New Admin, Who Dis!?
I'll break this big long post up into sections so you can read or ignore whatever does or doesn't interest you.
Thanks, Salutations, & Regards
First off, I would really like to thank @AnthonySmith for everything he has done to put together this amazing place for us all to interact, share technical knowledge, and of course, shoot the shit with one another! He's done an amazing job at building LowEndSpirit from the foundation and shaping it into the place we all know and love.
I'm sure it was Anthony's persona and dedication to the Low End community that drew many of you here into our ranks. He's inspired many (myself included) and has been an advocate for do more with LES (put intended) for as long as I've been involved in the LE* communities. It will be my honor to take what Ant has built and continue to improve and serve as admin to the best of my abilities.
Secondly, I'd really like to thank all of you for placing your trust in me to take over as admin with Ant's departure. I know I have some huge shoes to fill I hope I live up to your expectations. This isn't something I ever expected to happen, even knowing LES was destined to be placed back into the community's hands at some point. Again, thank you to everyone -- whether you voted for me, voted for some other fabulous candidate, or didn't care at all who got the job.
Also, big thanks to all the other candidates ( @joepie91, @Not_Oles, @mikho, @vyas ) for their contributions to the community. You are all obviously trusted and valued members of LES and I hope to rely on you to assist me building upon LES to reach new heights.
Who the hell is this Mason guy?... A little about me
(my son named the alien "toothbrush" btw)
For those who don't know me, I've been an active member in the LowEnd communities for the past five years or so. I've served as moderator with Anthony on the OGF during his tenure, as admin on HB/HT for a couple years, and most recently as moderator here for the past month or so. Hosting and server idling tinkering has quickly become one of my favorite hobbies these past few years. I'm excited to continue to learn new things every day and most importantly, I have a ton of fun doing it!
I am not (nor have I ever been/plan to) professionally involved in the hosting industry. I run some game and web servers, a couple Plex servers for family and friends, and a free VPS service on some sponsored dedis. I like to script/code in Bash and Python for fun in my spare time, which is the reason that Yet Another Bench Script (YABS) exists. As for my job, I am a data analyst/software developer as a gov employee. I work with a team of Network and Communications analysts and my work has quite a variety, including writing Python scripts to analyze large swaths of data to generate network quality metrics, developing Java code for a couple network models, modernizing modeling & simulation tools from legacy Fortran code to C++, creating 3D visualizations of test data with CesiumJS, running radio propagation simulations on HPC systems in simulated urban environments, and quite a few other things.
Outside of tech, I enjoy playing the drums (was in a couple metal bands throughout high school/college), playing video games (mostly PC), listening to audiobooks (mostly historical fiction based in ancient Rome/Greece/Egypt), and spending time with my family. I'm in my late 20's and have been married for 5 years now. We have one kid at home and another on the way, along with a couple cats and a pupper. Currently living on the East coast of the US.
I'm a pretty laid back dude for the most part and don't let things get under my skin very easily. My door and inbox is always open for you to come to me with any questions, concerns, and criticisms that you may have. You won't hurt my feelings if you disapprove of anything that I do and voice your concerns either privately or publicly, that's your right when being a member of this community. I don't mind some light trolling and bants, however do ask that everyone maintains a modicum of respect for one another and refrains from personal attacks/insults and racism as that won't be tolerated. I'll always be honest with you all and will try to be as fair and transparent as possible in all matters. In summary, I'm here to make your LES experience the best it can be and if there's anything that I can do to facilitate that, please let me know.
So, what now?
As I indicated in the nomination thread, I have no intention of running the place alone. I simply don't have it in me and would be doing LES a disservice by doing that. Not all of us have the determination and willpower that Ant does (seriously.... I don't know how he did everything solo here for so long), myself included. I had reached out to another nominee prior to the vote being posted to see if they wanted to run with me as a co-admin, as such my first official act as admin will be to elevate @mikho to the admin position alongside myself. We'll both be equal going forward (no head admin, etc.) and will work together to plan a path forward for the community. Mikael has proven himself to be a valued and knowledgeable member of the LES community and has been involved in the LowEndSpirit project since its early days alongside Ant. By being a hosting provider himself, his contributions will also add additional perspective that I am lacking and his guidance and advice will be of huge value to me.
Aside from that, I will continue along with Anthony's path that he laid down the foundation for. I'll continue trying to build and grow the community. We will always retain the original mindset that this place was founded on -- including the Low End principles of doing more with less and being a continuation of the original OGF principles (before the downward spiral).
First steps, don't trip
I don't have any big vision or timeline of happenings in mind yet and want to coordinate with Mikael before making any big announcements. Initial steps will likely involve reaching out to various influential members in the community to form a LES staff. This group will discuss and vote on various topics on a regular basis to get a consensus on any important changes or plans involving the community -- a "governing body", if you will. More details will emerge on our selection process for this and we'll be reaching to various users to gauge interest in joining the team. Anthony intended for LES to be "given back to the community" and that's fully what I intend to do -- this won't be my show, it'll be our show.
One of my first tasks that I take on will be getting a grip on the financial side of LES. I would like the forum to be financially independent and not rely on any sugar daddies/out of pocket expenses to operate. Whether that be via ads (that we all know and love), monthly sponsorships, or some other form of revenue, that will be worked out by the LES staff soon(tm).
Whew, well that's all I got for now. More details will emerge in the coming days and weeks as Mikael, myself, and newly appointed LES staff formulate a more solid path forward and evaluate where were at and where we're going.
Thanks again to everyone for placing your trust in me, it really means a lot and I hope to live up to your expectations moving forward!
What in tarnation? A little yabs'll do ya!