Curtain Call (1 Viewer)

Heyo folks,

EDIT by fleet on 19 March 2022: Don't panic; a new team has formed to keep the site alive.

I know you're probably thinking 'not this again', but the circumstances of this will be driven by a conscious life choice rather than an erratic response to health issues I was dealing with a year back.

I'm doing a lot better than I was last year, but I've decided I'd like to take a real break from my current life, unplug and bum around for awhile before deciding on a new career path.

Out of respect for those who've been supporting the community and the big mystery donor from last year, I'm going to give this quite a bit of lead time and will hold the site open until June 25th, though I'd like to pass the torch by March 30th if possible to keep my plans on track.

I won't be looking at outside sources for buyers and don't intend to sell the community to try to recoup any costs like I did last time. That was admittedly a selfish thing of me to try to do and I won't be repeating that mistake. The opportunity to take over will be open to any member or members of the community in good standing who feels confident and motivated to take on the responsibility.

Regardless of what happens, June 25th will be my last day here and on Discord. If no one steps into the role by that time... well, this is the end. This isn't a matter of money at this point so there's no dollar amount that's going to sway my decision. If the continued existence of the community means something to you, this is a challenge I'm asking you to step up to.

If you have any questions, feel free to ask here since it concerns everyone, but if you want to PM me that's fine too.

Since the start of Ryonani/Undertow, I'm not the same person I used to be and while I've learned a lot about the human condition and myself being here and sharing this virtual space with you all, I believe the time for me to move on is long overdue, hopefully making way for those more capable and engaged than I've been.

Last item I wanted to address before moving on to the details of this hand-off: I know I've generally been stand-offish since the community merger and I want to apologize if that ever caused anyone offense or communicated disinterest in you as a person. I've drawn some negative attention to myself over the last 12 years, most of it which I haven't made public, and I've become more reclusive as events around me further solidified the idea that my real identity could likely never integrate with my identity here in a way that was safe for me.

Even if I communicated this poorly at the time, if you ever reached out to me in private to share something or express gratitude for holding this space open, you have my heartfelt appreciation. It's been real y'all.

To take on this role, you'll be making decisions on the technology backing the community and be responsible for its long term success and depending on other choices you make, you may be responsible for the content posted by fellow members.

You'll also be responsible for maintaining the platform, which means handling hosting and software licensing and keeping everything up to date. A break down of this is listed in the following sections.

The community's name, charter, rules, staff and structure will be open to change based on your designs and values. There's no expectation to maintain anything I've put forth to date and I won't be here to backseat moderate or available for support or consulting after you take on the role and the data is migrated to your platform.

I can also pass on ownership of the Discord server, although if you don't want to use Discord or have it be an extension of the community, you don't have to.

I have one small request to keep the shout-outs section of the charter intact and to consider any current staff members wanting to stay on, but ultimately it's up to you.

Other than that, the world's your oyster.

Some of it depends on your choices, but you'll want some basic knowledge of working with hosting services and web applications to be successful. I'm setting aside some time to do a knowledge transfer and assist with the initial migration.

To put it in list form, these are the areas you should have some familiarity with so we can talk the same language during this process.
  • Linux/Windows server management
  • MySQL
  • PHP (Just management of the service, coding is only necessary if you want to write your own mods/tools for Xenforo)
  • TCP/IP networking
  • Content Delivery Networks (CDN)
  • DNS
  • Forum or CMS software (currently Xenforo, but if you've worked with any similar software like vBulletin or Wordpress, you're good)
There's a bit of an 80/20 thing going on here. 80% of your time will be on the Xenforo side. The other 20% of your time will be doing back-end maintenance on those orange topics and they don't really change much once things are stable.

There are plenty of free courses and documentation on these topics. I can get you spun up on the specifics of how these technologies play in for the community, but can't train you from the ground up on them during the knowledge transfer.

Assuming you want to maintain the status quo of what the community is using today:
  • Services
Dedicated or virtual server hosting with sufficient resources: I would recommend 4-8 CPU cores, 8-16 GB of memory, 300-500 GB of storage space and at least 10 TB of bandwidth a month.

A separate e-mail server or service: For security/privacy, I'd recommend using a third-party e-mail service or standing up your own e-mail server.

DNS registrar: For domain ownership. Even if you decide to change the name, I'd recommend holding on to the current domain name for redirects for 1-2 years. I can transfer ownership to you.

CDN: Not a necessity but offers a lot of various benefits. It's also free if you stick with using Cloudflare.
  • Licensing
Plesk: Web GUI management console for a server. This is definitely not a necessity but makes your life a lot easier if you're not familiar with manually managing a server through a command line. Personally, I pay for this just to spend less time managing backups and firewall rules through the CLI. If it expires, you can no longer use the GUI and automated tasks will no longer work. Not recommended to let this expire.

Xenforo + official addons: I'm not sure if they support a handoff of licenses, I'll clarify with them. The software will keep running fine even if the contract expires, but you won't get bug fixes or security updates and that's generally not worth the risk. This includes the forum software, media gallery, resource manager and the enhanced search plugin.

Third-Party Xenforo Addons: I've installed other random add-ons from other developers for extra features like Discord integration and advanced tagging features. You don't need to maintain these if you don't want to maintain the features. They can be typically be uninstalled without issue. Same deal as the rest of Xenforo, this only affects updates and not the availability of the software.

Rough numbers, but should give you a general idea. I'll try to frame everything in terms of monthly cost, although keep in mind some pieces are billed annually.
  • Services
Server hosting$30-$150 a month (highly variable depending on location/quality and lease term)
Email server/service$5-$10 a month (depends on volume and billing term)
DNS registration$2-4 a month depending on registrar and TLD type (billed annually)
CDNFree with Cloudflare, paying more gives additional features
  • Licenses
Plesk~$7 a month (billed annually)
Xenforo + Official Xenforo Addons~$6 a month for base, ~$2 a month for each additional addon for renewals (billed anually)
Third-Party Xenforo Addons~$8 a month (rolling up various addons we use, billed annually)

As you can see, server hosting is really where most of the expense is. I'm paying about $120 a month for server hosting right now, mostly to have plenty of room for growth and to give creators here the freedom to post the content they do without worrying about legal issues. This is based on laws local to where the server is hosted.

You can downsize to a server with less resources or find a different hosting region to cut costs if you adjust community rules/processes accordingly.

Note that you can break even if you maintain the same advertising and user traffic I have been without too much trouble. You can alternatively put more emphasis on donations and remove ads altogether if you want.

I'll be removing the current ads and cancelling the recurring donations from current supporters either on my exit or when a migration is completed with someone and can give you some pointers on that as well.

We'll schedule out some 1-2 hour blocks to go over the fine details of the process. I'd prefer to do these on Discord if possible, but if you're not a Discord user, I'll work with you on a screen sharing/voice call platform you prefer.

I'll do up to 20 hours of support on this until the migration is done, but after that, you'll be on your own. Someone who knows what they're doing can do this migration in far less time excluding any data transfers (which I won't count towards the support time), so 20 hours should be plenty as long as you have the prerequisite knowledge I listed above.

Cool, shoot me a PM on here or on Discord and let's talk.

If you want to build your own team to do this, get them together before you contact me please.

The process won't start unless I'm talking to someone who understands the basics of what's outlined above.
Last edited by a moderator:


Swell Supporter
Feb 9, 2021
I only just read through this thread.

I thought they were looking for someone to take over or buy?

Is there new owner? I would like to talk about advertising here
We are currently in the middle of transferring ownership but what are you planning to advertise?

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