Dear friends,

Today I have a major announcement to make: after many months of brainstorming and discussions we (a small steering committee of a few volunteers) are launching what we have decided to call the Saker Community Cooperative. We have high hopes for this project and I now want to explain why.

  1. As you know, I have never accepted any forms of advertisement on the blog. Not only do I oppose pay-walls, subscription-only services, pop-ups and any other forms of advertisement on principle, but I also absolutely hate them viscerally. However, with the blog now regularly serving well over 2 million pages each month, I was constantly getting offers from various commercial entities for more or less obtrusive advertisements. Some of them even offered to give me “free contents” in exchange for their ads (thank you, but no thank you, LOL!). Still, it was clear that the blog was attracting attention.
  2. The vast majority of the members of our community are unpaid volunteers. Some don’t need money at all, for example those who retired after successful careers, but others barely make ends meet. In the Community Cooperative, we hope to give exposure to our volunteers first. Then we hope to give members the opportunity to perhaps increase their income while building strength in our community. Initially, my webmater/IT guru and CTO Herb and I thought about simply creating a modest page which would simply list those who help us either by their work and time, or by their financial support. This did not work at all. Frankly, few people were interested and the idea slowly died of. This is when Amarynth, my “Operational Support Person” (or lack of a better title) came up with a fantastic idea which I carefully considered and then fully adopted. Here is the idea:

We want to create a separate webpage (so no intrusive advertisements anyway) which would list the products or services offered only of the members of our community (no external commercial interests). Furthermore, the quality of these products and services would have to be checked by a trusted member of our community and I, the Saker, would personally approve their inclusion in our list. These products and services would be offered exclusively through the Saker Community Cooperative page for a small amount of advertising but only after you see that this is effective for your business. So, if you find after 2 months that you make some money from your advertisement, we will then ask you for a small monthly amount to pay for this.

The primary goal of this plan would be to include and possibly generate income for those in the Saker community who might have something to offer but no means to market it. The secondary goal would be to put members of our community in touch with each other (for example by offering a place to say during travels or even house exchange for vacation and this can be as big as importing something, or exporting something). The third goal would be to make good products/services known inside our community. Last, but not least, this would also hopefully generate another source of revenue for the Saker blog as an alternative to “regular” donations.

I decided to approve of this initiative primarily because it does not violate any of my anti-commercialization principles. Now the ball is in your court:

  1. if you are a known member of our community (if you volunteer, if you contribute financially, or if you are a regular and appreciated commentator), please contact : TheSakerCommunityCooperative@protonmail.com  and email a short description of your product, good or service, any images, and find a way for her and me to evaluate it.
  2. if your product, good or service meet with our approval, we will post an “information page”, like an advertisement and you need to pay for this only after you are successful. For volunteers this is a free offer as a way to give back to them.

The first part of the Community Cooperative will be included in the Saker home page around July 17th, so, sit back, relax, read about the wonderful things that our community members create and do while we are in the process of making this section live, comment and be part of our new Saker Community Cooperative.

This is also intended to be a complete unit with the new Patreon account. So many members have suggested to open a Patreon account for member contributions and we have had that in low level test for the past month. It works well, saves just a whole lot of work, and with this low level test we have built up our own expertise and understand what we are dealing with. You are cordially invited to contribute here

This complete initiative is intended to building economic anti-fragility for all of us and bring us closer together. Why not rather trade with one another, than with the broader economy that in a way, keeps us bound. In this way we stay out of the mass of commercial offers and build our community to another level.

At the moment in The Saker’s Community Cooperative, we have music, books, alternative medical offerings, art, technical expertise and a number of other very interested initiatives that will be added to the Cooperative. Make this a companion of the Moveable Feast Cafe. My steering committee say we do not have sufficient exposure for women as yet. Let’s get our women to browse and to add their creations. Note, this is not an e-shop of some kind. The intent is to first make this available for our community and see where it leads us.

The Saker

The Essential Saker: from the trenches of the emerging multipolar world