On choosing May First Movement Technology for client web hosting

Agaric and myself personally have been a members of May First Movement Technology for eleven years or so.

May First has been a democratic membership organization for longer than i’ve been a member, but is new to identifying as and legally being a cooperative.

May First sees itself as a movement organization first and provider of tech services second. They run lean but any doubts i had about sustainability went away after that first decade! More of their infrastructure is home-rolled than i would advocate, but, don’t fix what’s not broken. It was born out of a merger of organizations (May First and People Link), and then worked with a Mexican coop since 2011, and formalized as effectively one organization when the US side converted to a coop last year.

They really walk the walk of building solidarity and trying to make technology part of the work for liberation.

Their home-rolled control panel can add e-mail boxes and forwards, do subdomains, add-on domains, and all that.

They also support an open Jitsi and a members-only Nextcloud (each organization having its own space, of course).

But no formal 24-hour support, servers do get slow or even go down sometimes (99.97% uptime is noticably different from 99.99999% uptime if you have multiple sites and do your own monitoring, as we do). Often the service interruptions are because members they host are being attacked, for example: https://portside.org/2015-08-07/cyber-attack-womens-health

Personally we also have some dedicated virtual private servers through May First where we do have close to 100% uptime— some combination of luck and the fact that those sites are more insulated from other organization’s sites.

I would encourage you to bring May First’s values and potential tradeoffs and what they offer to your clients, especially non-profit clients, as an option; of course May First only really wants members who know what they are becoming a part of!