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Re: [spf-discuss] Support: Anyone willing to take over?

2007-12-20 21:37:01

First off, please allow me to thank you for your efforts over the years in being an unpaid support contributor to SPF. Who knows how many more adopters SPF has gained by your efforts? I would guess many.

I had a few quick thoughts about how SPF support might be better implemented, if you get any takers willing to do the job for free. You could think of this much in the way a multi tiered support organization might operate.

Level 0 support - Free (the volunteers would handle these as the current system operates today) Level 1 support - Paid (some nominal fee [around $25] to be provided to Alex to continue the job)

If the party contacting wants free support, they get what they pay for (e.g., no committed response time, less experienced volunteers, possibly face the "we don't know - you will need to submit a paid support request to get an authoritative answer" response, etc).

Worst case, if there are no volunteers, only Level 1 support is available.

If it is important to members here to maintain quality "free SPF support", perhaps the following thoughts will make some sense.

I don't know if some of the bigger companies on this list might want to pony up some cash to support the paid support effort, but it would seem a reasonable thing to do. I'd love to help here, so once we reach some level of profitability with TZ, I'll commit to $1,000 per year, but for right now I'll be happy to kick off the support fund with $100 if only 9 other folks are willing to kick in and Alex is interested in managing this process. Alex, if this works for you, keep track of the contributors and tell us were to send the funds off list.

So then, if some guy from Colorado and his horse can do this, I'm sure some of the wealthier companies can help here too (go find some coin in the discretionary funds budget). Surely there are 100 companies out there interested in helping at the $1,000 level? Heck, even if 1,000 entities can do what I am prepared to do right now with $100, that really is not all that much to pay for having a support system in place to help to ensure the implementations of a valuable RFC works properly. Heck put up some kind of "SPF Support Supporters Page" at OpenSPF.org to list supporters of $100 or more annually. Perhaps even create supporter levels on that page to show the levels of contribution, for example, benefactors at $100, bronze at $1,000, silver at $5,000, gold at $10,000, or some such thing to allow for corporate "bragging rights".

I wish that I had more time and / or resources to offer more support, but unfortunately, right now it is not possible. Even so, I offer the thoughts above for funding the implementation of some kind of sustainable quality support structure for fellow list members to consider.


The Commerce Company
TZ.Com - Travel Zippy

At 08:14 PM 12/20/2007, you wrote:

If there's anyone out there who wants to take over the not so rewarding
but oh so important task of giving a helping hand to new SPF adopters,
please step forward.

I have done this for a couple of years but I am no longer willing to
continue. That's why I will cease being an unpaid volunteer for the
SPF support desk. Currently that would reduce the team of regular
volunteers down to zero.

Be prepared to invest some time (a couple of hours a week, sometimes
more) on a regular basis. It's safe to skip a day or two, but you
shouldn't keep people waiting much longer.

You will have to deal with spam, abuse, ignorance and arrogance.

On the other hand, these bad people are outnumbered by those who
are willing to learn and understand they need to RTFM.

Obviously you would need to know SPF well. You will also need to
know SMTP and DNS. And you need a thick skin.

Most (almost all) of the messages are in English. Occasionally a
message in another language comes in. So far I've been able to make
sense out of most of these by using babelfish.

If no one takes over, then free private support as we know it is in
danger and may have to be stopped (no: not the spf-help mailing list,
I'm talking about support via private email, started from the web form
at http://www.openspf.org/Contact ).

If that would be the case, I will still do support but no longer for
free. I expect that this will reduce noise and shouting, which is the
main reason for me to have made this decision.


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