Frequently Asked Questions


The FAQs are constantly evolving. This page will be more furnished over time, and according to your questions: if you do not find them yet on this page, do not hesitate to write to the member structures of the CHATONS collective directly on the forum, where the answers will be faster, richer and more diverse. But if you need more privacy, you can contact us via the contact form.


I wish to use the services of a kitten


What can a kitten do for me?

The members of the collective bring you the guarantee that you control your data and use a hoster close to home. In fact, each kitten has agreed to the collective's conditions. These are hosters willing to go 100% free, to give up advertising, to prioritize respect for the personal data of their hosted users and to physically meet them. Like in the CSA model, find kittens near your home !


What are the services offered by kittens?

Kittens' services are numerous:

  • Web tools (search engine, websites and blogs, URL shortener, etc.)
  • Communication tools (email, mailing list, video conferencing, etc.)
  • Collaborative work tools (calendar, project management, collaborative writing, etc.)
  • File sharing services (permanent or temporary storage, audio and video broadcasting platforms, etc.)

You can find out about them by visiting the search by service.


How do I find my future kitten?

There are several ways to find your kitten:


I would like to know more about the organization of the collective


Who leads the collective? What is its governance?

The shape and governance of the collective are not fixed, and even deliberately vague. Since CHATONS is directly inspired by the free software movement (FLOSS), it is not very surprising that some characteristics are common.

First, the broad outlines of the project were defined by the Framasoft association. Thus, the implementation of CHATONS should be seen as the very first version of a free software, its first commit. As a consequence, it is indeed Framasoft that guides, at first, the collective, while listening to the wishes of the members. This is not unlike the analogy of the benevolent dictator or the project manager. However, since the Framasoft association has no interest, neither financial nor political, in managing the collective's orientations, it is very likely that governance will eventually evolve into a different form, which the members will have to define together.


How are the criteria for CHATONS commitments evaluated?

We're going to scare you: there is no "big audit and compliance committee" (or equivalent)! Control is based on an age-old principle: trust. We believe that the moral commitment to respect all the points of the Charter is a good starting point. The best, in fact. Perhaps, later, the collective will evolve into other forms of control.

But to begin with, an operation based on trust:

  • avoids administrative burdens;
  • avoids technical loopholes (if you had to delegate "root" access to machines, that would be a security loophole);
  • does not prevent peer review (a member of the collective can question another member about the solutions implemented);
  • does not prevent a feedback from the beneficiaries (for example in comment of a form on the site, to indicate a dysfunction).

In addition, in case of real and deep dispute, a mediation group with no direct interests in the case may intervene.


How do kittens communicate with each other?


As you will have understood, CHATONS is a collective whose members are structures often composed of several people. We communicate mainly via the forum, which is public and accessible to everyone, including people who are not part of the collective. There we discuss various things about the collective, its members and their services.

While in this situation of federating groups of individuals we favor the forum, several tools are available to members to communicate and coordinate, including instant messaging rooms (Matric, XMPP, IRC).


How to get in touch and chat with kittens?

As stated above, feel free to write to us on the forum, you are welcome to do so, as the responses will be quicker, richer, and more diverse than if one person alone were to try to answer you.

However, you can also chat with a kitten you find as a result of your research, with its own contact preferences.

If you need more privacy because your query involves having to divulge personal and private information, and it doesn't involve a particular kitten, you can contact us via the contact form.


I would like to be part of the collective


How to join the collective

The answer is detailed on the page "Joining the Collective", but it starts with learning about free and ethical hosting, decentralization of the internet as well as the activities and projects of the CHATONS collective and its members.


What can the collective bring to my/our project?

The "S" in CHATONS stands for "Solidarity." By joining the collective, you will have the assurance of being able to count on the support of other kittens, to advise you or share their experiences with you. It should also allow you to increase your collective competence. And, since you will have signed on to the charter and manifesto, being part of the collective will show potential users of your services that you are committed to specific criteria (see the Charter and the Manifesto).


What connects the members?

Before anything else : the Charter and the Manifesto. More generally, it is the common will to offer free services that respect their users.


If I am not a hoster, can I still contribute to the dynamics of the collective?

You don't have to be a kitten to take action! The collective is always in need of new ideas or new contributions: translating the site, making communication projects... Don't hesitate to present yourself and submit your ideas on the forum.