Archive:Web team responsibilities

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This page tries to document all the responsibilities of the Web Team.

Note: If you wanted more nuts-and-bolts info about how things are organized, what software lives where, etc, you should look at the Website Documentation

Periodic

Renew domain names

Performed by: Leader

  • How can we make that simpler?
    • Set all the domain names' renewal date to the same date, so then we can just throw money at them once per year.
    • If we can't do that, we should probably pretend that's true.
    • It'd be nice to have "Which fc.o domain names are expiring soon?" on a dashboard
  • Note that the Web Team can't actually achieve this, because it doesn't have the ability to spend money on behalf of Students for Free Culture. This relates to our failure sometimes to renew domain names, which is a tragedy.

Upgrading MediaWiki and WordPress

Performed by: Any team member (Usually the team leader because it terrifies everyone)

  • Preferably this should be done immediately on the release of the new version.
  • One reason we haven't done this periodically so far is that we're afraid to upgrade for fear our themes or plugins will break.
    • How can we make that better?
      • It would be super awesome if we had a robot that watched for the possibility to upgrade, and then it:
        • took a backup
        • automatically upgraded
        • then emailed the webteam list to say what it did
        • then someone on the webteam list clicked around to make sure that the website still worked, and replied and said things are okay.
        • This is sensible because by far, most upgrades don't break anything. We're just terrified.

Upgrading other things

  • Like FUDForum
    • We could treat it like the above...? Anyway, we're also terrified.

Moderate mailing lists

Performed by: Team leader (I want to hand it off; anyone else can do it just fine)

  • Preferably this should be done within a day of messages arriving
  • We can monitor how good/bad we are at this by writing a script to make a graph.

Moderate web forum

Performed by: Team leader (I want to hand it off; anyone else can do it just fine)

  • Preferably this should be done within a day of messages arriving
  • We can monitor how good/bad we are at this by writing a script to make a graph.

As-needed

Choose what software we'll use

Performed by: Leader

In the past, one of the key roles the Web team leader has played is to help the organization decide on tools to use.

Create chapter web hosting

Performed by: Any team member

When chapters need web space, the web team can create

We have long dreamed of automating this, but have not. We still could.

Create one-off blogs and project websites

Performed by: Any team member

Sometimes SFC people ask us to host one-off websites (like how we used to run a2k3.org... do we still? eek, did I break that site?).

Create email forwarding for board, etc., within freeculture.org

Performed by: Any team member

Update the status blog when something isn't working

Performed by: Any team member (usually Leader, since usually that person knows the most about the problems)

Changing the DNS configuration for freeculture.org

Performed by: Team leader

DNS is the set of mappings of names (like freeculture.org) to IP addresses (like 219.105.37.20). Right now, the DNS configuration for freeculture.org requires root to edit and uses the geeky "zone file" format. So usually only the Team leader does it, as far as I know. If we either (a) document our DNS setup better or (b) switch to a web-based interface, we could rely on the team leader less here.

Note that we don't have to do this often because we use "wildcard" DNS for freeculture.org. That has its downsides, and I'd personally like us to drop that sometime.

How to measure our success

It would be great to have a dashboard with the following stats:

  • Graph of the age of the latest backup, over time
    • Note that backups are useless unless someone tests that the web things can actually be restored in that much time.