[tor-relays] T-shirts and Confirming Relay Control

Tim tim.cochrane.laptop at gmail.com
Wed May 6 01:58:51 UTC 2015

Being fairly new to the tor project I can see where he is getting at with the difficulty of helping out. 

I can deffinantly see having a single person to contact to try and find things to do would be important. While I agree that volunteers should not be babysat there should be someone that has a bunch of tasks to pass off to those who is interested.

I would be more than willing to dedicate time to do something like this, I think it could be seriously useful to newer people in the community.

In my mind a volunteer coordinator would not babysit but provide things that may be suited for a particular skill set. Then a little later down the line touch base with person to see if they encountered any issues.

Side note: getting a little off track here. Would there be a better place for a discussion like this?


<div>-------- Original message --------</div><div>From: Matthew Finkel <matthew.finkel at gmail.com> </div><div>Date:06/05/2015  02:14  (GMT+08:00) </div><div>To: tor-relays at lists.torproject.org </div><div>Subject: Re: [tor-relays] T-shirts and Confirming Relay Control </div><div>
</div>On Tue, May 05, 2015 at 01:57:04PM +0000, Speak Freely wrote:
> Matthew Finkel,
> It's kind of disingenuous to suggest "If you want to work on something,
> then please come work on it, we really are overloaded."

I'm really sorry you interpretted it in that way. It actually was a
genuine request for more help.

> You have to let us work on it, for us to work on it. Do you understand
> the problem?

Sure, that is a problem, but what is the problem? It seems this dilemma
is reoccurring and not getting solved. Someone says they are willing to
help work on something, possibly someone else says "great! we need your
help!" then nothing happens. Was it an empty offer or did the offer die
because no one followed up with the person? Having a volunteer
coordinator might help - I hope it would help - but what's the best way
to organize that? Is it the responsibly of some people associated with
The Tor Project to follow up on every offer they receive or is it the
responsibility of the person who made the offer to follow up and get
involved? Maybe both?

> To The Inner Circle (The Tor Project People),
> I am at the very least the third person to mention in this thread that
> we have offered to help. No one responded to my offers. I'm pretty sure
> at least some of their offers were ignored as well, though I can't be
> bothered to double check.

:( I don't know. Obviously, not receiving a response sucks. I completely
understand that. Tor's work and day-to-day coordination is heavily based
around IRC, so the mailing lists are not great places for offering help.

This whole situation seems to be less about an inner circle existing,
and more about a disconnection between the announcements and discussions
on the mailing lists and what happens on IRC. I don't know of a good way
to bridge this gap, though.

> I get that you're busy. However, Matthew's attitude to Seth is, in my
> most humble of opinions, unwarranted.

We're all busy, it's difficult balancing everything. I'm sorry if my
response was unwarranted, and maybe I shouldn't have responded because
it was off-topic, in any case. It's frustrating trying to do something
and improve a situation, and instead of receiving helpful feedback the
thread receives complaints about how Tor is crappy with how it handles
volunteers. Maybe this is partially due to miscommunication but I'm at
a loss for what to do.

> You've got several people who out of their own free will, decided to
> offer our additional help, above and beyond what we already do.
> I wonder, how would you feel, if after offering free assistance to a
> community that then goes completely, totally, and utterly UNANSWERED,
> only to have those very people that we offered to assist, bitch that
> they are busy and want our help. How would you feel?
> Angry? A little schadenfreude? Or numb?
> I'm a husband, a father, and a business owner. I'm a busy guy, yet I
> still offered to help. I can't express how pissed off I am about this,
> without going into a obscenity-laced tirade about how your house isn't
> in order.
> When I offer assistance to someone, or in Tor's case several people, I
> damn well expect a response. "Yes" or "no", "thanks" or "fuck off",
> "please" or "tomorrow", "join us!" or "maybe next time".
> Deafening silence is in no way a mechanism that encourages support from
> the broader community, but from my perspective that's all you've given.


Obviously you're correct, silence is not an answer and not what you
deserve as a result of offering your assistance. I don't know why this
happened or the context of the offer but, to be blunt, Tor doesn't
babysit volunteers. If you want to work on something, then, you must
actually follow through and work on it. I learned this personally. A
volunteer coordinator would be a great person for helping volunteers
become more integrated into the community and work on projects but it
is ultimately the person volunteering who decides how, when, and if
they help.

Tor wants your help, but becoming an active volunteer is your decision.

> Here's a suggestion to The Inner Circle
> - Have a volunteer coordinator that actually responds to people.
> This way, when the next person offers to help, they might actually get a
> good g*d d at mn f at cking response!

Yes, this sounds like a good idea. Who wants to volunteer to be the
volunteer coordinator? Again, that is a genuine question. No one has
stepped up to do it. If we had one, at least they would respond to most

> Seeing as how I'm a nobody and my offers aren't worth acknowledging,
> please continue to do whatever you'd like, with *all* the success it
> brings. Don't forget to smile.

Being a nobody or being a somebody is irrelevant. I'm a nobody too, but
I'm trying to do something. I sincerely hope you and the rest of the
community will help me and Tor, as a whole, create a better

Let's continue this discussion in a new thread.

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