0. what is your nickname?
1. what is the name of the collective you are going to talk about to answer these questions?
I'm a general member of staff in the worker cooperative Aptivate (http://aptivate.org/en/about/core-values/) which was founded in 2002. I also participate in https://varia.zone/ which is an artist run organisation in Rotterdam which is hosting a number of libre services for members. https://homebrewserver.club/pages/about.html is also run from there.
2. In what year was your collective created?
3. Any events in your collective history you would like to mention? (for example, how many times have your servers been confistated, or your premises raided…? And how did you survive this?
I've only a new member but I'm sure there are some ...
4. In the present, how many admins are there in your collective? How many of these are volunteers, how many are paid?
Aptivate: ~10 members (some part-time, one on maternity leave now). There are 6 of us who work as admins (although we do a lot of other things, so it would feel weird to call ourselves that). Most work full-time (equal pay for all members). A number of staff started as volunteers as mentioned on http://aptivate.org/en/about/join-us/. All volunteers are paid AFAIK (no volunteers since I started).
Varia: ~8 members. ~3 do the admin work. All volunteers, no one is paid, each member pushes their own practice and trys to share this with the rest for collaboration. This result is typically sharing work/fun, workshops, events, etc. All volunteers pay into a common fund to support the organisation.
5. What services do you offer?
Aptivate: https://econsensus.org, https://github.com/aptivate/kashana (self-hosting).
Varia: https://git.vvvvvvaria.org, http://pad.vvvvvvaria.org/.
6. Roughly how many users do you have?
Aptivate: Unsure. No more than 50, I guess.
Varia: Unsure, no more than 50, I guess.
7. What kind of users do you aim for?
Aptivate: Anyone who is motivated to use those services.
Varia: People who interact with Varia for now.
8. What backup mechanisms do you use in case your servers catch fire?
Aptivate: Daily http://duplicity.nongnu.org/ full machine backups offsite. Might move to https://borgbackup.readthedocs.io/en/stable/ (but this is under discussion). We also use our hosting provider snapshots/backups/whatever they provide for other limited amounts of backup.
Varia: None so far, as I know of! It's coming up for discussion for sure.
9. Do you charge for services? / How do you fund to cover expenses?
Aptivate: Free. Mostly get paid through funding to work on projects.
10. If you are a volunteer, would you work comfortably within a network where collectives employ people?
Yes. No issues as long as we're working towards common goals with the same motivations.
11. If you are a in a collective that employs people, would you work comfortably with collectives with only volunteers?
Aptivate: I think Aptivate would want to share the funding if we work together. For example, we are users of git.coop (hosted by webarchitects) and it is freely available if you are a member. We started a public discussion around supporting their maintenance because we rely on the service. You can see that at https://members.webarchitects.coop/t/git-coop-support-plan-for-members/47.
Varia: Yes. No issue there. All volunteers anyway.
12. How do you decide, how are hierarchies within your collective?
Aptivate: All decisions made by consensus.
Varia: There is a board and then there are members. There are general meetings and votes etc. I'm a new member and it is still forming but at it stands, it is board > members :).
13. Would you sign these manifestos?
Haven't time to read them now but will look. I often agree with what both those organisations say and do.
14. what you would want from the project of this syndicate / network of tech collectives?
A similar feel to https://www.coops.tech/ (a network of technology based cooperatives in the UK). A platform for sharing information, techniques, discussions (and parties) but broader membership (not focussed explicitly on the UK). A way to share work load (X collective not good at Y but Z collective can pick it up) and to approach funding and projects together (submit proposals as a syndicate and self-organise to get it done).
EDIT: A group of people who are willing to share resources to take on work that won't be paid but is worth doing.
15. Would you work comfortably in this network if the network itself employed worker/s?
Tricky one! We're still discussing this in https://www.coops.tech/. It really depends what the function of the network is. For example, CoTech is primiarly functioning as a work sharing platform right now between coops so there is no real benefit to employ anyone to do anything 'for the network', since we're all out doing our own thing. It's a good discussion though.
16. Where are your servers hosted?
Aptivate: US based with https://www.linode.com/ (historical reasons) but there was talk of https://www.hetzner.com though.
Varia: Self-hosted in the space.