Gaia Host Collective is shutting down as of August 1, 2019

I was alerted to this sad announcement by @nicksellen:

After 15 years of service, Gaia Host Collective LLC will be shutting down operations as of August 1, 2019

https://gaiahost.coop/help

It is worth reading the reasons for their decision to see if we can learn some lessons, we could also offer to help migrate some of their clients, I have dropped Charles a email about this.

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Wow. I had been hearing about the steep dropoff in support from some potential Agaric clients, and had reached out to Charles a month ago— didn’t hear back, unsurprisingly, as i’m a lower priority than Gaia’s clients! I wonder if Charles is going to be involved with BeCooperative? It’s strange for a startup that doesn’t even have any web presence at all to be the default choice otherwise.

I’m glad Gaia mentioned May First as an option, especially as it is finally becoming a cooperative in its legal structure: with organization, individual, and worker members. As well as Electric Embers, of course, a worker-coop like Gaia Host was.

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Too bad. Just FYI, It doesn’t look like May First will actually be becoming a co-op; see the current state of the discussion here. But it will become a more appropriately structured democratic membership organization, which I believe puts it very much in solidarity with the global cooperative movement. I know they want to share that solidarity.

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Huh, i made the first four or so meetings and have missed all the remainder. But the bylaws themselves seem to fit within what would qualify as a multi-stakeholder cooperative while maintaining its status as a non-profit. I thought it was generally accepted in the cooperative movement that a nonprofit could be a co-op; do you disagree or is there something else missing (direct reference to the 7 cooperative principles in the bylaws)? Because @FreeScholar and the people in the conversation you linked to (and the title of the conversation) are still talking coop, so if the mark is going to be missed everyone better know where and why! If you could take the discussion to the thread… sorry about abusing this thread.

Totally—I personally, and I think the co-op movement generally, believe in embracing orgs that practice co-op values and logics regardless of their legal form. I was just clarifying that because you said “becoming a cooperative in its legal structure,” which generally means incorporating under a co-op statute. That was being discussed, but it was largely decided that retaining the nonprofit structure would be most appropriate. (I agree, since there is not need for distributions to members.) But you can clearly see from the discussion that folks understand this as a shift toward more closely aligning with the co-op movement. In fact, I’ve thought that MF operates more like a good co-op more than many legal co-ops I know!

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I have the impression from re-reading the page that he must be, I found this interesting:

BeCooperative is being formed as a hybrid consumer-owned and worker-owned cooperative, but customers will not be required to have a consumer ownership share.

This is exactly the same model that Webarchitects has. I wonder if an admin here could send Charles an invite to join this forum?

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Always sad to hear of a co-op winding up, but sounds like this was the best way forward for all concerned in this case. I remember working with Charles on a project with the ICA which must have been back in 2004 maybe. At that point they were the only cooperative hosting provider that I was aware of. The BeCooperative project sounds interesting - as you say @chris very similar to Webarchitects.

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