Press Kit

Factsheet

Developer:
Comradery Worker Cooperative
Based in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Founding date:
June 1, 2020
Press / business contact:
[email protected]
Social:
Twitter

Description

Independent artists, creators, workers, and activists can create posts, videos, photos and more to offer to supporters for a monthly subscription. As a co-op, we are something truly new- all creators cooperatively own and democratically control Comradery together.

Payment platforms for small creators like Patreon and OnlyFans are more popular than ever, but these companies continue to change their policies and pivot their business models to create returns for their venture capital investors, while hurting the creators on their platforms. Unlike the "disruptions" typical to tech startups, Comradery is intended to disrupt the industry in a real and fundamental way- by placing ownership in the hands of the workers who actually create value on the platform.

Other platforms exist to extract data and labor from content creators, Comradery exists to pool creator resources to share tools and leadership for the benefit of all. Creators pay 2.5% in dues from their earnings. These dues do not go to salaries or investor profit margins, instead dues cover shared costs - like our servers. Meanwhile, Creators themselves manage site operations through five leadership committees.

Worker co-ops are more stable on average than other businesses, and Comradery extends that stability and control to the world of independent artists, activists, and organizers. Every Creator account on Comradery must either be an independent worker or a member of a worker cooperative (No bosses). Moreover, new Creators go through a three-step application process for vetting and a personal introduction to the platform. Our mission is to cultivate distributed leadership, solidarity, and mutual-aid through the proven organizing methods of the labor union movement.

Main Features

  • Creators can build project pages for their supporters to pledge monthly payments of $1 or more
  • Creators can post many different kinds of content and media for their supporters
  • Every Creator has access to all features at a universal 2.5% dues rate
  • Creators can restrict different posts to custom payment tiers
  • Project pages feature full, open customization and allow Creators to make public and/or paywalled posts with no restrictions
  • One Creator can administer multiple Projects (such as a youtube channel and a podcast)
  • Multiple creators can co-administer a single Project (worker cooperative members are welcome to all join as individual voting creators on Comradery)
  • Due to our application, Creator vetting, and distributed leadership process, Comradery is Nazi Free™

History

Concept

Ty works with the ongoing struggle in the games industry to organize a union to empower workers, and they saw a parallel with the struggle of independent creators on Patreon and OnlyFans.Friends and colleagues who rely on platforms for their income were struggling because Patreon continued to change rules that benefitted higher-earners and hurt the majority of creators on the platform. There were not many organizing options for the many different kinds of independent artists that used these platforms to survive. Ty realized that developing a mutual aid network that offered the same features as Patreon would be possible, and cost effective, with a small team. Ty and Majed Elass began work on the project in late 2019.


Development

Majed Elass joined the project and brought his significant technical background to the development of Comradery. They were soon joined by John Dorsey, who contributes writing and outreach, and Cade Underwood joined to contribute financial and legal expertise. The project moved into full swing development in April 2020. As of July 2020, Comradery has moved out of closed development and into a community outreach phase where we are asking interested creators to sign up for an invitation, and to soon be actively involved in developing the organization.


Organization

In July 2020, Comradery registered as a worker co-op in Philadelphia, PA. The founding team brings years of experience in union organizing campaigns and activism to the project. Each of the founding members has gone through the process of developing an effective organizing charter, distributed leadership systems, financing mutual aid networks, and mediating conflict in a growing organization. Comradery brings many new challenges to the solidarity organizing model, but systems are being developed to handle growth with a focus on anti-racism, inclusion, and transformative justice.


The Future

In the coming months, the platform technology will move into public beta. At that time, creators will be invited to launch their projects, businesses, and creations on Comradery. Creators will take on leadership positions and help develop the feature roadmap for the platform.


Podcast

The Comradery team is developing a podcast to chronicle the development of the project, and to discuss the existing digital platform landscape that creators struggle against. We will announce when Season 1 goes live on Twitter and our mailing list.

Team

We’re a group of activists and workers spread out all over the USA. The founding member team’s goal is to lend our skills to jump start Comradery as an organization, and hand off duties to new members as we grow and improve. In the future, the ‘team’ will diversify into different leadership committees and this section will be updated.

Cade Underwood (He/Him)
Twitter: @cade_underwood

Cade is an organizer and soon-to-be movement lawyer in Philadelphia. Cade researches housing policy, organizes with service workers in Philly, and is developing the legal and financial structures of Comradery.
Majed Elass (He/Him)

Majed is a UX/UI Designer & Developer in the Northern Virginia area and co-founder of Pixel Commerce LLC, a worker co-op that builds web applications. Majed is building the technology that Comradery runs on.
Ty Underwood (They/Them)
Twitter: @tyunderwood

Ty is a labor organizer, designer, and professor of design in Seattle. They are working to develop the design and organization structure of Comradery.
John Dorsey (They/Them)
Twitter: @averagedorsey

John is a writer, performer and activist currently located in Atlanta Georgia. They are also a co-owner of Pixel Commerce LLC, a digital design worker co-op. John is assisting in the language and copy of Comradery.
Alana Lynch (They/Them)

Alana is a labor organizer, musician, and amateur historian in Seattle. They are studying parliamentary procedure and working to develop the democratic structure, bylaws, and code of conduct for Comradery.

Contact

Press inquiries are welcome, please direct to [email protected]