USA Planning

After a nice first discussion with @woakes070048, we’re really excited to finally have a true developer involved in OFN USA.

We discussed having a follow-up meeting, possibly tomorrow, Tuesday.

Cc’ing @MikeiLL, @tschumilas for sure and maybe of interest to @MyriamBoure and @NickWeir. I’m not seeing Hannah’s handle on here?

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Hi @eric
Yes it is great that this is moving forward. Sorry not many of the times in your doodle are in waking hours for me. There is a conversation happening here about a follow up hangout. We are talking there about this Thursday 15th at 2pm Maine time. Does this work for you?


@NickWeir @MyriamBoure Who’s the admin? I think I need a new invite (I was probably using an old email for the Slack).

Today at 2pm should work but I may only have a phone connection.

@eric no problem please let me know which address i should invite to Slack? I will only be around for a few more hours then off for 3 weeks. Cheers invited to OFN slack. Cheers

We had a very productive skype call today with @tschumilas @hannahsemler @jveilleux. Here is a summary of what I think we are proposing. Please add any corrections or additions this needs:

  1. Jim is willing to host an instance of OFN for the USA and pay the hosting fees for a limited period
  2. Jim would like to use this instance of OFN to support his clients as users of OFN on a commercial basis
  3. Jim does not have the resources to support other users and will make it clear to prospective users that they will need to either self-support or wait until there is another organisation willing to host a public instance of OFN in the US
  4. As soon as there is an organisation ready to host a public instance of OFN in the US, Jim will hand over the administration, the hosting and the sys admin to this new organisation
  5. Hannah will contact her networks and make it clear that we are looking for an organisation to host a public instance of OFN in the US.

It would be good to have feedback on this plan from others @Kirsten @danielle @CynthiaReynolds @lin_d_hop

Our instance should be ready for the end of the week and we have a soft launch for the end of the month. I hate to see all of the duplicate work being done and depending on what you guys want I would love for you to join the platform. We are in the process of finalizing our 5 year plan for the site and I want to help the farmers in the state of Maine and the US. I a willing to help everyone migrate to the platform. We have built some nice migration tools that will allow for importing address and enterprises table. We are going to try to release that in the week or so. I know the biggest barrier is our company will be commercial entity as that is what our inverter wants but he is planning on investing 100000 over the next three years and we are in the process of working for a grant at the state and federal levels. I think we all have the same values and I am more than will to give back to the commons.


@NickWeir @tschumilas I think this sounds like a good plan, thanks for facilitating this.

I can offer some back up support if needed and if @jveilleux wants to give me super admin access, I can help out if questions arise re: config etc…

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Excited to hear @jveilleux and @woakes070048 are proposing similar sounding
things: shared infrastructure but territorial support. Let’s continue this
discussion and think about implications to make sure this sounds good to

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If @woakes070048 is willing to host an instance, there’s no need for us to do it. I was offering that only because it seemed that that wasn’t going to happen.

Maybe the folks in the US could have a call to determine what we’re all planning and see what the opportunities are for collaboration.

BTW - I seem to bridge some of the geography here. I grew up in Maine where I think William and Hannah are and I live in Asheville, NC, where Eric is. Asheville, BTW, is a hotbed of support for the local food movement, so a great place for anything related to OFN.

It is very good to see these options for deployment of OFN in the US. Thanks to Jim and William for their offers.

I like Jim’s suggestion for another hangout/skype/mumble soon to discuss the options and plan both the short term options for a quick deployment and the long-term future of OFN USA which I personally would like to be a public instance which is cooperatively run and managed in line with how we are setting up OFN in other countries.

Shall I set up a doodle to find a date?

Looking forward to talking to you more soon

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I think that another conference would probably make sense and would welcome a doodle to find a date and time.

I’m not completely clear on what @woakes070048 is envisioning in terms of having a “commercial entity” host the initial instance, but I think that even if it’s something where hubs need to pay them, initially (and if there’s not a place for me as a developer) at least if the codebase is improved and we expand the international development team, OFN is benefiting.

