From Matthew Slater, http://matslats.net
Thanks for your interest in the Complementary Currencies for Drupal project (formerly marketplace module), sometime in the last year*. The module is now released, I would like to share with you the next stage of the plan.
I believe that the prevailing money system is at the root of most of humanity's problems, (compare Alan Greenspan's recent remarks about 'human nature')**. Therefore users of this module, especially early adoptors, are part of a radical community which is pushing for change totally outside of the normal political spectrums.
The urgency I perceive cannot be understated as the Western economy teeters on the brink. We desperately need a whole new box of monetary tools. This software is the only usable software which provides a pluggable mutual credit system into a social networking framework. It is ideal for intentional communities, who have few resources and who want to take responsibility for managing credit between themselves. However as just one configuruable component in a Drupal web application, its possibilities extend way beyond LETS-like groups, and I want to make it a much more platform neutral system.
Some of our priorities are now:
* further abstracting the mutual credit engine to make it independent of Drupal.
* external API, intertrading, multiple currencies, SMS, widgets, & version 2.0!
* materials to support communities through the early stages of setting up sustainable governance and management structures
* strategic marketing to help the project grow and safeguard the project's future in a competitive environment
* off-the-shelf Drupal installations for specific purposes, such as LETS
I am taking on two more interns so I can concentrate on the core of the project. A sustainable funding model has yet to become apparent from all this work, but it's clear that my having to finance it all is a restraining factor.
I do not have time to jump through the hoops of philanthropic organisations or foundations nor inclination to explain how each Euro is eked out. Nor will I put myself in anyone's debt in order to produce software for the public good. I'm looking for business opportunities which use this software. I can also accept gifts, or sponsored development of specific features. If you wish to offer other kinds of support, then please consider some of the following actions:
* Forward this email to angel investors, venture capitalists, celebrities etc
* include a software development component in funding proposals for your project.
* read the shopping list, and write which is most important for you, and how who you think should cover the costs
* show the sponsorship appeal to someone rich, or tell us how to get resources without slowing the pace
* commit to volunteering. We need Drupal building, drupal coding, graphic design and organisational development skills at the moment.
* create a buzz - blog about us, talk about us, link to us (and tell us that you did so).
* payment in kind - invite us to come and stay with your community for a few weeks. We are itinerant and house-trained
* commission us at commercial rates to help with your site building, or better, to improve the module for everyone.
* subscribe to the Complementary Currency software RSS feed
We look forward to forging the the future of money with you!