Member newsletter 17 July 2017

I just returned from working in New York for a week. It was hot. Loud. And awesome in so many ways. But one thing kept our mission here front and centre of my mind.

Neither of the telecommunications companies providing the roaming services on behalf of my home country operator played ball with my choice of privacy-protecting virtual private network. Turn on PIA and the data faucet turned off. Turn off PIA and ‘normal’ service resumed.

This isn’t Internet Service Provision as I’ve understood it my entire adult life. This is Internet Surveillance Provision. Putting it very simply, this isn’t good people.

On a more upbeat note, our nascent co-operative is attracting attention. I have been to see Which?, the UK’s consumer association, to discuss all aspects of our purpose and the overlap with their own.

Celebrating sixty years this year, Which? has a proud history of standing up for the consumer, but they have a new challenge. They are keenly aware that a digital fabric now links every other product and service of interest, and they’re grappling with how best to approach this multi-faceted complex.

Unsurprisingly, given that we’ve formed for just this sort of thing, the Digital Life Collective can provide the research and intelligence they crave in ways that they can translate – as they do so beautifully – into an agenda their three quarters of a million members can engage with.

We should be able to collaborate with Which?, and similar associations around the world, based on 100% aligned values and complementary expertise and resources. It should be a no-brainer. It’ll take some good months to sort out the details, and I’ll keep you posted.

Meantime, it would be fantastic to parallel these discussions with equivalent organizations in other countries. Could I ask you to jump on your social networks of choice, or thumb through your Rolodex if you’re old-school, and see who you might intro us to.

Note that all newsletters are posted here:


// Of our seventy members, about a dozen are active from one month to the next. By which I mean they’re engaged on and get stuff done. I’m amazed at what a small bunch of volunteers can achieve, but of course all the more grist to the mill if you can spare an hour or two a month. Every little helps.

// Here’s a highlighted 24 minute section from our Zoom call a couple of Fridays back in which Joachim Stroh lays out our scaffolding, so to speak, for self-organization. The team has made great strides in the past three months, and this already puts us ahead of many a traditional firm in terms of openness and visibility, aligned autonomy and scalability. This could well grow to form a good part of what has become known as ‘platform co-operativism’.

// Around a dozen people took part in the ‘possibilities conversation’ earlier this month. On the basis that those who took part really rather enjoyed themselves, they’ve already decided to host a second tranche for those who wish to join them. More info here.

// We finally have a company bank account! (Yes, I know, the news is just so exciting!) We’ll be moving the balance of funds over as soon as the account numbers are confirmed later this week. As you’d expect, everything will be logged openly and transparently on chat.diglife.

// And a quick reminder – here is our first draft webcopy for our first ‘proper’ website. Looking good? Or gobbledygook? Together we can make it outstanding.


// “Could Open-Source Code Make Our Y2K Fears Finally Come True?” – a Harvard Business Review article describing the struggle to resource critical open source projects. Our friends at Open Collective get a mention, and several of us here know we can co-operate to help address this in the longer-run.

// Our co-member Jerry Michalski makes his pitch on Patreon, well worth watching: What If We Trusted You?

// And finally, Blake Watson explains, Why I Left Facebook.

All the best, Philip, on behalf of our member relations team.

Hey Bud,

Glad you had a good time in NYC. Great city.

Cheers Seth. Hope you’re doing well mate.
July 22, 2017 2:25 PM, “Seth” wrote:
Seth (
July 22
Hey Bud,

Glad you had a good time in NYC. Great city.