I was watching the introductory video for the nth time and, although I really love the graphics (kudos to the designer), I find the narration is really missing the point.
First of all, what is said from 0:00 to 0:24 could be said of a lot of crowdfunding platforms (Tipeee, Liberapay, OpenCollective…) so it looks like SnowDrift is trying to address a problem that a lot of services have already dealt with.
I don’t see how the reference to advertisement applies either to music, research, and esp. free software where, I think, it is hardly every used.
What bothers me the most is what smichel17 reports from family members in a related thread:
I think the introductory video should make that point very clear.
And the analogy of
funding public goods = cooperation on a snowdrift
is not clear. The fact that we start with a road with ads and cameras make it more confusing again. The visual metaphor is too complicated for someone who doesn’t already know the chicken game and would be more understandable if translated into a explicit comparison, with the narration matching precisely what is displayed in the animation.
I would say something in that spirit:
A lot of us would like to contribute to public good. We would be eager to give to a beggar, a charity, a project we like, a free software we use, or a video creator whose videos we watch. But there is always this little voice in our head: am I being the sucker? Why would I donate my precious money? Imagine if you wanted to drive where a lot of snow has rendered the road impracticable. Would you clear it all by yourself? Or would you rather every driver to join forces and participate in the shoveling? States solve this problem through public taxation. Companies solve this problem by making the user pay in a form or another, either through paywalls, advertisement or selling user data. But what if you don’t want companies’ advertisements and paywalls, and the State isn’t interested in funding things you want, like free software development, ad-independent journalism, independent research, or DRM-free music? Are you doomed to choose between being a parasite free-rider and being a sucker? That’s where snowdrift.coop comes into play: you start shoveling just a little, and wait for others to join in to shovel more and clear the road completely. This way, each one shovels about the same amount, and no one feels they are taken advantage of.
When I discovered SnowDrift, it really reminded me of Cipolla’s 5 Basic Laws of Human Stupidity:
Where the users that contributes or donate falls in the “helpless people” category, and the user that neither contributes nor donate falls in the “bandits” category.
To me, SnowDrift could to make us fall in the “intelligent people” category.
This makes me think of the idiom:
“You scratch my back and I’ll scratch yours”
which in French would translate by:
“C’est donnant-donnant” (= Tit for tat)
I think that is what should be conveyed by the intro video.