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Topic 3: Our Current Management

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pj:
3)  In order to function, let alone thrive and survive, any community must have some kind of management.  Our current management is discussed in respect to the responsibilities detailed in Topic 2:

As already mentioned, the management of Mortal Mist began with my decision to open the forum to the public.  Since that time, I have remained in management and have been directly involved in choosing all subsequent managers.  The members of Mortal Mist do not currently have a voice in choosing or retaining management.

Domain, Routing and Connection
Our domains are anonymously owned and paid for, though under my control.  The connection and routing are provided by me.  ("Me" is pj throughout this set of discussions, by the way.)  Domains can be owned by anybody, transferred freely and control granted to administrators.  mu shares domain administrative access with me.

All of these responsibilities can be handled by a hosting company as part of their monthly fee.

Hardware Infrastructure
I own or share ownership of the server computer, backup computer, routers, switches, cabling, power supplies and all other physical requirements, and am the only member with access to the physical location of our systems.  When something goes wrong with hardware, I must make the trip to deal with it.  An anonymous donor has provided funding for upgrades and maintenance of this equipment.

All of these details can be handled by a hosting company as part of their monthly fee, eliminating the need for physical access as well as ownership and maintenance of hardware.

Software Infrastructure
All of our software is either open source or custom written for our use.  Raklet, dodobird, mu and I (to a very small extent) are the programmers who have been involved.  Others have contributed to themes, styles and imagery.  mu and I are responsible for maintaining, configuring and updating all systems.

This is an area that could only be partly be managed by a hosting company, who would assume responsibility for the actual operating system and will often also provide database, mail and forum software - though that forum software would not include our customizations.

System Security
mu and I share system-level security responsibility through our attention to operating system and other software configuration and updates and maintaining off-site backups.  

A hosting company would assume all of this responsibility as part of their services.

Exploitation Prevention
Inappropriate promotion, exploitation and spam are guarded against by all members, with primary action responsibility falling to Moonbeam and Wolvendeer.  mu and I also take action when necessary, though our involvement concentrates more on the systems guarding against known spammers and exploiters getting in to start with.

Limiting Potential Liability
All of the members and management cooperate in watching for and heading off potentially dangerous or illegal situations.  Moonbeam plays a key role in this area by taking responsibility for watching over discussion involving supplements or any other substances and keeping them limited to areas that are known to be benign.

There is additional management provided by those who have taken "project leader" responsibility over specific boards, and by those who monitor and moderate our chat services.  These positions have been either volunteered for or filled at the request of established managers.

My role extends further to analytics and strategies to keep us "on radar" on the various web search engines.  We are not terribly aggressive about these matters, as our goal has never been to become huge or dominant among Lucid Dreaming forums, but we remain aware of where our traffic comes from and how the patterns trend.

That is a comprehensive picture of our current management.

Sunshine:
(content removed by user request)

pj:

--- Quote from: Moonbeam on September 21, 2011, 03:28:56 PM ---Are you suggesting that we use a hosting company?

--- End quote ---

No, but it is important to where this is all going to make it clear that most of what I am currently responsible for, (and all that would be very difficult if not impossible to duplicate without my resources and involvement,) can be handled by a hosting company.  

In other words, I am not indispensable.  Mortal Mist would survive without my involvement.

StarSeeker:

--- Quote from: pj on September 21, 2011, 04:38:02 PM ---In other words, I am not indispensable.
--- End quote ---
You shouldn't lie pj. Everyone is indispensable, and that includes you!

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