Dear friends,

Once again I am turning to you for advice, comments and help.  So far, absolutely every time I ask for your help you have solved my problem, so I hope that this will work again.

First, we need more moderators.

Herb, our webmaster, IT-guru and chief moderators is trying hard to get as close to 24/7 “coverage” as possible and thanks to the dedication of our moderators, your comments usually show up reasonably fast.  However, we do have three time slots for which we badly need more moderators.  These time slots are:

  • Mon-Fri   11:00am for 2 hours
  • Sat-Sun   01:00pm for 2 hour
  • Sat-Sun   08:00pm-4:00am

These times are in Eastern USA (New York, Miami, currently GMT – 4 due to daylight savings) time.  In UTC/GMT time this would be:

  • Mon-Fri   0700-0900
  • Sat-Sun   0900-1100
  • Sat-Sun   1600-0000

If you can help, please email Herb (NOT ME!!!) at herb@thesaker.is.

Next,

I need help with videoconferencing.

Right now, for our own, internal, videoconferencing needs we are using Jisti which we run on our own servers.  For our internal purposes, this works great – it is free (as in “free software” or “free speech”), very secure and runs with any browser.  However, what we need is a videoconferencing capability to, for example, allow me to have a Q&A session with my Patreon supporters (as described here: https://www.patreon.com/bePatron?u=5898140 under “Hang out with TheSaker – AMA Style“).  In practical terms this would mean have a videoconference with 5-20 people at a time with, ideally, everybody seeing everybody or, alternatively, everybody seeing me and the person asking the question.

We now that Google Hangouts offers that kind of capability but, frankly, using even more Google than I already do (and increasingly feel bad about) is not a good idea.  Besides, I am quite sure that many of you would hate to have to use Google.  There is Skype, but that is also a product which is arguably even worse than Google (owned by Micro$oft).

I think I remember that YouTube offers that kind of capabilities too but, seriously, YouTube?!  We might as well stick to Google Hangouts or Skype….

Of course, in an ideal world in which we would have infinite time and money would could try hack something ourselves, but that would be neither practical nor timely.  So here are my questions to you

  1. Can you recommend any good videoconferencing hosting service which we could simply use from time to time or, even better
  2. Do you (or your company) happen to already have the hardware and software needed to host such such videoconferences and, if yes, would you be willing to allow us to use it for special events such as Q&A with the Saker Community or other Community events?

From my point of view the only restriction would be that any service used by our Community should not be operating system specific, i.e. not only capable of running on Microsoft or Apple products (including browsers).  I don’t object to it being based on proprietary software itself as long as what it offers it is platform independent and does not penalize those who, like myself, only run free operating systems and software.

If you can help us with this, please email me at vineyardsaker@gmail.com

Hugs and cheers,

The Saker

The Essential Saker: from the trenches of the emerging multipolar world