Hi there! I’m Aaron, and I decided to try Baserow trying to get a usable, not-too-technical, flexible, and most of all Free/Libre/Open (FLO) way to manage all sorts of things but particularly contacts.
For years, I’ve been complaining about how social-media puts all the contacts and connections information into the hands of advertising companies instead of being managed privately. The tools for even simple personal address books are really lacking.
Because I see enormous problems with the power dynamics of proprietary technology (and proprietary limitations in other areas too, e.g. in music — my background mainly), I really hesitate to get locked into SaaS tools or even proprietary local apps.
So far, I see Baserow having enormous potential, it’s really usable. I’m a little scared about the direction of taking VC investment. While tools like this can only be great with dedicated, funded teams, I worry that the VC path will force Baserow to eventually compromise on FLO values. I hope the project will do everything it can to eliminate even the possibilities (which amount to temptations) to undermine the 100% FLO direction it has at this time.
I understand the challenges though. I have struggled for a decade as a volunteer putting in time and money working to solve this economic dilemma itself, and our efforts (me and a team of other volunteers) at Snowdrift.coop still has not produced a usable solution for the world (though we still have not given up). It’s a wicked problem.
Anyway, glad to be here. Glad to see the use of Discourse for the community (more fully-FLO set up!), so far so good…
I hope anyone reading this can have some patience with me complaining. I don’t blame Baserow in particular, I just want to be a voice for higher-standards and consciousness-raising.
I don’t like how the Baserow blog article “how-to-organize-automate-startup-processes” pushes Google Analytics! Stop that! There are FLO analytics tools. Also Slack and Discord, there are FLO options like Matrix. And you push Mailchimp… And Trello… all these proprietary tools.
And the other blog article “baserow-is-open-source-whats-in-it-for-you” mentions some good alternatives, if only they were mentioned in the other blog article.
Except that post also says that FLO “boils down to contributing to the industry”, and that implies not giving a darn about the public about citizens, it’s an internal tech-oriented upstream focus. I would urge looking a bit further at why FLO matters for an ethical and democratic society.