photo.net has grown quite a bit in its nine years of operation. The growth has been accomplished partly through heroic individual efforts (the ArsDigita founders in the beginning, Rajeev and Lisa more recently) and partly through volunteers working at a sustainable pace. I"m writing this new and more formalized call for volunteers because (a) the heroes are getting worn out, (b) I'm going to be away from mid-May to mid-October (flying from Boston to Alaska and back; see http://philip.greenspun.com/flying/alaska-job if you want to come along), and (c) the growth keeps outstripping our capacity. To gauge the amount of untapped volunteer energy in the community, I'd like people to post replies saying (i) what they're willing to do, (ii) how many hours per week they can contribute, (iii) what skills and background they can bring to the tasks, and (iv) whether their willingness to volunteer would be significantly enhanced if photo.net converted to a 501c3 non-profit corporation. Please make your reply a public response in this forum rather than private email. That way your communication won't be lost and also the entire community can see how much potential there is among current community members. Here are the categories where we need help: user account management: making sure that new registrants are using their real name and a real email address; helping people who've lost their passwords or registered three times and want to merge those accounts; making sure that people who've paid their $25 fees get an email address or whatever else they paid for. Skills required are primarily Web form interaction plus perhaps some telephoning (best way to find out if someone is legit). user handholding: if someone emails because he or she can't figure out how to find something or how to accomplish a task, answering that email with a helpful suggestion. Skills required are email and Web forms. user expulsion: we want a community where the majority of content is on-topic. A reader 5 years from now shouldn't have to wade through an archived thread or photo of the week with 150 responses, most of them User A arguing with Users B and C (example: this thread in which one user calls another a racist). We need volunteers to look at the discourse in various areas of the site, find the troublemakers, ask them to mend their ways, and ban them from the site if they won't. Skills required: taste and judgement, Web forms. bug tracking and reporting: if a user finds a bug and reports it via email, getting it into a standard format and perhaps into a Web-based bug tracking system so that a programmer can find it and fix it. Skills required are email and Web forms and an ability to distinguish between bugs and confusion. (Of course if a big percentage of users get confused in trying to accomplish a task, that is itself a bug in the software.) managing editorial: helping get new articles onto the site by nagging authors, converting author output into our standard HTML format, placing articles in the correct directory, making them commentable. Sadly this requires experience with the Unix shell, Unix text editors, and the CVS version control system as well as basic HTML experience and an organized mind. programming: fixing bugs, improving subsystems by developing and documenting a careful design and/or following one that has been developed by others and approved for data model cleanliness. Skills required: Unix shell, CVS, AOLserver API, ArsDigita Community System, Oracle (SQL, PL/SQL). sysadmin: kicking Solaris and Linux when they are down. It would help if you lived in the Boston area but we are going to try to make sure that we have remote console so that it won't be necessary to live here or physically visit the colo (in Cambridge, MA). You'll need to know about or be willing to learn about AOLserver (a few days) and Oracle (a lifetime). database administration: Oracle, Oracle, Oracle. We're on 8.1.6 now but should be on 9i. network administration: load balancing router. Well, that's enough for tonight. Let's see if anyone wants to do these things!