Answers from Hostsharing eG
These are questions that will be very helpful if they are answered for each invited collective, so the more questions you answer the better, but it is not a condition to answer all the questions. It will help the rest of us see who else is here in this project and may encourage others to join too (or not, who knows)
Please answer them in order; if you want to leave a gap just put the number and ‘no answer’ or similar.
0. what is your nickname?(you can add your twitter, mastodon, riot or whatever identity you may be known by)
1. what is the name of the collective you are going to talk about to answer these questions?
In what year was your collective created?
In the year 2000.
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?
We had no issues so far.
2. In the present, how many admins are there in your collective? How many of these are volunteers, how many are paid?
Five, all of them are paid, some work parttime but do additional voluntary work.
3. What services do you offer?
Managed Operations Platform for private and professional hosting:
Managed Webspace + Managed Server,
contemporary security updates and Debian Upgrades,
Let's Encrypt integration by default,
HSAdmin (we developed HSAdmin as a tool for user administration that can be used by our members, it is open source).
Data Security Infrastructure:
high availabilitiy through 3 different datacenter locations, redundant networks and Hot-Standby servers,
backup at a 500 km distant datacenter,
back-up service, 14 days back,
high security hosting is one of our main purposes.
4. Roughly how many users do you have?
Currently we have round about 180 cooperative members, some of them in turn redistribute hosting services to their customers, so in sum we have several thousand users.
5. What kind of users do you aim for?
Digital businesses, web agencies, web developers. We also welcome private users, who often join us for the ideological reason as we offer a counter model to the capitalistic and intransparent hosters and because we have a high priority in ecologically, socially and economically sustainable hosting.
6. What backup mechanisms do you use in case your servers catch fire?
Our servers are located in three data centers, that are hundreds of kilometers distant from each other. Furthermore we provide professional fire protection equipment.
7. Do you charge for services? / How do you fund to cover expenses?
We charge a monthly fee for membership in our cooperative and additional fees for our hosting services – accordingly to the costs a service causes for the cooperative. That means we do not make a profit out of it and at this time we haven't enough members to cover all the costs for the human work we put in. All of our team members also do a lot of voluntary work.
8. If you are a volunteer, would you work comfortably within a network where collectives employ people?
9. If you are a in a collective that employs people, would you work comfortably with collectives with only volunteers?
If the volunteers can afford to work without payment and it is granted that there is no exploitation or a "sudden end" of the services or quality of the services, why not. But this did not yet happen within our experience. We also started as a purely volunteer driven and determined cooperative, 18 years ago. We had to change this model because our volunteers could no longer afford to work just out of idealism (it doesn't pay for a living ;-) and we experienced a growing demand for our secure and sustainable hosting from professionals, who preferred that we employ team members.
10. How do you decide, how are hierarchies within your collective?
We refuse hierarchy, decisions are made by the team in a democratic way, in the interest and with inclusion of our members needs and whishes. This may be the reason why members and customers usually stay with us and we nearly don't have any fluctuation. The one downside of this is, that decisions may take a longer time to be made than in a classical "company hierarchy".
11. Would you sign these manifestos?
We haven't decided within our cooperative yet, but there is a great affinity for the core statements. We just wouldn't phrase it as radically as the first linked manifesto does, because it implies that the police as an important state institution generically would have bad intentions, which is not our experience.
12. what you would want from the project of this syndicate / network of tech collectives?
We could offer exchange of knowledge and best practices. What we need are frontend developers that would help us out to better perform in certain projects (such as ux for HSAdmin).
13. Would you work comfortably in this network if the network itself employed worker/s?
Yes of course, the workers should be rewarded for their contribution. It's a part of their lifetime, spent for their comunity.
14.Where are your servers hosted?
All in Germany.