Feneas handover


We have at least two volunteers who have offered to take on admin, @how and @jaywink. I propose that you give both of them admin access right away, so they can deal with urgent matters under the existing, minimal governance arrangements. With that taken care of, we can discuss future options in a more leisurely fashion, instead of a crisis mode that easily devolves into mutual mistrust and sabre-rattling.

I think there is some confusion. I’m only volunteering to help with admin if Feneas maintains the forum. I think socialhub should have a dedicated admin team irregardless of who maintains the forum. I’m only volunteering to help with my Feneas hat on, due to already limited time.

Imho part of the current problems like email delivery are blockers which admins cannot fix.


FYI: for now, i gave @how admin rights so he can deal with present issues i can’t manage to handle myself. After that, we can proceed with the discussion.


Awesome! Is there a way to broadcast that to all forum users and anyone else looking for someone to poke about getting deferred admin stuff done? Do we have any other volunteers?

Sorry for the presumption, thanks for clarifying. Going back to the longer term stewardship question, as I currently understand it, the proposal from Feneas is to:
a) add at least one more active admin (@jaywink)
b) allow the community to self-govern their use of the building, within the limits of a CoC that (as I read it) just codifies a “be excellent to each other” ethic, while providing enough funding and maintenance to make sure the building doesn’t fall down.

Have I missed anything?


i think there is a subtlety overlooked regarding how the term “admin” is being used in this thread

forums and chat rooms have a concept of “discussion moderator”; that is not necessarily an admin

an admin is a person who can log into a shell on the server to fix problems with the software and operating system (such as getting email integration to be functional) - a moderator does not require that, but they are able to manage users and edit/delete posts from other users, using only their web browser

by that definition, im not sure now which abilities @how was given; but it seems to me that jay was offering only to be a moderator

so to be clear, it is more server admins that are needed, so that critical emergent operational issues can be addressed promptly


Continuing the discussion from Feneas handover:

Come here and ask, or create a new topic in #site-feedback.

Pending tasks are being addressed as soon as possible starting with identifying different software teams involved with ActivityPub and present here in order to create the missing categories to facilitate discussion.

Some topics have already been addressed, e.g.:


Good point @bill-auger. I don’t know a lot about how Discourse works, but usually forum software has at least two tiers of Special Cow Powers, that are quite separate from shell access to the server running the instance of said forum software;

  • moderators: have powers to remove comments and threads that are OT or abusive, put hot-headed users on probation, ban spammers and trolls etc
  • admins: have powers to promote or demote moderators, create and delete boards etc

I presume that under the Feneas proposal, the existing Feneas sysadmin and treasury team are offering to take care of the sysadmin stuff, and paying for hosting and domain name(s). I presume that @jaywink is offering to be an admin, by the definition given above, and that these are the powers @how has been given. Can either of you correct or clarify any of this?

EDIT; typos


Sorry since email notifications still don’t work, didn’t see this.

Feneas is proposing to handle hosting and costs. Having anyone as admin (read: Discourse admin) is not necessary, but was suggested since it seems there is not enough admins at the moment. Personally I have way too many things to do already, so I’m not looking for more admin access, but if need be can help set up categories, moderate, etc.

I’m confident with Feneas hosting we would at least have email notifications sorted out immediately as the hosting is not depending on a single person - we’ve got a small team which we will be growing as more services are hosted. We have good monitoring and very reliable servers and SSL certs do not expire. Our current 30 day uptime is 99.580% across all the services (https://status.feneas.org/). A bit sad, mostly due to some problems with the Synapse and Friendica services which are now solved.

Personally, until basic things like email notifications work reliably, we can’t even promote this forum.



until basic things like email notifications work reliably

I agree this needs fixing. @how is the admin you’ve been given sufficient to do anything about this?

Feneas is proposing to handle hosting and costs.

Again, this sounds totally sensible to me, considering the current handling of those things is currently somewhat up in the air. It’s been clarified that the Feneas offer is about infrastructural support, rather than taking over the day-to-day admin of the boards themselves (although some of their folk may be able to help with that)

At no point have we suggested that Feneas take full control, actually the opposite, ideally we would only host and maintain it, leaving admin to a dedicated team of people who don’t need to have a direct relation with Feneas.

With that mind, are there still any objections to the Feneas proposal?

@how ? @eliotberriot ? @decentral1se @natacha ?

If so, do you have another proposal for securing the future of this forum, answering the questions I asked here?

If not, can we declare that we have reached consensus on Feneas taking over hosting duties for socialhub.network?


No I did not. Everything is documented in the Staff category, e.g. from April 21st, when I was granted admin rights:

Yes, for the same reasons stated before, that have not been answered, or in a way that moved things another direction since @mxb handled admin to me – except I do not have SSH access, nor domain access. Since I do not, @mxb is still in charge. Staff has not decided anything yet, and each can talk for themselves.

Yes, it was posted before, the offer still stands.

All I could fix was fixed, new categories were opened. Tasks have been assigned.

I agree this should be fixed. There’s only one root here, and that’s not me.

I suggest this topic does not take over staff discussion. If you like to fix this board, get involved with staff and staff work. The best way to get to staff is to take charge of a free software project developing ActivityPub functionality, and maintain presence here for sharing development info: all project leaders maintaining a category here have been granted moderator status.

I wish I could solve the remaining tasks but I can’t force anyone.


