I had an idea I wanted to run by the #QOTO community. Not sure if I love it or hate it personally so could really use some feedback.
We have several services here that can be very expensive in terms of storage costs, things like NextCloud, FunkWhale, PeerTube, are quickly getting to the terrabyte range.
Right now we give a small but generous quota for free on all our servers. Usually enough to play with, 1 - 10 gigs as a starting point. We have more than enough funding for many years into the future to be able to give several people much higher quotas, even a terrabyte a person would be doable if it werent too many users.
Problem is if we just open it up to the public and give everyone a high quota it wouldn't take long before the costs would be overwhelming. Especially considering that many of those users wont be contributing to the QOTO community and may just use the space for personal storage only. Thats fine, but we need a better way to figure out who to give a higher quota, some way to earn it.
Obviously QOTO is a non-profit so charging users is out of the question. So we need a better way. I had an idea to make it reward based.
Basically QOTO reward people if they have been on the server and active for a certain amount of time. Create "tiers" based on how long an account was registered and how many posts they have made as qualifications for each tier.
Also no need for it to be limited to qoto mastodon either. We can actually use the the user trust-levels on discourse (which are calculated automatically based on post history) as another measure. Each Discourse trust level gets you a new tier of quota allowances.
This should reward QOTO engagers and content creators to create meaningful content and give us a way to ration out our server resources.
For all those who feel this would be a bad idea; it would be really helpful if you spoke up and expressed why you feel it might be a bad idea. The reasons it might be a good idea are obvious but the reasons it might be a bad idea are less obvious. As such it would be really helpful for moving the conversation forward.
@QOTO Keep in mind the inherent sampling bias when you rely on user engagement (responses to this poll) to evaluate attitudes toward engagement as a criterion for benefits.
@QOTO "When a measure becomes a target, it ceases to be a good measure." If you tie certain benefits to post count, for example, it creates an incentive for people to toot every half-baked thought that occurs to them in order to inflate their post count. I voted no because I think it is better for community health not to have that sort of thing happen, but to just cap uniformly instead.
@khird I had a similar thought as well. But then how else would we decide?
@QOTO First, it's commendable that you are soliciting suggestions - and nothing I say here is any more than a suggestion. Rest CW'd for length (1328 chars hidden)
I'd condition the larger allocations you're contemplating on the user demonstrating utility, in something like a grant process. Someone who wants extra space says "I want to do X [project], for which I'm requesting Y [amount of space]." Then it's up to you, as the holder of the purse strings, whether to allocate your space in that way. You can be more or less selective as warranted by how much space is requested, how many requests you're getting, and how much space you're willing to endow the service with. If the amount of space requested is excessive, you doubt the applicant's claim as to his intended use of the space, or you simply think it's not a beneficial thing to subsidise, then he will have to look elsewhere.
The user isn't entitled to extra resources by virtue of having a high post count or any other marker of "status". It's your personal gift, and publicly imposing on yourself a set of rules about how you give that gift would encourage people to game those rules, that they might benefit thereby. To the extent that people would otherwise put your gifts to higher use by not participating in this gaming, such rules are probably counterproductive. Following them consistently would make your decisions more transparent, but I doubt they'd prove an effective replacement for simple good judgement.
QOTO: Question Others to Teach Ourselves. A STEM-oriented instance.
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