helps keep our Mastodon instance online. I hope you'll take a moment to review https://docs.vmst.io/funding and use one of our other methods to continue your membership when you can.

If you have any questions or concerns, please feel free to reach out to me directly.

Thanks,
Michael
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