I completely disagree with this statement, obviously what is needed on a forum and in fact to allow any project and/or group to function: is a proper moderation, and in this prospect proper admin rights to the moderators.
@eliotberriot just wrote an great article about governance that would certainly nurture this conversation a lot: http://ilu.servus.at/category/13-fed-up.html#article3

Yes of course I still object, for the same reasons as before. In addition to me the problem is about administration and moderation, and I do not see how transferring the platform to an owner who think admin is not necessary would solve any problem, lets do the admin here decently and have several persons moderating the community.

Discuss governance issues as a community, do not force people to change platform when they do not want to, and if there is any money problem for hosting lets discuss this together I am sure we can finance some euros for that.


governance and moderation are only needed if and when there are users who are using the forum in an off-topic manor - those are very much secondary issues to the fundamental concern of fully functional, robust infrastructure, and serve no valuable purpose whatsoever until people are actually using (abusing) it in a way that impedes communication - thats not to say that it does not happen; but i dont think it has happened on this forum yet, and so those are relatively low-priority concerns

i think the main point jay was making, and i would like to underline, is that this site is not fully functional today (such as email access), and if the server goes down or some functionality breaks, there needs to be someone (ideally multiple people) who can get it working again ASAP - there is no point in worrying about who will be the governors or moderators if users do not have the assurance that the infrastructure will be maintained by responsive and competent admins


We’re pulling back our offer of hosting SocialHub.

After the process that started on Jan 20th as a suggestion for a generic web forum which Feneas could host, pretty much nothing has happened towards that goal in the 4 or so months.

We made our offer in good faith and believing such a forum would benefit different developers of the federated web and wanted to avoid two forums focusing on such a narrow area. Unfortunately due to a select few individuals who feel that the federated web has to exclude certain developers, there has been no progress on making SocialHub a healthy place to discuss the federated web. The forum has been broken with no email sending and no guarantees of stability or things like backups, which makes it impossible for us to endorse the forum in any way.

We waited for a while to see if the new admin team of the forum is able to fix things (as per their counter-proposal), but since things have not been moving forward, we’re going to resolve the issue on our own.

Feneas will be setting up a Discourse at talk.feneas.org soon with the aim of providing a place where anybody is welcome to come discuss the federated web, but focusing on developers. We want to provide a place where people can discuss interoperability, libraries, extensions, bridging between protocols, and so on.

If anybody is interested in working with us for this goal, for example to help set up categories and do moderation, please do get in touch with me (Jason Robinson) or @zauberstuhl (Lukas Matt).

This topic can be considered closed.


Totally agreed. This is Staff work. This is under way. As long as @mxb is alone having the keys, this will stagnate. Staff is working to resolve this situation in a collegial and consensual manner respecting the existing community contradictions.

You are duplicating effort here without willing to hear anything about what other people think about governance. Although I agree that socialhub.network should be fixed ASAP, I do not see how splitting the community is going to help anywhere in the long term. But I respect your choice to walk away and split.


again, from the perspective of an outsider who is reading this discussion, one sees that there was a vote held over a month ago with a clear preference to let feneas manage the infrastructure - that was three months after the proposal, and yet a month after the vote, no decision has been made

to be clear about that, the two voting options: “no preference” and “would be ok” are essentially the same - they state no strong preference, but would be satisfied with the majority decision (aka abstained) - the remaining two options, which are the only relevant ones, are (yay: 46%) and (nay: 8%) - thats nearly a 6:1 majority in favor of accepting the proposal - and it appears that what actually is going to happen is the option that only 8% of users voted for; because now, due to indecisiveness, that is the only option remaining - that does not much resemble my conception of democratic governance; but congratulations to the 8%

i had no strong preference myself, but the one thing i have learned from this is that feneas is capable of making important decisions in a timely manor - thats all the information i have to go by; but if this forum does not get its act together before feneas starts its forum, then it would be hard to argue against moving the forge-fed discussions to the feneas forum (or operating our own forum) as the responsible thing to do for the health of project, before there are too many hyper-links to this domain out in the wild that become unreachable

i do hope that everyone reading this can see the irony in a forum, that is dedicated to the topic of federation, but is on the brink of evaporating due to a community management structure that can not decide who the admin should be, and the dependence on a single admin who is not willing to maintain the server nor to give up control until the decision is made by someone else - federation is actually the solution to both of those problems - i guess we just arent there yet with the available forum software



We’re pulling back our offer of hosting SocialHub.

That’s unfortunate but understandable. Perhaps having two forums (this one and talk.feneas.org) might actually end up being helpful, as bridging between them is an obvious test case for federation between Discourse instances?

So with SocialHub taking their hosting offer off the table, it seems only two options remain:

  1. @mxb takes up the offer by @how and @natacha for Petites Singularités to take over hosting duties for socialhub.network
  2. @mxb shuts up shop.

My only strong preference is that the community that’s formed here is not left homeless, so the first one seems preferable to me. If anyone can think of a third option (not including the forum zombies on with no proper sysadmin), please share it.


on the brink of evaporating due to a community management structure that can not decide who the admin should be

I think the takeaway here is the risk inherent in single points of failure. When I start a community platform, I go to great effort in the very early stages to get as many reliable and trustworthy people involved in admin as possible, and give them as many permissions as they have the skills to handle. In a nutshell, I do everything I can to make myself surplus to requirement, right from the get-go, in case I find myself having to withdraw from the project in a hurry.


FYI we’ve launched our Feneas forum, more details here: https://feneas.org/federated-networks-forum/


Congratulations to Feneas on the new forum. It’s great to have another forum that has a much broader scope, including things like federated chat (XMPP/Matrix) as well as the federated social web that has been the focus of socialhub.network.