I’m reading it right now as well! I’m loving it. In my opinion, the reframing of maintainers as content creators will help us move past the negative stigmas around free and open source development — specifically, that open source software can’t be monetized or just the fact that introducing money to the FOSS conversation always has this certain awkwardness about it. I think everyone tries to work around it by framing the conversation as “sustainability”, but to actually build for sustainability we need to stop putting FOSS in a box and try new things. Of course I get why there’s strong opinions about monetizing FOSS (had a long conversation with Stallman about it once lol), but honestly, I think they inhibit us from moving past the stale sustainability narrative. As Nadia herself wrote in Roads and Bridges, FOSS is completely under supported and exploited right now because of the lack of sustainable solutions for supporting commons-based peer production in general.
Platforms like Twitch and Patreon have really changed the game for creators — not just by allowing for easy digital monetization, but by supporting and empowering creators with those community-building features. As a result, creators now maintain resilient revenue streams separate from traditional corporate employment. I think that’s really powerful. I see no reason why the same approach can’t be applied to the open source space. In the Web3 space we’re also seeing tons of experimentation with community-based governance and ownership models. These models are powering protocols (while sustaining it’s maintainers!) and shifting the rules of value in a way that I believe is really conducive to the nature of FOSS.
So yeah, we are definitely planning on building for creators. I think Radicle is a really unique playground for this as well. I mean, maintainers and developers will be finally able to operate independently of platform vendors.
We’ve got a ton of ideas for different features that empower maintainers to control the production and distribution of their work. They range from subscription models, badges, community pooling of funds around issues or feature work, roadmaps with community voting etc… After get our beta out we’re going to start rolling out these features and testing them with users to figure out what vibes and what doesn’t.
@lftherios definitely has more thoughts here — as I’m sure the rest of the team (@NunoAlexandre @igor @geigerzaehler are all implementing these features) does.
What else stood out to you in the book? Any other ideas/themes that resonated?