Oct 17
What we have in Gamergate is a glimpse of how these skirmishes will unfold in the future—all the rhetorical weaponry and siegecraft of an internet comment section brought to bear on our culture, not just at the fringes but at the center. What we’re seeing now is a rehearsal, where the mechanisms of a toxic and inhumane politics are being tested and improved. Tomorrow’s Lee Atwater will work through sock puppets on IRC. Tomorrow’s Sister Souljah will get shouted down with rape threats. Tomorrow’s Tipper Gore will make an inexplicably popular YouTube video. Tomorrow’s Willie Horton ad will be an image macro, tomorrow’s Borking a doxing, tomorrow’s Moral Majority a loose coalition of DoSers and robo-petitioners and scat-GIF trolls—all of them working feverishly in service of the old idea that nothing should ever really change.
- The future of the culture wars is here and it’s gamergate

Figuring Out Compensation for Open Source Projects

After OpenFarm ran a successful Kickstarter campaign1, we realized we could suddenly pay the people contributing to our project.

Like any open source project, OpenFarm has core contributors and casual contributors. Unlike most open source projects, we’re a community that will rely heavily on contributors from outside of the programming tribe. OpenFarm aims to be community driven - not just a website - with people contributing who have never programmed a line of code. This is a challenge, and I love it.

On the other hand, we’re interested in exploring what it means to be an open company, not just an open source company. This means that we’ll be exploring public finances and records. Public meetings and public discussions. This while keeping safety and consent as our primary goals for all participants2. Trust is more important to us than open-ness.

All of this while compensating people equitably, meeting personal diversity requirements, and building an awesome product. How do you make sure that the people working on your project are on the same page? How do you make sure they get compensated for the same amount of work, especially when work is incredibly diverse? How do you ensure that everyone gets a chance to contribute to your project, not just those with the most privilege and free time?

We’ve been having some fantastic conversations across a variety of channels, and as things develop, I’m excited to talk a bit more about how they’re going, what decisions we’re making, and how we got to each point.

  1. OpenFarm on Kickstarter. An other post is in order discussing why our campaign was “successful”. 

  2. On Open Companies, Consent, and Safety (among other things) 

Oct 10
In order for a social media service to succeed at advertising, they need to do something that I don’t think a lot of services are doing: they need to carefully examine the social economy of their service. The people who are making the decisions about what ad products to introduce on the service need to understand, completely and thoroughly, what it is that their content creators want — and then they need to deliver it. To avoid driving away their content creators and reducing the amount of content they have available to sell, social media sites are going to have to start caring a hell of a lot more about delivering fair market value — however their particular service’s users have come to define ‘fair market value’.
- Why Monetizing Social Media Through Advertising is Doomed to Failure

Sep 29
A venture-capital funded startup is a temporary company that has to convince enough people into using their platform so that they can make good on the exit they promised their investors at the very beginning. It is the opposite of a long-term, sustainable business.
- Aral Balkan, Ello-goodbye

Aug 22

In this culture we are socialized to believe that really important people have a right to be self-absorbed, to think their needs and concerns are more important than others’.

Third World Diva Girls, Yearning. bell hooks


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