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Re: <nettime> Vickram Crishna on the need to start 'our own' web/ e-mail
Benjamin Geer on Sun, 11 Nov 2007 22:03:50 +0100 (CET)

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Re: <nettime> Vickram Crishna on the need to start 'our own' web/ e-mail/ etc. community services

On 11/11/2007, Patrice Riemens <patrice {AT} xs4all.nl> wrote:
> Only geeks are really familiar with genuine OS email, off community
> services like riseup and protest - there are others.

I'd love to use a service like that, but I know from experience
what's involved in running a mail server, and as riseup.net note, it
requires system administrators who are "available on call 24 hours a
day, 7 days a week"[1]. (I stopped running an activist mail server
because being a volunteer sysadmin and having a full-time job was too
much.) I'm sure the riseup.net people are competent and dedicated,
but they're running on a shoestring. At least it looks like they've
moved their servers out of people's closets (which is of course the
time-honoured place for activist servers) and have set up a proper
colocation service.[2]

Google, on the other hand, have piles of money in the bank, so they
can afford to pay lots of full-time sysadmins. Yes, there are things
I don't like about Google, but it looks to me as if they don't have
to worry about being able to afford to run a reliable service. Plus
Gmail has lots of useful features that aren't in Squirrelmail (the
free webmail software that riseup uses). So I use Gmail.

I think that before the non-corporate email services can hope to
provide a reliable service for a large number of users, they need an
economic model that will enable them to pay a lot of full-time staff.
The best thing would be to nationalise Google...


[1] http://help.riseup.net/about-us/budget/
[2] http://seaccp.org/

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