Hi! We are always delighted to have new volunteers!
One of the things that Grex needs most urgently is more people to answer "write help" requests. That's where people who want to be helpers set a "helper flag", and then when other people type "write help", they are matched up with a helper so that the helper can talk on-line to them, to help with the person's question. To turn on your helper flag, run the Unix command "mesg -h y". If you always want to be a helper, you'll want to put that command in your shell's startup file. Some other tips for new helpers:
- Check out Grex's "helpers" conference (go to the bbs and type "join helpers"). This isn't required, but it is recommended that you look around there initially, and then check back again once in a while.
- Don't set your account to the "only receive tels but not writes" setting. (If you don't know what that is, don't worry.) That setting is confusing to the people who need help.
- You might want to look around in the "info" conference, to see what kind of questions about Grex are common, and the answers to them. This, too, is optional. The info conference is *huge*, and you certainly don't have to read everything there. Some of it is fairly outdated, too.
Also, there are other staff tasks to be done. The way to find other things to volunteer for is to follow the "co-op" conference. That is where the decisions that affect Grex are made. Through the discussions in the co-op conference, you'll get to know the staff, and the staff will get to know you. We add new staffers from the pool of people we know and trust, who we've generally gotten to know through the conferences.
Finally, yet another conference to follow is the "garage" conference. That is where more of the technical plans for Grex are discussed. It's a good place to get to know Grex's current hardware and software issues, and it's another place to talk to the staff.
There is no doubt that new qualified trustworthy staff members would be welcome. It is possible to become involved with the operation of Grex without being physically located in Ann Arbor, or even in the USA.
However, Staff members for Grex are not recruited, or even accepted, from the general internet population. In order to qualify to work on the system, you must first become a part of the Grex governing community. This community meets constantly in the Grex coop conference, and everyone is free to join it. You can participate by telnetting in and running the picospan bbs interface, or you can participate in Grex conferences via the web using our Backtalk interface
Once you are a familiar face (so to speak) to the Grex staff, and it has become clear to us that you are responsible, have the required technical knowledge and the desire to help, it may be possible to become involved in certain maintenance responsibilities. It's a lot like getting a job, except you don't get paid.
Return to the Grex Staff Notes.