Re: Shared survey: what does your community use?
From: Corey (
Date: Mon, 7 Aug 2017 20:52:18 -0700 (PDT)
Thanks Sharon! I've been working on this survey with some people for a
couple months already, but that only got me so far. I don't think there's
such a thing as a completely unbiased survey that's 100% clear to everyone,
but we tried our best. I agree that we can use these results to create a
better iteration in the future.

Your feedback is fantastic, I really appreciate the time you took to help
me out with this! Those questions you mentioned have actually been serving
their purpose pretty well, since I am aware of the issues you mentioned and
it seems the people who have taken the survey also get the questions. I was
careful to say "you personally" versus "your IC" and most people caught on
to that. When I say "your IC" I mean the combined effort of all the members
and I have no idea how to make that more clear--I'd appreciate any thoughts
on how to improve that if it isn't clear to you.

I'm incredibly interested in hearing more of your thoughts on Association
Voice and more detailed info on how that works. I hope you don't mind a
private email coming your way about that soon. I'm not sure how much I
should flood this list...


Hey Sean, thanks for chiming in! I'm really sorry if I came across as
trying to put words into your mouth, that was not my intention. As a
developer, I wanted everyone to know that any app and especially
specialized services are not free precisely because of what you
mentioned--time. We can't afford to work full-time while also
sufficiently supporting our passion on the side. Hosting is pretty cheap
(still not free!), but developing new features, fixing bugs, and answering
support requests take an enormous amount of time (if we let it), and that's
the main problem. I really want our apps to succeed, but the only way to
give them the attention they deserve is to be paid to work on them
full-time. That's my opinion at least! I understand situations differ.

Regarding the name, keep in mind that "google-ability" is pretty important,
so try to pick something that a) won't get you sued and b) is easy to find
with a quick google (ie not much competition). I'm really impressed with
the improvements you've been making to Mosaic and I look forward to
watching it evolve further.


On Mon, Aug 7, 2017 at 12:45 PM, Sean Davey <sean [at]>

> Hi Corey,
> thanks for the survey, it's interesting to see what others are using.
> Personally, I would like to hear more about what people like and don't like
> about the software they are currently using.
> I just wanted to respond that communities not wanting to pay for software
> isn't tough for me personally. It's also not representative of the
> communities I work with. Pretty much all of them have either assumed they
> would need to pay for Mosaic or have generously offered to pay, although I
> always decline. One of the great things about living in a community is that
> there are opportunities to provide work and service to your neighbors. I'm
> grateful that technology makes it easy for me to offer my software to
> others outside my community. I've met many wonderful people electronically
> and am very glad that they seem to find something that I've built to be
> useful. There isn't much cost to hosting websites, time is the main issue.
> I wish I had more time than I do to work on Mosaic. I have way more ideas
> than time :-)
> As for the name, I've been wanting to changing it from the very beginning.
> I'd be very happy to hear suggestions for a better name. My favorite one
> that I've received so far is Contigo so I may end up switching to that at
> some point.
> As with everything in community, there is a large spectrum of needs and
> preferences when it comes to online tools. I very much enjoy working with
> the communities that I host sites for when they ask me for changes or new
> features that make the sites work better for them. A lot of the work I've
> done over the last couple of years is to make Mosaic more modular and more
> customizable by the communities. Currently I'm very excited to be working
> on making Mosaic work with different languages as there is an interested
> community that speaks French.
> Anyway, I always appreciate hearing more about how communities use
> technology. If anyone has ideas for online functionality that doesn't seem
> to exist yet, I'd love to hear from you.
> Sean
> > From: Corey <corey.birnbaum [at] <mailto:corey.birnbaum [at] 
> >>>
> > Subject: Re: [C-L]_ Shared survey: what does your community use?
> > Date: August 5, 2017 at 9:42:19 PM MST
> > To: cohousing-l [at] <mailto:cohousing-l [at]>
> >
> >
> > Thanks for the feedback Fred. I view Mosaic as "custom software" which is
> > an option, but in all other questions I provided an "other.." field where
> > you can insert what you use if it wasn't mentioned (already there are a
> lot
> > of options that I felt could be too much). If there are questions that
> > don't apply, I made many of them optional (ones without the red
> asterisk).
> >
> > I want to mention that, besides Mosaic (by Sean Davey who is also on this
> > list) there is also Gather by Tom Smyth ( <
>>) that is an
> > online tool for coordinating common meals, ledger, and reservation
> system.
> > Those are the only two custom-for-cohousing solutions I'm aware of, but
> > would love to hear about any more out there.
> >
> > Thank you everyone for your answers so far! This is really fascinating
> > stuff and I have to admit I'm mostly surprised by just how large these
> > communities are (most answered 50+!). If you have suggestions on how I
> can
> > improve it too, please let me know.
> >
> > Some other insights I'd like to share:
> > - Most communities use email as their primary medium for not just
> > communication, but event coordination as well. However, a solid number of
> > you do use shared online calendars.
> > - People seem ambivalent towards their current solutions (seems very few
> > are happy with email) with the only exception being their financial tool,
> > which most people listed as QuickBooks. There's also satisfaction with
> how
> > consensus building is done in general.
> > - Most of you use Google Drive, but only a few of you pay for cloud
> > services, the most popular being Dropbox.
> > - You're mostly iPhone users.
> >
> > Overall, everyone seems to want better solutions for most aspects of
> > community life, but are unwilling to pay for them. That certainly makes
> > things tough for those like Sean and Tom who have great solutions,
> because
> > nothing is free--the cost (hosting, time, skill, etc) has to be absorbed
> by
> > someone.
> >
> > Please continue to share this survey! For those of you who want to view
> the
> > results for yourselves, you can always see them at this address:
> > <
> > AANdnbSWT7pm7VA7b7yqmcpcex_cuWI1iV5DbA/viewanalytics
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