@jomo @switchingsocial Thank you very much. Yesterday I had to explain to some attendee on Twitter, what Mastodon is. So this seems to be a good way to tell them.

@t_aus_m @jomo

That's great, that's exactly the idea of switching.social, it's meant for absolute beginners.

@jomo Difficult thing, still: It looks all like switching from one free-of-charge offer to some other free-of-charge offers with some advantages and some drawbacks, and most notably ignoring the problem that big corporations and tracking people is a direct consequence of the services offered for free. Why doesn't "ethical" include fair funding but restrict itself mostly to *user* rights?

@z428 @jomo

You mean funding of the services?

100% agree that people should be more aware of where the money is coming from to pay for the services they use. Paying for things directly is a lot more ethical and transparent than having money secretly squeezed out of stolen data.

The services listed on switching.social are funded by donations and by subscriptions (for example ebook site @libreture is free up to a certain storage limit, then costs money for storage over that limit).

@switchingsocial Yes, that's exactly what I mean. And there's a difficult balance, right now I more and more tend to recommend people to use pay-for-use or subscription based services with a clearly outlined business model which is extremely difficult to tell in some situations.
@jomo @libreture

@z428 @jomo @libreture

It's just difficult to explain to people sometimes, because they have spent years using "free" services.

The danger is it can come across as preaching, but if no one says it... :/

Maybe the best approach is to offer people alternatives when they are curious anyway, because then you're answering questions they are asking. PeerTube's crowdfunding shot up when YouTube started censoring random accounts including Blender, who set up a PT instance as an alternative.

@switchingsocial @z428 @jomo

I completely agree with you all on the points in this thread.

Libreture's free plan came about after I realised potential users wouldn't really be able to get an idea of LIbreture's broad features in 30 days. But the pricing principles still stand. Scroll down the About page for more info: libreture.com/page/about/

@libreture @switchingsocial @z428 @jomo
One unfortunate thing about payment systems as they stand now is that we must trust credit card companies and credit reporting agencies to make online transactions. These companies spy on us and track our every financial move.
It's still too difficult or intimidating for the average person to use cryptocurrencies and buying with cash over the Internet is difficult because we must trust that an envelope full of money won't get lost or stolen in the mail.

@NylaWoethief @switchingsocial @z428 @jomo

Yes, I agree.

I looked for an UK-based payment portal, but was turned down by Worldpay - who were later bought by an US company anyway.

Oh, and you have to partly develop your system for Worldpay before they'll even review your application!

Tried a French provider, but they require that all their users are a registered company, which I'm not...

Went with Stripe due to trust, competence and reduced (not zero) likelihood of 'fuck-ups'.

@libreture @NylaWoethief @z428 @jomo

You have to go for a least-worst option at some point, paying with a credit card is better than handing over your personal data to people you don't know.

Only other alternative I can think of is if someone set up a voucher system like there is for prepaid phone credit, and you could buy vouchers with cash. But that might be too expensive to set up?

@switchingsocial @libreture @z428 @jomo
Prepaid debit cards are somewhat like that. You have to pay a little extra for them, but the privacy benefits are worth it.

@libreture @switchingsocial @z428 @jomo
Also, alternative ways of getting payed for projects (ie. Liberapay) are still dependent on proprietary software like PayPal and Stripe. Unfortunately there are no ethical alternatives to those services that don't rely on cryptocurrency.

@NylaWoethief True, fully agree. Some services in Germany such as conversations.im accept direct bank transfer but it's far from common. In most cases you're down to credit card or PayPal, not sure what is worse. So far prepaid credit cards also used to be my workaround for that, not a nice one though.
@libreture @switchingsocial @jomo

@z428 @NylaWoethief @switchingsocial @jomo


There's GoCardless in the UK, who provide a Direct Debit payment system.

@NylaWoethief I agree, online payment systems are a nightmare. As you say, they are still an improvement on the #UX of sending cash by snail mail though, or bank cheques, or #WesternUnion transfers etc ;) Have you heard of #GNU #Taler? They aim to solve this problem, in a way that protects the anonymity of customers, while keeping an audit trail for businesses:
@libreture @switchingsocial @z428 @jomo

@z428 gratis doesn't automatically mean unethical. It can mean a service is provided by volunteers (eg #RiseUp.net or #Disroot.org), which removes the single largest cost most internet service providers have (paying staff). It can also mean costs are being covered by users paying for premium features most users don't need, as with #Loomio, #Wire, or the new #FlickR (post acquisition by #SmugMug).
@jomo @switchingsocial

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