Preserving our Past: Ensuring the Longevity of ChiaLinks- February 02, 2023
ChiaLinks.com is a cultural touchstone and one of the longest-lived staples in the Chia community. It’s an indispensable repository of knowledge from all corners of our ecosystem, relied upon by many of you all, and even us here at Chia Network, Inc.
While the content is crowdsourced, it’s run entirely by one person: Jon (@SlowestTimelord). As is the challenge with many projects with a single human point of failure, life has a habit of getting in the way from time to time, and for projects as key to the community as this one, we want to help with that to ensure it is single-point-of-failure proof. More importantly, this allows Jon to focus more on his other Chia-related projects in the ecosystem.
ChiaLinks serves an essential purpose in the ecosystem, and we believe it benefits most through community-driven content management and curation – not centrally managed by us. We also recognize that running and maintaining a website is a non-trivial operation (especially when it’s one of the most popular ones in the entire community!) and has associated costs and burdens that come with it, something we can absorb into our operating overhead.
So, over the next few weeks, we will be working with Jon to transition the hosting and operational management of the site to us to ensure it remains running and continues to offer value to the ecosystem stakeholders.
We encourage the community to engage as the stewards of content and moderate as you see fit. We will be hosting it as a GitHub repository, just as before, and anyone and everyone are welcome to contribute updates to the site in the form of Pull Requests. Select key community members will have the ability to review these PRs and merge them in, just as they did before. As ever, we’ll remain actively involved with the content and community to ensure its accuracy, and if necessary, provide updates ourselves barring alternatives.
It’s important that this site continues to be by the community, for the community, and not a Chia Network “marketing tool”, and it is our job to ensure that happens. With this directive in mind, we are doing what we think makes the most sense to ensure it will live on indefinitely, without the risk of a single point of failure.
Q: Does this mean Chia Network will begin moderating or censoring the content of ChiaLinks.com?
A: Not at all. Think of us as stewards of the operational aspects of the site. We expect the existing content managers, as well as a few new ones, to moderate all content. When necessary, we will step in to approve/reject PRs, for example, if the backlog grows too big and our efforts to get the community involved don’t show results in a timely manner. When we do engage in the content process, it will be to simply approve any content updates that are factually correct and of value to the community as a whole. We will not be censoring data or content, unless such information is demonstrably incorrect, intentionally inflammatory at the expense of another community member, or in violation of the law of any relevant jurisdiction.
Q: How can we contribute to the new site?
A: The repository in which it lives will be located on GitHub at https://github.com/Chia-Network/chialinks. Anyone may submit a Pull Request with the relevant content updates, and it will be accepted and merged in by a maintainer. Additionally, we’ll be working with the maintainers on implementing some templates and documentation into the repo to help make this easier for folks going forward, as well as some guidelines around what the bar is for things like “featured links” and “recommended” checkmarks.
Q: Is anything else about the site changing?
A: Not really. We don’t plan to make any significant changes, other than perhaps a legal disclaimer somewhere to replace the current one, changing it from “not affiliated with Chia Network, Inc” to something more appropriate.
Q: What is happening with the original maintainer, Jon?
A: We hope he continues contributing to the site as his time allows, and be one of its ongoing maintainers (along with some other community members we’re adding). We’re just taking the burdensome parts of running the site off of his shoulders. We worked with him to calculate his all-in costs on running the site since its inception, purchased the IP from him, and included compensation for his time and effort getting the site to where it is now.
Q: Why not give the site to another community member or company?
A: Rather than “shop it around” once a year or so to make sure its operational needs are regularly met, we decided to step in to offer long-term stability. Additionally, by hosting it ourselves we’re able to cut the resource costs of hosting it to a fraction, since we can lump its operations in with the rest of our stuff. As to giving it to a larger community entity, the problem still exists that it’s hosting is only guaranteed for as long as it is in the business best interest of that entity to do so, and we don’t want to be responsible for setting it up to be the victim of business politics and censorship as a result.