2023 Q1 Meeting Minutes

    • Creative work
      • Streams/Videos
        • Biggest freelance client for Joe’s freelance contract has ended and has not been renewed. It does mean less revenue but it also now frees up time for Joe to work on more creative ventures.
        • Joe is also sleeping better as a whole and is more creatively energized
        • Joe hasn’t felt this excited about editing in years
        • Streams have had tech back where Joe would like them
        • Friday morning streams are a hit
        • Saturday night reading streams are grinding but thoughtful
        • Focused work streams like that are good for maintaining forward momentum
        • Potentially adding more morning streams, but requires balance with editing time
      • Music/Albums
        • Quinn Hills will be joining Joe in studio to hang out with a guitar for a stream soon
        • Commercial real estate is cheap right now from the pandemic, and an off site studio is being considered
        • Night streams might be less elaborate if so, but in the long term Joe would like to stream from the road
        • More of that will be addressed in depth at the next quarterly meeting
        • Volume 3 is coming, branding needs sorting but the most important aspect is that Quinn feels comfortable
        • Joe Hills Speaks Spoken Word project
        • TTRPG games were fun, and running more one shots on the discord is desired
          • Call of Cluethulu
      • Patreon goals and tier review
        • $3000 goal at last meeting has been meeting that goal
          • This is because one person has been hitting the $500 tier but it is not long term
          • Short term/immediate investments have been made with tech upgrades
        • Long term goals are known, the matter is meeting them.
          • Kindalas suggests updating the patreon quarterly so folks know it is not abandoned and more folks can be drawn in
        •  If we hit a certain monetary goal (4k or 5k a month? numbers need to be run) do we make some of the servers available to everyone?
          • Not an individual sponsorship program
          • Yes this is something we can open feedback for and consider in the future
          • Funds would cover more staff time and hardware such as laptops for server operators
      • Vacation mode considered a success
        • Concerns raised were “does Joe not trust his mods”
          • He does, vacation mode was not made from a lack of faith in staff
          • Joe wants to prepare for situations like the company doing well and flying the staff team to PAX for a booth, or so well that we do a staff retreat for a week. In those scenarios, everyone trusted to run the discord in unavailable. Preparing for failure needs to also be met with preparing for success
          • The test of vacation mode was to see if the discord could exist with NO staff available.
        • Vacation mode isn’t being considered for when Joe goes to Europe for spring break as Joe trusts his staff to run things while he is away. If that doesn’t work out well that shows the scope for how the discord runs.
        • Server operators cannot do emergency maintenance on the server consoles as Joe will not provide them with root access on personal devices.
        • If spring break is a nightmare and can be fixed we will do that. If it goes poorly and can’t be fixed vacation mode would be used in instances like when Joe gets married and goes on a honeymoon.
        • Vacation mode is for cases of extreme unavailability, such as honeymoons or PAX.
        • Likely won’t be used for an entire month again, vacation mode is intended to be used sparingly.
      • Minecraft servers
        • Long-term server reset schedule, season 9 is intended to last longer than season 6
          • Current HermitCraft Season expected to run at least 9–12 more months.
          • This means our flagship server wouldn’t change until then, and not be reset for a while
          • Modded and vanillish servers would reset on their own needs based upon community members desires and resources
          • Joe would like to launch a side series/modded server at some point mid year
          • We’ll solicit feedback for that in March for a May/June launch
        • Maintenance schedule
          • Joe was wiped from server maintenance from freelance work but is now more free to do that
          • Have a preflight checklist before travel and have one item be server maintenance
          • One server needs an operating system update
          • Dependant on the data center and Joe’s availability
      • Discord
        • One issue is that people are posting big gifs that aren’t alt texted and is hard for Joe to process, and he can’t parse the intended meaning
        • Spam channels are supposed to be for user-created work, and folks posting reaction images push that work further up and distract from it
        • Joes proposes best option may be text only channel/category, community agrees
          • Joe creates All-Text category to host #feels #introductions and #alt-general
        • Joe knows he can’t broadly replace discord’s full functionality, but he is prepared to spin up an alternative online forum as a place to go should discord but taken over by facebook
        • Our first channel cull was a learning experience
          • Future culls will be more forward-looking and consider upcoming game launches, like Pokémon
          • Culls will not occur every quarter; at most once a year or every other year
          • Culls will be announced 3 months in advance
          • Adding channels will be done quarterly
        • Spam things you wrote channel has been added to the discord
        • Pokemon channel has been added to the discord
          • Joe says removing it was a mistake
        • Dwarf Fortress will NOT be added.
        • Space channel has been added to the discord
        • Food-and-drink channel has been added to the discord
        • Spam-work-you-commissioned channel has been added to the discord
          • This is an experimental channel.
        • TTRPG channel has been added to the discord
        • Technology channel has been added to the discord
        • Suggested channels that need more feedback are a fashion channel and a research/science channel
        • New feedback channel for emojis has been added, emojis are likely to be added based on whimsy, emotional investment in your proposals is not advised

