Let’s discuss Open Co-ops and Commons on Discourse!

At a recent Solidarity Economy event hosted by Locality and organised by Pat Conaty, Robin Murray put a tenner on the table and encouraged others to join him in order that we can together create the first UK based member of RIPESS Europe, the European wing of RIPESS, the Intercontinental Network for the Promotion of the Social Solidarity Economy. I thought it was a great idea, but no one else (including me – I had no cash in my pocket) took up the challenge.

Inspired by Robin and by the many wonderful (but messy) cc email list conversations that I’ve had the privilege or being part of with you all about open co-ops, the commons, synergia and the convergence of movements etc, I decided to reach out and ask you to support the cost of hosting an instance of the excellent open source discussion platform discourse so that these discussion can happen in a more productive environment (thanks also Gary Alexander for repeatedly pointing out that email is really not an ideal medium for such discussions: it is hard to follow threads you get cc’d into half-way through, or to find specific posts, or for particularly good posts to rise to the top etc etc etc)

Discourse is the leading open source platform for online discussions – it has loads of very well thought out and nicely designed features designed to make online conversation work better (whilst still working well with email). You can check it out and read all about at https://www.discourse.org/ but it is basically the best attempt at combining modern web design with the best of forums and email lists.

Discourse is, however, also quite resource intensive and relatively tricky to set-up. Thankfully they’ve made it as easy as possible by creating step-by-step instructions of how to get an instance up and running on https://www.digitalocean.com

The cheapest package that Discourse can run on (it needs at least 1GB of RAM) is the $10/mo package (see https://www.digitalocean.com/pricing/ ).

Therefore, in order to cover the costs hosting of a modern platform at https://discuss.open.coop for us all to continue on-going discussions about open co-ops, commons, synergia etc on discourse for a year we’d just need to raise $120 (about £80) – if everyone I’ve sent this post to chipped in just £1 we’d more than reach that target, but please do contribute more and/ or make a regular contribution if you can.

You can contribute using GoCardless here:

£GBP [obr_gocardless_link]

Many thanks in advance,

In co-operation and solidarity,


Note: I suggest any surplus contributions above and beyond covering the costs of hosting an instance of discource go into a Commons Creation Fund which we can decide together how best to spend using Cobudget

4 thoughts on “Let’s discuss Open Co-ops and Commons on Discourse!”

    1. Hi Sam,

      Thanks for your interest.

      We raised enough money and we’ve actually had an instance of Discourse up at https://discuss.open.coop/ for quite a while now – just haven’t had any time to seed it with intro/ welcome messages and get the word out! :-/

      Hopefully I’ll find a bit more time to dedicate to this soon… although not sure when that’ll be given I’m about to become the main carer for my very nearly 1 yr baby daughter as my my goes up to 3 days a week at work…

      Watch this space!



      1. Oliver Sylvester-Bradley

        The Open Co-op instance of “Discourse’ is now fully up and running 🙂
        Please feel free to join in the discussions about Co-ops, commons and all things open at:
        It’s free and easy to join…

  1. Pingback: Articles from FB Posts | @ITGeek on ... most everything/anything

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *