Communick Collective: a zero-commission crowdfunding platform to support content creators in the Fediverse

We are pleased to announce the launch of Communick Collective, a crowdfunding platform for creators and anyone that is looking for financial support from their audiences. It differs from traditional platforms like Patreon and Ko-Fi in two key aspects:

No commission

Membership in the Collective is available for all paying customers of Communick. It doesn’t matter if you are hosting your Matrix server or enjoying access to the whole suite of fediverse services on Communick’s flagship servers, as long as you have an active contract you are elligible to receive contributions from backers.

Given that we already make money in the hosting service, we can offer the crowdfunding platform without taking a cut. We will deduct only the payment processor fees and applicable taxes, and creators can keep all else.

Sponsors define a fixed contribution to the whole collective

In the traditional platforms, the creators define tiers of support and the backers have to pick the one that fits within their budget. Doing that for each new creator involves a new transaction and therefore a new set of choices and “budgeting” around. We believe that in the end this makes it harder for those that want to simply support as many people as possible and end up concentrating the donations around those who are more popular or those who end up offering more perks to the backers.

We want to create a simpler approach: backers define their “budget” upfront by selecting a fixed pledge to the Collective - which can start at $5 and go up to $100 per month - and after that they can get to choose how much will be allocated to each of their favorite creators.

We believe that while this approach will lead to smaller average contributions to each individual contributor, it will make things better by having more people willing to contribute.

Communick was created and developed as a proposed alternative to fix the current business model for the digital economy of the XXI Century. The already famous “If you are not paying for the product, you are the product” adage illustrates the main issue: while ad-funded business might have have given us “free” services which could be made available to anyone in the globe, it unfortunately also created an economic environment where consumers can not “vote with their wallets” to signal to the market what are the problems really worth solving. It also made investors and entrepreneurs measure the success of their work by metrics that have little to do with “quality” and made it all about “quantity”: instead of asking themselves How many sons and daughters are closer to their parents than they were before? How many journalists have time and resources to investigate stories to their communities? How many people are being inspired by the work of artisans and go on to create their own things?, they are living and dying by presentations that try to answer “how many users do we have? How many ads can we serve? How much time per day do they spend on our site?”. These are not metrics that indicate a healthy economy, and the fact that this has become a global phenomenon makes the whole endeavour even more catastrophic.

We strongly believe that the digital economy is healthier and fairer when everyone contributes a bit and that we are transparent on the business model. The crowdfunding platform is essentially a way to extend this principle to content creators as well. In this approach, they pay us for the service we provide, and they get paid by creating and developing the things that their audiences desire. Everyone’s incentives are aligned, and everyone is forced to be kept honest.