The next quarterly meeting is tentatively scheduled for the 3rd weekend in April.

Video of the meeting:

2022 Q3 Meeting Minutes

Meeting Purpose

  • Purpose of this meeting’s first item is the discord is getting too big and fickle to run
    • Every quarter we’ll have a quarterly meeting to decide if what we decided last meeting is viable
    • Give ample time for proposals to be addressed and for folks to weigh in
    • Even if not everything goes through everything gets to be considered
  • Anything not already on the agenda goes to next meeting

1. Discord channel pruning

    • Significant change, our discord has 100+ channels, has grown organically over 7 years, intimidating to new people, no good mechanism for adding/removing channels
    • Cull channels this month and review what are the needed channels in January
      • Joe requested Tommy begin the 2023 first quarter agenda and add the first two items, adding back any discord channels, and channel culling frequency. Tommy creates this.
      • Joe specifies that activity sign ups would remain as it currently functions, channels being created as needed for activities. No objections.
      • All specific except for general category, 911 emergency resources would remain as is.
        • Current events would also stay as it makes us unique as most other communities discourage political discussions, and Joe finds it high priority
        • Feels is experimental but we are still looking to keep it. A note is that the ability to send images would be removed.
          • The channels that would keep image sending capability would be channels that require it, such as spam-photos-you-snapped and collaborative channels such as the minecraft server channels
          • Joe states keeping the discord similar to older models such as forums keeps it runnable for him, as things being different from the norm is valuable for Joe
        • Identity is important to keep as it also is unique for us and encourages education and understanding.
          • Kindalas asks if the moderators feel comfortable with the Feels and Identity channels
            • Joe clarifies yes, but should they become an issue those channels would be placed into read only mode
          • Maahes says that he does not feel he has a strong identity to use the identity channel but has learned from those who do
          • Meep likes having identity makes them feel like they can express their identity that they can’t talk about anywhere else
          • TheQueenAsteri suggests combining Feels and Identity
          • Kindalas opposes
          • Joe explains that there is a difference in the spaces for somebody looking to talk about frustrations and somebody wanting to talk about identity
          • NJ also opposes as it would muddy the waters
          • Mantuamakers says people who want to speak about identity can feel safer with a reserved place rather than combined
        • DottieMatrix asks if Joe if the channels that dont specifically have to do with him be moved elsewhere or be made in other communities run by members of this community
          • Joe says yes, that this is something he is actively looking to encourage
        • Interior decorating is going away as it serves as a reminder to Joe for past plans not coming to fruition
        • Specific channels such as international emergency would be removed and discussion could be moved to current events or feels
        • The number one thing for Joe to keep, even with a theoretical 10x increase in members would be the live event chat channel as discussion in one chat (ie youtube or twitch) would get too large.
        • Small victories will definitely be kept as it genuinely helps folks to be able to post when they accomplish something.
        • Unrest would get a suggestion for replacement in January
        • Virtual cafe was created as a second general but is not needed. It can be revisited in January.
      • Animal crossing category is getting culled completely
      • Consume category
        • Book club will be kept
        • Food channel will be culled, it does not make the cut and will be revisited in January
          • Kindalas requests food be a small victories topic
            • Joe states its best to be revisited
        • Hermitcraft will be kept as it makes sense for there to be a place for HermitCraft fans to discuss content
        • Cultural channels (arts and entertainment) would be consolidated into one channel for things such as music, tv, dance, etc
      • Create category