And when the US ultimately gets a non-commercial instance in place, we will have benefited from the investment of @woakes070048 and company.

At that point, I imagine there would be a commercial and a non-commercial option for people who wanted to start hubs.

@woakes070048 does it seem like I am clearly stating your envisioned role here?

For the site we are going to do a 2% transnational charge when an order is place. From my understanding that is what the other instances are charging.

Thanks, Nick. Yes, let’s do the doodle and find a time.

Let me save a little time and describe my company’s plans, objectives and agenda:

  1. We’re launching a service, based on OFN, customized to farmer’s markets only. It will be a commercial offering and we’re planning to integrate various marketing tools (e.g. OneSignal) to help promote traffic to FMs. We wanted to launch weeks ago, but had a few setbacks (I run another company, consult for yet another, and generally have too much to do.)

  2. I want to support OFN as much as possible and plan to make part of our contribution in the form of software development that enhances the codebase. Example: we’ve developed, but haven’t asked yet for the pull request, something that filters markets (hubs, shops) by distance from an address. We have paid OFN Australia in advance for the code review (initial payment, probably not all of it).

  3. Because I’m going to use OFN commercially, I’m aware that there’s a potential conflict of interest in these two roles. I’m not too worried about that, in part, because it’s a huge country, with more than 8,000 FMs and I think that focusing on FMs vs. hubs will minimize the competition.

In addition, I’m 60 years old and have had one very successful company and so my objectives are probably less ambitious than most entrepreneurs might be. Also - since I know of at least 3 reasonable commercial suppliers of software with similar functionality, it seems to me that OFNUS is no more of a threat to my business model than the others.

I’m also more interested in minimizing my software development expense than minimizing competition. My prior businesses have all been in SaaS and I’ve always found the cost of software development to be a major barrier to growth. So I really appreciate being able to leverage the work of others in an open source model.

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OK here is a doodle for another hangout to discuss the options and plan both the short term options for a quick deployment and the long-term future of OFN USA

Just to be clear - there is no established fee that OFN instances charge. In canada for example (and I believe UK also), users (whether they are ‘for profit’ or not for profit, large or small) can set up their hubs, buying clubs, networks, enterprises… on the OFN platform on a ‘pay what you can’ basis. We do this because for us it is critical that OFN be used as a public infrastructure in a way that gets these powerful tools into the hands of community based sustainable food initiatives. We want to level the tech playing field. Because right now, too many community based projects are not able to access these tools either because of skills needed, time needed or money needed.

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We settled to 2% because we feel that that is a fair price to charge

Thanks @cynthia - yes please it would be great to have you involved in the these conversations. I will be talking to @Kirsten tonight and will try tomorrow to fix a date for the next USA hangout. Thanks:slight_smile:

Thanks to all those who doodled. It looks like the best date is this Thursday 20th July at 1pm UK time (here is a time zone converter). Please join this hangout at that time.
Looking forward to talking to you.
PS I am hoping that Kirsten might be able to join us then too

Just a quick report on the conversations that happened earlier today…

My understanding is that the global OFN community is very supportive of the idea of a USA-based not-for-profit organisation taking responsibility for the sys admin of a public instance of OFN and for this organisation (or several similar organisatons in different parts of the States) to support the growth of a national US netowrk of producers and hubs similar to what is emerging in other countries.

However in the short term this organisation has not yet been identified or incorporated. In the short term @jveilleux has generously offered to deploy an instance of OFN and then give the IP address to OFN global so that we can control the DNS to point at one of our dormant domain names (maybe so that OFN globally maintains control over the instance until the n-f-p organisation is ready to take it over.

I plan to take a less proactive role for the time being. As and when people in the USA are ready to move towards the n-f-p route I am happy to offer the experience i have from other OFN countries, but I want to leave it to you to decide the momentum of this.

I am really pleased to see people coming together to bring OFN to the USA and I will do whatever I can to help you make it happen.:slight_smile: