How to find volunteer administrators? (Was: RE: Free Web App Co-operative)

Bogdan Bivolaru bogdan.bivolaru at
Tue Feb 12 23:28:28 UTC 2008

0) OMG, this idea rocks! I was going to offer a hardware and bandwidth 
for such a service and start building some sort of community of people 
sharing resources for a freedom and free-as-in-beer service. I was 
hoping of building some kind of community, like, to operate 
the network.

1) As I see it the big problem is not the hardware nor the bandwidth (we 
can think of a web cluster-like system to operate it, REBOL style ): the problem is finding capable and 
good-willing volunteers to administrate it. I would offer root access to 
a computer I own on a internet connection I am responsible for. If that 
mail server starts sending malware, who will be responsible/liable for 
charges in justice?

Protecting Web and mail servers as free services - such a "honey pot" - 
from the constant attack of  ill-wanting spammers and other malware 
writers, is like a full day job. Failing to do so can result in bans 
from accessing the network of different ISP and can even result in 
having your own ISP disconnect you.
How do you approach this initial lack of criteria for selecting volunteers?

Freedom software projects require candidate contributors to submit 
patches for a long time before granting them commit access to the 
version control repository. They can check the technical abilities of 
the candidate and let in only the best. What can one do to select 
volunteer service administrators?

2a) Since all projects running on such a service would be free (both 
Afero GPL-style and as in free beer) one could hope we will find a web 
hosting firm to sponsor us hosting space and bandwidth. Just as 
Atlassian, , offers free licenses of JIRA, a 
proprietary issue tracking system, to free software developers. Or a 
relationship like QT/KDE for a service company.
They could be in for the PR and providing some kind of "demo" to other 
clients, running proprietary applications

2b) I could also pay some monthly fees for a BlueHost / Dreamhost 
account, supposing sharing my account with many people does not violate 
their Terms of Service. And 500GB hdd space sound like a lot for a few 
begining network sites.
There are also some VPS-hosting options (root access to a virtual 
machine running your site, but has less hdd space, "only" 1.6 GB)

3) DNS naming and directory:
What about a DNS register? As far as I know there are no free DNS names 
registrars, right?

4) Do you plan installing Tor as an anonymizer on the network? I guess 
Tor requires providing services only through SSL/TLS, to avoid 
eavesdropping, right?

Sadly you provided no link where one can read/discuss more on this idea 
of yours.
> ------------------------------------------------------------------------
> Subject:
> Free Web App Co-operative
> From:
> "Jonathan Roberts" < at>
> Date:
> Mon, 11 Feb 2008 11:28:41 +0000
> To:
> discussion at
> To:
> discussion at
> Hi,
> I'm currently floating this idea around a few places and thought
> people here might be interested. We're trying to get together a small
> group interested in starting a hosted web apps co-operative where the
> key principles are openness and using entirely free software to build
> and run it.
> Initially we're probably going to target e-mail, calendaring and rss
> but this is open to discussion. The entire idea is open to discussion
> and the purpose of this now is to get together a group interested in
> discussing this and taking it forwards. I think it could be
> financially very reasonable for a group as small as 10.
> If you're interested in becoming involved with something like this
> feel free to reply to this thread or contact me of list. The next step
> will be cc'ing together an interested group where will begin figuring
> out implementations etc...
> Best wishes,
> Jonathan Roberts

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