        • The spam channels will be kept separate as different creations deserve their owns spaces to be viewed or posted
          • TheQueenAsteri feels that when photos are posted in the spam-photos channel they get drowned out by pet photos
            • Joe states that he doesn’t want to run a topic-specific community that is outside his expertise. 
            • If a differentiation could be provided in January’s meeting it could be revisited as Joe believes it is out of scope for today
          • Centuritron loves being able to post their crochet stuff
          • Misterlantz believes photos and art could be combined
            • Joe wants to protect the different arts
          • Kindalas states asking staff to differentiate between pet pictures and artistic pictures is a lot
            • Joe agrees and that’s why it may be revisited with framework in January
          • Meep explains worries about consolidating so many channels in terms of accessibility, a lot of issues comes from the screen reader not handling messages properly and causing a lot of trouble for them to stay chronological to the discussion
            • Joe states that is good feedback and greater reason to switch from discord to another platform, though that is out of scope for today’s meeting. He would like for Meep to provide alternatives that are more accessible.
            • Joe makes a note to review accessibility implications in the January meeting
        • Lets plays would be culled, Joe encourages community members who are fans of other series create their own spaces to discuss
        • Works in progress would be kept
        • Programming would be removed with revisit in January
        • Streaming/recording would be removed with revisit in January
        • Writing would be removed with revisit in January
      • Games category
        • Friend-codes would be kept
        • Minecraft would be kept
        • Pinball would be kept
        • Players wanted would be kept
        • All other channels in the games category would be removed
      • Joe Hills Meta category
        • Announcements would be kept
        • Feedback accessibility kept
        • Feedback everstorm kept
        • Feedback newsletter kept
        • Feedback structure kept
        • Meeting discussion kept
        • Next quarter new business kept
        • Rules would be kept
        • All other channels in the Joe Hills Meta category would be removed
          • Maahes suggests feedback structure be combined with next quarter new business
            • Joe disagrees
            • Tommy agrees with that disagreement
            • Xhille suggests having a feedback category in addition to the meta category
              • Joe declines
      • Realms and serves category channels would all be kept
      • SMP category channels would all be kept
        • Misterlantz asks if the -next channels need to be kept
          • Joe clarifies that those channels are consolidated when the servers go live
          • Misterlantz agrees but mentions there is 2022 experimental next and vanillish next
          • Joe agrees that the channels should be renamed to be feedback channels as they exist to give players a space to discuss changes for the servers
          • We will come back to this as Joe wishes to discuss it with the server operators
      • Travel category
        • Would be reduced to a meet-up channel and individual event channels
      • Tommy asks for clarification of when the channels would be culled and how, all at once or rolled out?
        • Joe specifies it would be culled on September 22nd as that is when vacation mode would be implemented
      • Misterlantz asked if when the channels are pruned would they be moved to the archived rooms category
        • Joe clarifies yes, culled channels would be moved there and everything being renamed would simply be renamed
      • ButterflyGirlKMC asks if there would be a general gaming channel
        • Joe clarifies no, discussion could be kept to general or if they wanted someone to play with that would go in players wanted
        • Mars states gaming is a core cultural value
        • TheQueenAsteri asks if gaming could go under arts/entertainment
        • Mars states it is too big a topic to be brushed into general
        • Centuritron states gaming general is nice to keep gaming in one place
        • Maahes is in favor of a general gaming channel to allow for space of culled channels such as animal crossing
        • Joe agrees that keeping gaming general would help measure scope for things in January

