Terms Used at Snowdrift.coop

Terms defined in a particular way within Snowdrift.coop

Types of users / entities

board member
in those projects with a formal governing structure, a member of the board of directors
co-op member
a patron of the Snowdrift project who also meets the other requirements for and accepts the rights and responsibilities of co-op membership. Co-op members have the privileges to vote for board elections and other member votes.
the specific group of patrons pledged at a given time to a given project
a user who adds creative input to a project without being part of the official project team
a user pledged to participate in crowdmatching, often used in “patron of [some project]”.1
an ongoing (or at least long-term) venture for some particular product goal. This could be done by a single person or a team; and projects may have many smaller sub-projects.
project admin
the main owner(s) / administrator(s) for a project with permission to change fundamental things in a project listing
the general encompassing term for all people, including visitors to the site who are not logged in
for any given project, a user may hold any number of defined roles
team member
an official member of a project team and potential recipient of funds
an account in the Snowdrift.coop system.

Aspects of the crowdmatching system

when a patron is not charged for monthly crowdmatch event(s) because the low total would present greater than 10% processing fee, the amount that would have been donated is “carried over” (verb) to the next charge (which will occur once the total is high enough). “Carry-over(s)” as a noun can refer to the amount(s) outstanding from crowdmatches that have not yet been included in a charge.
carry-over gap
the total donations not yet received by a project from crowdmatches due to patron carry-overs
the core system at Snowdrift.coop where patrons’ monthly donation amount is a base match-level times the number of other patrons supporting the same project together (and the term can also refer to the same approach for volunteer time or other measures)
crowdmatch (noun)
an event where all the pledges from patrons are calculated and the balance added to each account for inclusion in the next donation
donation / donate
the actual transaction where patrons get charged and the project(s) receive funds
as a noun: the commitment a patron makes to financially support a project through crowdmatching
as a verb: the act of clicking the “pledge” button to register to participate in crowdmatching
pledge value
the dollar value of one patron pledging to support a project (i.e. the base matching level × the number of patrons pledged to the same project).
For technical clarity, instantaneous pledge value refers to the value at a given point in time. Current pledge value refers to the value now.
We may refer to the value of the sum of all pledges with terms like “total pledge value”, “sum of pledges”, “project pledge total” and so on, as long as it’s clear in context.
suspended pledge
a pledge that has been deactivated in order to keep a patron’s donations below their budget limit

Other terms

see snowdrift dilemma for explanation of the snowdrift dilemma
“snowdrift” alone can be short for Snowdrift.coop but we officially use “snowdrift” to refer the software that runs the site, while the site is “Snowdrift.coop”
note that we only capitalize the S in Snowdrift.coop

Common terms we use regularly

related to commerce; unrelated to whether a project or product is FLO, except that terms which restrict commercial use are not considered FLO. To be fully FLO public goods, commercial use must not be reserved — anyone must be free to use the work commercially.
an institution owned by its employees and/or patrons and run democratically, see our co-op page for more
the right to copy (and also redistribute, modify, and other related actions). Copyright law functions by giving authors or publishers a legal monopoly on copyright for certain works, thereby removing the right from others. Where not overly cumbersome, we suggest the clarifying phrases “exclusive copyright”, “copy restrictions”, “copyright monopoly”, or “copyright law” (instead of simply “copyright” or the propaganda term “copyright protections”).
a play on the word “copyright”. In practice, “copyleft” refers to a class of FLO licenses that require derivates to keep the same license. See our license discussion
“Digital Restrictions Management” describes technologies used to cripple various functions that would otherwise be possible when using various media with computers. See the DRM FAQ at defectivebydesign.org.
an acronym for Free/Libre/Open, usually used as an adjective; see our page What Does Free/Libre/Open Mean?
Free Culture
see freedomdefined.org
There are technical and practical debates about the umbrella term “Linux” being used for the overall family of operating systems that use the Linux kernel. We support the term “GNU/Linux” both to acknowledge the significant place of the GNU project as an element and motivator and also to differentiate this family of OS’s from the distinct systems that use the Linux kernel but are not members of the overall GNU/Linux family.
legally specified terms under which someone may access, use, modify, and share something; in the case of Snowdrift.coop all projects must have licenses that specifically respect certain freedoms.
non-rival / non-rivalrous
non-rivalrous goods can be accessed and used by any number of people with no direct impact on anyone else; my copying does not diminish your copy; a.k.a. soft or non-scarce
a resource under terms that restrict freedoms of use, sharing, and modification. Rivalrous goods may be owned by the public as part of the commons or may be proprietary (owned by a particular entity). We use the term “proprietary” mainly in the context of non-rivalrous resources that could be public goods if artificial restrictions didn’t turn them into exclusive club goods.
public goods
the sorts of works we support, i.e. those that are non-rivalrous and non-exclusive. See our article The Economics of Public Goods for more details.

Terms we avoid or use with caution

For non-rival goods, these terms make little sense When non-rival products are copied or altered or used, nothing is consumed. Avoid describing users, readers, viewers, etc. as “consumers”.
“creator” venerates the initial creation of something and tends to downplay the fuzziness of community projects, the derivative nature of ideas, and the significance of ongoing progress.2 There are several good words like “author” and “developer” that could work generally but which have practical associations only with certain sorts of projects. We stick to “project teams” as our generic term, but “author” is probably the best general term otherwise.
“Intellectual Property” / IP
Although legally recognized, IP lumps together the very different legal issues of copyright, patent, trademark, trade secrecy, and other laws. Also, people tend to associate “property” with rivalrous physical goods, making the connotations of “IP” problematic. We generally refer to “public goods” to discuss the economic issues of non-rivalrous works and terms like “intellectual monopoly” or specific references to legal terms (copyright, patent, and so on) when discussing those.
a loaded propaganda term used by apologists for copyright law. When simply describing illegal copying, call it that: “illegal copying” or perhaps “copyright infringement”. When describing the economic problems with readers not putting in their part to fund authorship, we suggest “freeload”/“freeride” and related terms like “freeloading” and “freerider”.

  1. For historical reference, a user who has dropped a pledge will only be consider to have ever been a patron if they actually participated in an actual donation to a project.

  2. “Creator” is, for these reasons, included in the GNU list of words to avoid — a guide which we consider but do not follow dogmatically nor agree with completely.