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Giving the community, back to the community

0 2 months ago

Let me make this clear, this is not a resignation letter! I will remain a member and will try my best to keep things up and running. This is a serious letter in regards to the future of TSU though, so read well :)

Ever since my joining in 2013, there has always been a drive within certain members to keep the TSU active, by constantly working on new content to be delivered on the website. By hosting events both in real life, as well as online. Or by simply being around in a chatroom or two. For me, this has always been the best part about the TSU. The fact that it’s a community where everyone tries to do their part in order to make our own lives, as well as each other’s, a better one to live. And each in their own special way.

Over the last few years however, the default core of the community have moved on with their own projects and passions. Both within the community and it’s platform, as well as to other platforms and mediums. Leading to a lack in active content being shared on the TSU website. This while new members are joining (both from new interests as well as old members returning), who have their own expectations which are not always met.
This has pushed on me ever since Sgt. Dutch handed me control over the community, taking his active content creating with him and his devotion within the community to push others to create content as well.
This was in a time where Commander Jet already had to step back due to personal reasons, and the community already struggling with maintaining an active member base due to the rise of Social Media platforms like Facebook and Twitter.

Even though, in heart and spirit, the community is still going strong. The website has (in my experience) always been falling behind due to people finding easier platforms to share their passion and connecting with others. And trying to push people towards using the TSU website for this, always lead to big discussions in regards to usability, accessibility, and motive.

The website had a userbase in the multiple thousands, and trying to regain that level in the current social age is something that requires either a lot of energy from a few members, or a little energy from a lot of members!

Therefor, the decision has been made to give the community back to the community!

This means that you (yes, you) are now also in control of TSU’s future!

TSU HQ is looking for members who are willing to spend a little energy in keeping the website active with small bits of content.
As well as members who are willing to moderate the forums, Facebook group, and Discord server.
And maybe even some technical members who know how to maintain a (WordPress) website.

Think you have what it takes for any of the 3 responsibilities above?
Do hit up any of the current moderators or administrators in our Discord server.
We will have a chat, make sure you actually know what you are doing, and hopefully welcome you to the team!

This also means that (for now) a few things will change on the website:

The forums will be archived for now. The last post was 7 months ago, and the increase in bot accounts and spam topics have made it very unattractive to actually do something with this. If enough members sign up for forum and member moderation, we could enable it again!

The armory will only contain on-demand printed products to be shipped out. This means that patches, pins, button, and the black robot t-shirts have been taken out of stock. Because shipping out those products always relied on me actively checking the orders, which hasn’t been a great success since Covid became an extra challenge. Other products might still be added in the future, as this is also our main source of income that pays for hosting (the rest comes out of my own wallet, as every hobby is allowed to cost something).

And of course this will also come with some role changes/definitions:

Administrators will remain the go-to point for any official business that affect the TSU as a whole. This could be anything from paying bills, to legal business. They will also stay in charge of the main TSU mailbox and might delegate work to moderators that show ambition in certain fields. They are not above the community though, and should still be approached as any other member.

Moderators (previously known as Codemonkeys) will take care of the daily community tasks, which can be answering questions from members, managing forum topics, and even handling/hosting discussions in our Discord server. They are the first line of defense when things go bad and are free to escalate anything out of their capabilities towards administrators.

Codemonkeys will regain their technical value and will be responsible for bugs and new features on the website. Currently this is all done by one person (me) but I would love to see more technical folks working together to maintain the website.

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