Author Topic: Future of the Fora?  (Read 943 times)

eigen

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Future of the Fora?
« on: November 01, 2022, 10:41:47 AM »
Hey all:

I've had to step back a lot from being active here for a number of reasons, and as we think about the long-term aspects, I'm not sure how sustainable it is for me to keep handling the hosting of this server (financially and practically).

I'm not planning to pull the plug, but I'm wondering if anyone would be interested in taking it over from me?

The cost is about $65/year through Reclaim hosting ($15 for the DNS registration, and $50 for the hosting).
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Wahoo Redux

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Re: Future of the Fora?
« Reply #1 on: November 01, 2022, 02:24:41 PM »
A kickstarter to raise funds, say, $5 a member?  There is only a small cadre here and we could donate anonymously.
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eigen

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Re: Future of the Fora?
« Reply #2 on: November 01, 2022, 02:32:21 PM »
I think there are two parts of it. One is whether there's anyone else willing to administer the site (be the name on the account, collect money, pay dues) and the other is how we fund it.
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Puget

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Re: Future of the Fora?
« Reply #3 on: November 01, 2022, 02:37:42 PM »
I'd be happy to chip in funds, but don't want to take over admin duties (maybe some day, but not during tenure year ;-0)
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Langue_doc

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Re: Future of the Fora?
« Reply #4 on: November 01, 2022, 03:26:58 PM »
I'd be happy to contribute/chip in; perhaps we could use the extra funds to pay someone to manage the site.

clean

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Re: Future of the Fora?
« Reply #5 on: November 01, 2022, 06:07:08 PM »
How about a more complete description of the tasks?
If it is a matter of paying a nominal amount and keeping the registration up to date, I would find it hard to imagine that there would be a problem finding someone willing to be the nominal 'straw man' even if it costs the bank-busting sum of $65.

There must be something else in the 'oh, by the way' category that would keep people from volunteering (or you from continuing).

What is the FULL Scoop?  what questions SHOULD we be asking?
"The Emperor is not as forgiving as I am"  Darth Vader

Sun_Worshiper

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Re: Future of the Fora?
« Reply #6 on: November 02, 2022, 10:26:25 AM »
I'd be happy to chip in funds, but don't want to take over admin duties

Same

Sun_Worshiper

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Re: Future of the Fora?
« Reply #7 on: November 02, 2022, 10:26:53 AM »
Where is Elon Musk when we need him?

dismalist

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Re: Future of the Fora?
« Reply #8 on: November 02, 2022, 10:33:58 AM »
Have cash. $ Need staff.
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Liquidambar

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Re: Future of the Fora?
« Reply #9 on: November 02, 2022, 01:05:48 PM »
I'd be happy to chip in funds, but don't want to take over admin duties

Same

Ditto.  (Sorry, eigen.)
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eigen

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Re: Future of the Fora?
« Reply #10 on: November 02, 2022, 03:18:01 PM »
How about a more complete description of the tasks?
If it is a matter of paying a nominal amount and keeping the registration up to date, I would find it hard to imagine that there would be a problem finding someone willing to be the nominal 'straw man' even if it costs the bank-busting sum of $65.

There must be something else in the 'oh, by the way' category that would keep people from volunteering (or you from continuing).

What is the FULL Scoop?  what questions SHOULD we be asking?

I mean, it's really not that bad.

The baseline would be collecting (or paying) money and keeping up the registration information with the company we host under (Reclaim Hosting). I can talk to them about the logistics of transferring this hosting account to someone else, but it shouldn't be that complex.

Slightly more than that is keeping up with backups (in case something happens), occasionally needing to tweak site settings when something breaks, and handling installation/management of the software that runs the board instance on the hosted server.

As to why I'm looking to get out of this role, there are a few reasons:

1) Being in this role (esp. moderating) has honestly taken all of the joy I've had being part of this community out of it. I've been making it possible for this to exist, while at the same time having people rant about how I'm silencing their voices / accuse me of things.

2) I'm pre-tenure and barely staying afloat, which doesn't leave much time for this or other things, and I think it's relatively worthwhile to have someone take over who's active, rather than me who checks in every couple of weeks and has notifications set up in case something crashes.

3) I'm tired of doing it. Quite honestly, I'm just tired over all. It was a lot of work to get things set up, and I've taken care of it the past few years, and I'd like to find someone to take it over so I can take one thing off my plate.

To be perfectly honest, your reply also sums up a lot of things that have soured me on this community as a whole. Rather than a "wow, thanks for taking care of this for the past few years, we're happy to step up and keep it going so it's not all on you", the immediate reply is "It doesn't cost that much, why don't you just keep doing it? What are you hiding?"
Quote from: Caracal
Actually reading posts before responding to them seems to be a problem for a number of people on here...

clean

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Re: Future of the Fora?
« Reply #11 on: November 02, 2022, 06:13:41 PM »
It seems that you read more than I wrote.  In no way did I ask, "why dont you keep doing it".  In fact, I said that it should be no problem finding a straw man.  Your initial post, however, listed 'financial' as the first reason to give it up, and that caused the skepticism.  The more complete answer seems to validate that money is NOT the real reason, or even the top 5!

Im sorry that you are having a rough time with this task just now. Every care giver needs a break every now and then.  IF the issue was purely financial, then clearly there are several of us that would pitch in.  Hopefully, you can delegate some of the moderating or other less happy tasks to others, even for a little while so that you can catch your breath. 

