Update for September 2023

Posted by Thomas on 6 October 2023

I paid our September hosting bill last week and am going to try something new, to write at least a monthly update as soon as I can after I get our invoice from masto.host. The short version is we still have sufficient donations in the bank for the foreseeable future. Our costs remain the same, $49 monthly for sufficient capacity for up to 500 active users. Our activity has been drifting down so we still have plenty of resources. I have received a few reports, all pretty simple to resolve.

Also, Mastodon.Beer will be a year old on the 29th!

You can download the latest copy of this sheet that I use to help manage donations. Our current account balance is $253.51 which I realized is the balance ending August plus my contribution for the invoice I received in September. In my mind, the September invoice pays for August usage and a donation in September goes in effect for the October bill. I originally lined up this sheet a bit conservatively, trying to make sure I wasn't using donations too quickly. It works but now that I have our funds in a separate bank account, increasingly makes reconciling odd.

I added complexity because even though Liberapay looks like it accepts recurring donations, it really collections and disburses everything up front. This first year's sheet was my attempt to make sure I was spending donations as intended, people chose different options from weekly to yearly, and to calculate from that what my contribution should be.

I think I will separate the monthly coverage into its own sheet for next year so I can have a simpler accounting of charges and a split on donation versus my portion. The 2023 model sort of muddles the two in a way that I suspect only makes sense to me.

We still have cash in the bank going into the next fiscal year. I will try to get a new sheet out by the 28th, our invoice date from masto.host, so you all can see where we are for the coming months.

Our funds are now in a dedicated banking account. I looked into using a business account but even with my own legal entity, the one that would have been for my brewery, I was uncomfortable going that route without some more formal governance than me as a single volunteer admin and moderator. So it is a personal account in my name which accomplished the main purpose, to make managing the donations correctly easier.

We've had a few maintenance outages. I try to boost messages from masto.host as soon as I see them. They are usually pretty good and resolve them almost as soon as I notice. Having host my own single user instance of Mastodon, for what we are paying masto.host delivers an excellent level of service, occasional outages and all.

I have always meant to work on our server rules. I cribbed them initially from Fosstodon, it was my first instance and I still have friends on the moderation team. I think they've since thought better of some of their rules. I certainly have and would like to update and simplify. I am no expert and welcome help from anyone interested or even better who has experience with codes of conduct and especially how they are enforced.

I am more and more open to co-administrating or co-moderating the instance, more to ensure there is a succession plan for the instance and maybe a little because I split my attention across multiple accounts. The report load is very low and thanks to our hosting provider, the rest of administration is almost no effort. DM or email if you are interested.