New Wiki About Page Rough Draft (need feedback!)

Hey all, I wrote up a rough draft for this new About Page that we talked about in a meeting a little while back. For those who weren’t there the idea is basically for this to be an introduction (perhaps this should be an ‘Intro’ or ‘Welcome’ page rather than ‘About’? Welcoming feedback there) to people who are new to Snowdrift, with a brief gist of the project plus some links to other wiki pages for further reading. Salt suggested’s home page as one potential model. I wasn’t sure what the easiest way to present a draft and get feedback/edit suggestions was, so for now I’ve just uploaded a .docx file here. If there is a better method for doing this process let me know and I’ll adjust accordingly.

snowdrift about page.docx (9.1 KB)

Here are some notes/questions I have, but I welcome any type of feedback or thoughts. Thanks!

  • This is just a rough draft, I wrote it and structured it in a way that felt logical to me, but I’m not locked into any one approach and am happy to try out any change, macro or micro.
    • Thoughts on headings?
  • The example that Salt sent me was much more stripped down than this, but I figured that I would start with something bigger and whittle down, rather than the other way around. So with that mind let me know if there is info that seems excessive, or alternately if there is something major that you feel I left out or overlooked.
  • I feel especially in need of help with the ‘How is Snowdrift different?’ section. I had a hard time being decisive about how best to synthesize a lot of that information, and I suspect that some of you who have been here much longer than I will have better intuition as to what info deserves prioritizing in this context
    • One specific issue is that, as Aaron mentioned already, it doesn’t seem like Kickstarter is the most prominent platform anymore, and a lot of the info already in the wiki is geared specifically towards their threshold system. But if I’m not mistaken GoFundMe doesn’t have that same threshold mechanism (i.e. if a project doesn’t meet it’s goal you still get whatever was donated). Since, to my eyes at least, GFM feels like the most prominent crowdfunder at the moment, do I need to address it in a more specific way here?
    • Also, I thought that the non-profit coop thing would be an important distinction to make here, but it’s a distinction that I don’t feel very equipped to make haha. If people do think that’s important to include here (it might not be), then I’ll need some help filling in the rest of that sentence. (i.e. why is it significant that Snowdrift is a non-profit coop, unlike these other major platforms)
  • Are there more wiki pages I should link to? Either links that would already fit in with what I wrote, or pages that would be nice to link to from this sort of an intro, and that I should try to find a way to write in.
5 Appreciations

Great work. As a part of a process here, both you understanding things and distilling it for people like yourself (interested and supportive but new to all of this), I can’t emphasize too much how valuable this is. I see overall quality writing and nice clear presentation. This is definitely going in the right direction!

Heh, that’s a non-free format. LibreOffice can open docx anyway, so it’s okay. But I urge you to switch from Microsoft Office or whatever you are using. LibreOffice is a robust and capable program. And the standard format you can use is .odt (Open Document Text) even though LibreOffice can save as docx. Note that MS Office and Google Docs and others can also open .odt so it’s the standard in general.

All that said, the real goal is to learn Markdown so you can write in the format that will end up being used on the wiki. But one step at a time.

These are very good, headings that inspire me to read because I get the point quickly and know what to expect out of reading the short couple paragraphs.

I do think this is important to highlight. I and others can help with the exact wording. The take-away is about trust in our motivations and values. It’s about highlighting that we set things up so we are truly aligned in our incentives and will have no reason to sell-out.

I think we could add a separate section like “why co-op?” that provides a very basic foundational understanding of the significance for those unfamiliar while specifying what sort of co-op this is for those who do know what co-ops are.

On “what is”

I think this is about right, just a couple minor considerations:

  • Having “metaphor” and “imagines” together seems to me too many layers of distance. Maybe “considers” instead of “imagines” or maybe “concept” instead of “metaphor”. Whatever avoids having both abstractions.
  • maybe change “but with each additional patron everyone’s pledge increases” to “but everyone’s pledges increase with each additional patron who joins the crowd.” (or drop from “who” on for shorter)

On the “what can I fund” section

This is quite good, close to what we need. A few comments on the details and on a framing we need to include more explicitly:

  • While your wording reads well, “non-rivalrous public goods” is technically redundant as non-rivalrous is part of the definition of public goods. Perhaps “…funding public goods. That includes anything non-rivalrous and open tp all, including art…”
  • “Most public goods would be best served if they were freely available to all” is technically incorrect because if they are not freely available, they are by definition no longer public goods. Perhaps “If any such works are not freely available to all, they are not public goods, they are called club goods — only available to the members of an exclusive club.” And one way to tie in both paywalls and ads is to emphasize that these are both ways to join the club, it can be a club of paid memberships but it could also be a club of whoever consents to viewing ads.
    • In fact, this is a key point that I’d like your help in successfully communicating. That you can pay with money or you can pay with your attention to ads, if either are required, it’s not freely available and not public goods. We need to stop saying that ad-encumbered things are free! It’s not free then! It has the cost of ads! If we can successfully communicate this foundation, we’ll have the essential framing in place.

On the “different” section

Good first attempt, but this section needs more reworking to accurate get at the various points. Thankfully, we put the concepts together already, we just need to summarize it better for this simple overview. Notes follow:

That impression doesn’t fit the context here. GFM is barely a competitor. It’s huge, but it’s almost always used for personal fundraising. Like someone paying their expenses for needs, like charity for individuals. Medical bills, schooling, legal filings for justice etc. In other words, GFM is not associated with funding creative work and products.

In the space of the type of things we’re looking at, Kickstarter remains prominent, and the other platform most familiar to people will be Patreon.

Anyway, we made a draft of a page of comparisons that really should get finished and published ASAP, perhaps just on the wiki is good enough. The details are pretty settled: Implement /compare page comparing to other platforms (#181) · Issues · / snowdrift · GitLab and that is the overview basics, it links to this full thing: Snowdrift Wiki - Other Crowdfunding / Fundraising Services

So, this wiki About page you are writing needs the “how different” to be essentially a short paragraph designed to highlight those two other pages. Incidentally, our research on the market is probably the most popular thing we’ve made in terms of the link shared often by people out on the internet. The full research page itself could use an editorial overhaul.

2 Appreciations

This looks great, I’m low on brainwidth for a full close-edit pass and Aaron caught a number of the items that popped up immediately. Looking forward to seeing this progress!!!