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