MCC News – Jan 23 2011
After a lot of behind-the-scenes work by the founders, we’re happy to finally welcome all of you to the Memphis Computer Cooperative! As of this email we now count over 30 members!
Mark your calendars: our first Members Meeting will be Tuesday Feb 8th at the Central Memphis Library on Poplar from 6:30-8:30. Check the meeting room schedule or watch the website or our twitter feed to find out which room we’ll be in.
At the meeting we’ll discuss your vision of the Cooperative and how members feel we should contribute to the organization. We will also will seek volunteers among the membership to serve on the Executive Committee (and others) which will steer the direction of the org as our members see fit.
This is YOUR Coop. Help us help each other and the greater Memphis community learn more about computers and technology and how to leverage these skills to improve our economies. This is one of the primary goals of the Coop.
We’re still offering free one-year memberships until January 31st. If anyone you know wants to get on board before we set dues and work-for-membership structures have them sign up at our website, http://computer.coop/become-a-member or contact us on Twitter @computercoop
As a Cooperative, part of our Mission is to practice the 7 Cooperative Principles, which include Voluntary and Open Membership, Democratic Member Control, Member Economic Participation, Autonomy and Independence, Education, Training and Information, Cooperation among Cooperatives, and Concern for our Community (http://computer.coop/about-the-mcc/7-cooperative-principles).
In keeping with the Principles, the MCC has joined the Decleyre Housing Cooperative, and has opened up a lab in the library there. MCC members will be able to use the lab for whatever purposes are possible.
Some of the business models we are already preparing include computer service and consulting, general tech support, digital agency work, and technology outreach programs to increase computer access in lesser-developed areas of our City. And of course, bringing old machines back to life with Free Open Source Software.
We already have a flourishing computer rehabilitation business going where we install lightweight versions of Linux on older machines, or the latest Ubuntu distro on those with enough resources. We have already received over a dozen machines for this purpose which are now in our lab inside Decleyre Coop and need some help from the Membership getting Linux on them and shipping them out the door. Our initial target recipients for these machines are local community centers and businesses. Some of the better ones we plan to sell.
The Computer Coop is are a Tennessee Non Profit, and through our 501(c)(3) fiscal sponsor we can accept tax-deductible donations of cash, goods or services.
Some immediate needs are:
–Linux installers (if you don’t know how we’ll teach you – it’s quite easy)
–Graphic designers (to create marketing materials, program branding, logos and stickers)
–committee members (Executive Committee, Financial Committee, Fundraising Committee, et al).
–computers and hardware (Pentium 4 or higher), cables parts, routers, hubs, peripherals, etc
–Joomla and PHP developers and content writers
–Educational Curriculum writers (the MCC will distribute it’s educational curriculum to the world via the website through the Creative Commons license)
–Educators (want to teach a class on how to use Ebay? Open Office? Linux? Perhaps a class about Website Design, how to protect privacy online, etc etc etc?)
–Anyone who wants to learn about computers and technology in any way shape or form
Thanks to everyone for your interest in this Mission. A special thank you to Bianca Phillips for the Memphis Flyer article, and also to Greg Cravens for his work on our first round of logos.
I look forward to seeing you Tuesday Feb 8th 6:30-8:30 at our first Members Meeting at Central Library.