Im also sorry that some of us on the forum are arguing that their voices are being silenced.  For what it is worth, I have found that thefora has been quite tolerant.  Personally, I have a very few people that I dont even bother to read, so I applaud your tenacity to keep up with everything!  Only recently we have put one of those 'participants' in 'time out'. It could be argued that  that person should have been banned, so that they were not  banned is an indication that you are not 'silencing anyone's voice' more than imposing a standard of 'manners' and decorum in this academic (polite) community! So you and the other moderators have been far more understanding and accommodating than some participants deserve!  My only suggestion (which is why I would make a terrible replacement) would be to stop arguing, block them and move on to better things! 

As for being pre tenure and barely staying afloat, I am also sorry that you are having those feelings. The Fall term is coming to an end (4-5 weeks away) and then you should have a month of no classes to catch your breath/dedicate some time to the tasks that have been put off.  You dont say what tasks are most looming or worrying, so the advice that would be best is hard to offer.
 IF you can afford to not teach summers, I hope that you take this summer off.  For both of these times, set a schedule for every week that includes a wake up time, a time to exercise every day, and a time to have some fun!  Keep the work time limited to 4 hours a day (same time every day), but every day keep that schedule.  At the end of the four hours, stop what you are doing!  That way you will be eager to get back to that task the next day!  Four hours wont get you too tired to make mistakes and will let you work effectively.  Make sure that you make time to be around other people, somehow, somewhere. 

Anyway, I appreciate the more thorough answer.  Im sorry that you read more than I typed, but there was certainly something left out of the original message.   

Finally (and not because you prompted it), I do want to express my appreciation for keeping this community active.  While I would not miss everyone, I would miss most of the people that participate.  That would not have happened without you and the other volunteers that do the work to moderate the boards, keep out the bots, and know what to do to fix the errors in a timely manner! 
"The Emperor is not as forgiving as I am"  Darth Vader

Puget

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Re: Future of the Fora?
« Reply #12 on: November 02, 2022, 06:30:26 PM »
How about a more complete description of the tasks?
If it is a matter of paying a nominal amount and keeping the registration up to date, I would find it hard to imagine that there would be a problem finding someone willing to be the nominal 'straw man' even if it costs the bank-busting sum of $65.

There must be something else in the 'oh, by the way' category that would keep people from volunteering (or you from continuing).

What is the FULL Scoop?  what questions SHOULD we be asking?

I mean, it's really not that bad.

The baseline would be collecting (or paying) money and keeping up the registration information with the company we host under (Reclaim Hosting). I can talk to them about the logistics of transferring this hosting account to someone else, but it shouldn't be that complex.

Slightly more than that is keeping up with backups (in case something happens), occasionally needing to tweak site settings when something breaks, and handling installation/management of the software that runs the board instance on the hosted server.

As to why I'm looking to get out of this role, there are a few reasons:

1) Being in this role (esp. moderating) has honestly taken all of the joy I've had being part of this community out of it. I've been making it possible for this to exist, while at the same time having people rant about how I'm silencing their voices / accuse me of things.

2) I'm pre-tenure and barely staying afloat, which doesn't leave much time for this or other things, and I think it's relatively worthwhile to have someone take over who's active, rather than me who checks in every couple of weeks and has notifications set up in case something crashes.

3) I'm tired of doing it. Quite honestly, I'm just tired over all. It was a lot of work to get things set up, and I've taken care of it the past few years, and I'd like to find someone to take it over so I can take one thing off my plate.

To be perfectly honest, your reply also sums up a lot of things that have soured me on this community as a whole. Rather than a "wow, thanks for taking care of this for the past few years, we're happy to step up and keep it going so it's not all on you", the immediate reply is "It doesn't cost that much, why don't you just keep doing it? What are you hiding?"

I very much appreciate all you've done! Based on this list, it seems like we could dived up these tasks so no one person has to do it all. It seems we need a webmaster and moderator(s), but those need not be the same people. They could also rotate yearly so no-one has to do it for long (unless they want to). I'm not up for it this year, but post-tenure (knock wood!) would certainly take a turn as needed.
"Never get separated from your lunch. Never get separated from your friends. Never climb up anything you can't climb down."
–Best Colorado Peak Hikes

eigen

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Re: Future of the Fora?
« Reply #13 on: November 02, 2022, 06:39:31 PM »
On review, I was probably being overly sensitive- and for that I apologize. Being pre-tenure at at teaching focused place during the pandemic has been... rough.

As I mentioned in the OP, this isn't urgent: I'm happy to keep doing webmaster stuff, and Parasaurolophus has been handling most of the moderation stuff, and also has full admin access to the forums.

But long-term, I'd really like to pass this off to someone else if we can find an individual willing to do it.
Quote from: Caracal
Actually reading posts before responding to them seems to be a problem for a number of people on here...

evil_physics_witchcraft

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Re: Future of the Fora?
« Reply #14 on: November 02, 2022, 07:40:24 PM »
On review, I was probably being overly sensitive- and for that I apologize. Being pre-tenure at at teaching focused place during the pandemic has been... rough.

As I mentioned in the OP, this isn't urgent: I'm happy to keep doing webmaster stuff, and Parasaurolophus has been handling most of the moderation stuff, and also has full admin access to the forums.

But long-term, I'd really like to pass this off to someone else if we can find an individual willing to do it.

I appreciate ALL of your hard work, eigen. Everyone needs some down time. And there's no such thing as being overly sensitive. :)