2. Vacation mode

    • Joe has needed a way to disengage from his work since 2008 and has not had that way.
      • Joe has dreaded taking time off as he feels like things would blow up without him
      • He would like to hire someone full time, such as Tommy on a salaried position, to be fully trained to take care of things.
      • We aren’t there yet and we will never get there at the current rate of things if Joe were to burn out.
      • Joe wants to make this all last, so the short term goal is for Joe to be able to have the discord “closed” when he goes on vacation.
        • It would begin at least one day before Joe leaves and end at least one day after his return
        • Anything that goes wrong would be reviewed the week after Joe returns from vacation
        • Channels would be set to read only except for spam servers you operate, the minecraft server channels, any activity channels, relevant travel channels, and live event chat for any streams
          • Joe adds on that players wanted could be kept open as well
      • Joe specifies it’s not the community’s fault, this was an issue before the discord was open
    • Joe will be traveling starting September 23rd until the end of October and this is the first good time to enable vacation mode
      • Consensus is that this is a necessary and good change for Joe to take to maintain good mental health
      • This means vacation mode will be activated September 22nd and end on October 31st
        • Kindalas asks if there would be no server petitions
          • Joe clarifies yes there will still be petitions, dates will be announced in Newsletter 21
        • Not Kansas’ Halloween parade build contest will also still occur, planned date is Sunday October 30th, the exact time TBD

3. Modmail tutorial

          • Tommy will create a modmail tutorial to explain what it is and when to use it and how

4. Rules channel

    • Make the rules channel easier to find
      • Joe asks if putting it in all specific category would suffice
        • Em agrees it’s easier to find there
        • Xhille says we could use bots to automate the process of new members reading and accepting the rules
          • Joe declines as this is not what he wants
        • Tommy suggests renaming the channel so it is higher in the alphabetic sorting of channels
          • Maahes suggested A list of rules
          • Kindalas suggests Actual Rules
            • Joe enjoys this proposal the most as it involves malicious compliance with community member’s requests
            • Rules channel was renamed to Actual rules and placed into all specific except for general category
      • Establishing staff and their roles is the next agenda item
        • Joe suggests he could draft that during his October break as he will have the time to create it then
          • Specifically in the times he is between trips
          • Scheduled for September 26th which is a Monday, Newsletter day
      • Notify current members of rule updates/changes
        • Joe states that we don’t really add rules often, and that a @everyone would not be needed as we would announce it in the appropriate channels and newsletter
        • Tommy agrees that an @ would not be needed
        • Folks seem fine okay with not requiring an @
      • Implement discord’s “start screen” feature
        • This feature is for public/community servers, we are unable to roll this out for our server as is.

5. Adding specific rule that disallows using media co-opted by hate groups

    • Community agrees we need to add that rule
      • Joe asks best way to implement it  without needed to constantly update rules
      • Tommy suggests a rule that gives pepe and swastikas as an example and ending it with etc to included items as needed
      • Xhille suggests linking a URL to a list of known hate imagery
        • This creates problems of people arguing what is and isn’t hate imagery
        • Tommy’s suggestion is accepted and will be added by release of Newsletter 21
      • Joe suggests also removing nitro ability to use custom emotes
        • Some community members seems saddened by loss but agree on it’s value

6. Adding specific rule that disallows celebratory messages or media as a response to a person’s death

    • Joe clarifies that he does not want to encourage any violent action but that also he doesn’t want to contribute to issues of aggressions or violent extremism
      • Joe opens the floor to a concise statement to be added to rules
        • Final wording is “No celebrating bodily harm or death of a real person”
      • This will also be added by release of Newsletter 21
      • Mantuamaker asks if there was room to discuss it if the person harmed was someone they knew and abusive
        • Joe clarifies that it would not be appropriate to celebrate here but rather in a private discussion.
        • Xhille says those examples can be discussed without being celebrated