Hello Wandering Shoppers! This will probably be a bit of a thread, so buckle in! In April 2017, @Annalee and I started this mastodon instance, because twitter had done something stupid (honestly, who can even remember what), and there was a lot of excitement around this new software called Mastodon written by this person called @Gargron.

Annalee suggested using the wandering.shop domain, so that we could bring in SFF writers and those who wanted a home on the internet with a theme

We got a response that surprised both of us, I think because we were taking a stand with a clear Code of Conduct and a light theme around who we wanted on the Shop.

By dint of how active we were in those early days, and how long we've been around, wandering.shop is now in the top 5% of all English-speaking mastodon servers, by statuses posted.

We've kept on keeping on through 5 years (good lord) of waxes and wanes in the fediverse.

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With this most recent wave, @Annalee and I have realized that the time has come for new caretakers for the Shop. It's probably obvious that we aren't as active as we once were, and if the Shop is going to continue and grow it needs new keepers.

I very much do not want the Shop to go away! But other people need to take up the running of it.

3/n

Let's talk about what it takes to run the Wandering Shop.

In brass tacks:

~$120 / month, about ~$1500 / year

and at least 10 hours a month sysadmin/admin time.

Ideally there would be more sysadmins and admins! And, Ideally the funds for keeping the Shop going would come from the community

(right now, about $70 of that $120 comes from the community, and the rest out of pocket from me. My wife would probably love to not be spending $720/year on this lol)

4/n

Our hope is that people in the community are ready to take up the caretaking. If you are one of those people, please speak up in The Wandering Shop discord. I'll probably make a new channel for this shortly.

If you're not in the Discord, DM me and I'll send you an invite.

5/n

The last set of details:

- we do not have candidates for this already chosen

- we are NOT shutting down the Shop, today or this week. We don't even have plans to shut it down, because we're hoping the community can pick it up

- we will of course be _very careful_ in selecting the next caretakers, but this will not be a community vote, because that's not how the shop has been run.

The next caretakers can make more things democratic, if they want, that will be up to them.

6/n

I don't have great words to describe how strangely impactful the Shop has been for me, and how much I have enjoyed seeing it grow. No matter what happens, I will be happy to have helped make this space, and meet all of you.

I'm excited to see what this community does next, and I can't wait to meet the folks who are going to be the next caretakers.

Thank you

7/7

@phildini I worry this will not produce clear candidates, and that this thread is a death knell for the Shop when it is needed most. Do you already have people in mind or is this just the start of a search?

@phildini It answered my *questions* but not really my *concerns*. I suppose I'll discuss those on Discord.

@phildini I'm definitely up for a monetary contribution. I'm less certain about administration but I'm technically competent and willing to see how much work is involved.

@phildini I think I'm unlikely to have time/energy for admining. But I'd be interested in the Discord and would feel ok chipping in a few bucks here or there. (Which could well be a regular payment for example via Patreon or Liberapay)

@phildini @Annalee Thanks for launching the Shop and keeping it going strong! This was my first home in the fediverse and it feels good to be back.

I feel like I remember there being a Patreon back in the day; is that still the case?

@paxtonmj @Annalee there is still a Patreon, but honestly I don't feel gooad about people pouring more money into it if site management is going to change hands soon.

The new caretakers are going to need a plan for how to fund the shop, and that will be part of our criteria for handing over the keys.

@phildini I’d be happy to help fund, but I’m afraid I’ve got too much going on in my life to admin, unless it was a shared “team” thing.

@writerSeth there's definitely discussion about admin being a team activity.

@phildini @Annalee thank you both so much for creating and cultivating this lovely shop, where I have enjoyed so much coffee and conversation! Thank you also for passing the responsibility into new hands, and so transparently as well - it would have been a shame to wake up one day to see the shop had wandered away from us.

I hope you can enjoy the shop as carefree patrons in the near future!

@phildini I was looking for a donation/support link but have only recently joined and haven't checked out all the nooks and crannies where it might be.

@heatherrosejones there is a Patreon (patreon.com/phildini), and you're welcome to donate to it, but honestly I don't feel good about people pouring more money into it if site management is going to change hands soon.

The new caretakers are going to need a plan for how to fund the shop, and that will be part of our criteria for handing over the keys.

@phildini I'll sign on to the Patreon with the understanding that when things change hands I'll switch my support to whatever the new model is. I'm a firm believer in paying for things I value.

@phildini I would like to donate money towards the cost of running .shop! Please let me know how I can donate. Thanks!

@phildini @Annalee Thank you for all you have done - and I do have a tiny idea how much is involved - but I also hope the Shop doesn't go away.

I've been on Mastodon before, on at least three other instances, and they have all shut down, and quite unexpectedly.

I followed a lot of really nice people then and I still miss them.
:-(

Best wishes for finding new and wise admins!

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Wandering Shop

The Wandering Shop is a Mastodon instance initially geared for the science fiction and fantasy community but open to anyone. We want our 'local' timeline to have the feel of a coffee shop at a good convention: tables full of friendly conversation on a wide variety of topics. We welcome everyone who wants to participate, so long as you're willing to abide by our code of conduct.