Membership is a recognition by the co-op that an individual has demonstrated a commitment to bring value to the co-op.
- pledging to build the co-op or use its services
- engagement on forum
- sharing ideas for features
- promoting the co-op and its artists
- money spent by a user to purchase credits on the player
- time spent on forum
- number of posts on forum
- number of posts read on forum
- number of songs uploaded current artist-member standard
- number of minutes of music uploaded
- number of playlists created
- hours of labor contributed to co-op projects current worker-member standard
- hours of labor contributed via independent projects
- testing software
- delivering a feature for the player
- completing an Epic or other work project
- caring for people
- building relationships
- offering feedback or amendments to other’s ideas
- buying supporter shares
- making a yearly donation current listener-member standard
- amount of credits an artist has earned on Player
- amount of credits a listener has spent listening
- number of plays by other users on playlists you’ve created
- A new worker-member must receive majority approval of existing worker-members (governance process)
- A new listener-member must be approved by the board to confirm provisional membership (rubber stamp)
- A new artist-member must be approved by the board to confirm provisional membership (rubber stamp)
If a membership standard leans toward unmeasurable and input-based, it needs a human accountability process. For this reason, this type of membership can only be granted to people who can be known personally by those providing the accountability. This means that these types of values should only be used for Worker-Member group, a group expected to be much smaller than the others.
If a membership standard is measurable and output-based, it does not necessarily need a personal, human accountability process.
A related issue is the determination of dividends. A co-op’s dividends tend to be paid out proportionally to a member’s contributions to the co-op, whether through their production, consumption, labor, etc.
The less measurable our standards are for contribution, the harder it will be to work out these proportions, leading to burdensome administration and arbitrary outcomes.
Our current membership standards have glitches. And few of them are measurable in a way that guarantees value for the co-op.
Many artists don’t release music every year, so our current “upload a song every year” rule doesn’t work for them at all. Meanwhile, their previous year’s album could be doing great on Resonate, but they lose membership anyway.
Our rules seem to arbitrarly reward or punish different players. Why are only Listeners expected to pay a yearly fee when they are already spending money on the platform? Why do paid workers have to contribute more labor hours than volunteers? Why does an artist who uploads one song per year (which perhaps gets zero plays) get the same vote as an artist who uploaded their whole catalog?
Money shouldn’t be the only kind of contribution we recognize. Nevertheless, I feel it would be more egalitarian to make contributing money a fall-back membership option for everyone at the co-op, rather than it being arbitrarily put upon Listener-Members.
I’d make it standard for all to contribute, say, 20 EUR a year (with 15 EUR and 10 EUR pricing tiers for countries with less powerful currencies).
However, there would also be various ways you could earn membership each year to save yourself the standard membership fee. For example:
Are you an artist and your plays generated enough revenue that you automatically “earned” membership in 2021? Awesome!
But what if 2022 hits and you don’t get enough plays? Well, you can contribute money then. Great. You still pitched in.
What I do think we should be able to get Resonate folks to agree on is that we want a co-operative where (1) a person is able to contribute in a variety of ways and where (2) a person should be able to retain membership each year by making a contribution which is practical to them at that time.
Whether our multi-stakeholder model helps or hinders this goal is unclear to me.