wiki:faq/membership-organization

Version 1 (modified by Jamie McClelland, 11 years ago) (diff)

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What is a membership organization? How much do you charge for services?

Membership Organization

May First/People Link is a membership organization.

To us, a membership organization is a loose coalition of individuals and groups that have joined forces based on a commitment to common goals or ideas. In our case, we are united around a statement of unity. Our political goals are furthered outlined in our book, The Organic Internet. Being a member of May First/People Links means supporting the goals put forth in the statement of unity and the further development of the ideas explored in the Organic Internet.

One of the benefits of membership in May First/People Link is Internet hosting. May First/People Link members are entitled to web, email, email list, database, and many other forms of hosting. These services are funded by the pool of money collected as membership dues. May First/People Link staff make decisions on how best to allocated the resources given the amount of money collected, the needs of the collective membership, and the needs of individual members. All decisions are discussed publicly here on this ticket tracking system. Any member (or non-member) is free to view or even participate in the process.

Pricing

Many people ask us: how much does X cost? How much will you charge me if I go over Y?

These are reasonable questions given the way we are used to understanding the Internet and capitalism. Most corporate Internet service providers have tables and charts showing you how much per megabyte or transfered kbit or service foo they will charge you.

We don't have those charts because we don't operate on an individual basis - we operate on a collective basis. We can't tell you how much extra it will cost for that extra 100 MB because all of our costs are aggregated and then divided based on need.

Most of our members share servers. While every member has their own private and secure email box (or boxes) and web sites and databases - these resources often shared the same physical server. If one member really needs an extra 100 MB, or is experiencing an unusually high web site load, it is often easily offset by a dip in services for other members on the same server.

Most of our members are organizations with staff sizes between 2 and 15. If you are an organization of this size (or smaller), unless you are doing something very unusual on the Internet you will not run into any resource limits or constraints.

If your use of our shared resources is so intensive as to affect other members we may need to contact you and may request additional membership contributions to offset the resources used. In all cases we will work with you to come up with a solution that makes economic sense for you and May First/People Link.

The only example of individualized services common at May First/People Link is the use of dedicated servers. Several members either operate their own servers in our rack or hire us to manage their own dedicated server. We also operate "virtual" servers - allowing several members to have their own server while only running one physical server. This method allows members with very special needs to have complete control over their servers.