from the ontology dept.
"An important choice remains for this site. What kind of organisation will we be, practically, legally and financially?
A for-profit, shareholder corporation seems out of the question, by general consensus (correct me if I'm wrong), but other questions remain. The basic choice is this:
Will we be like a charity, a co-op, or a recreational club?
- (Like a) Charity:
Being like a charity means operating for the public benefit. What we produce is news and englightened commentary for the benefit of the world. All our finances and operations would be geared towards this aim. All excess revenue is reinvested into the site.
A co-op is for the mutual financial benefit of individual (possibly paid) members. Three main sub-options for this exist that might be appropriate for this site:
2a) A retailer's co-op. Members use a common organisation in order to make individual profits. For example if members used this site to display their stunning intelligence, and then put their resume or website links on their profile page so people could hire them. Maybe there are services built into the site to find someone to hire who fits your requirements.
2b) A worker's co-operative: Employees share any excess revenue. Some revenue would go to expenses, some would be reinvested, whatever remains is shared among employees.
2c) A buyer's co-op. We exist to get discounts, or to buy together what we can't afford separately. Maybe we're buying well-written news and analysis from professional authors. Or maybe we're bulk-buying electronics, etc, so the price-per individual can be lower.
- A Recreational Club:
This takes membership fees to provide access to equipment, organize competitions, etc. Maybe paid members would get to use extra services, like an email account, or storage space, or their own discussion thread area, or software project hosting, or chat-rooms, etc. Non-members could still be permitted, with fewer privileges, and would have to pay-per-use for the extra services (or pay to become a member).
This is a gross simplification, but gives some idea of the options involved. Feel free to offer alternatives. So what should we be, what is our purpose, really? And what kind of a structure is required to make sure we serve that purpose, and that money doesn't end up in the wrong pockets?
Bonus question: which jurisdiction should we set ourselves up in to fulfil our mission most effectively?"