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Git Galaxy Stack Shift - Open Letter

The goal of this stack shift is to save money while still providing the same writing convienience to authors and performance/readability/etc. for readers. It is imperitive that the transition happens seamlessly, with no downtime for readers, and that all authors are familiar with the process of publishing. We currently operate at a 100% loss, managing our own servers running Ghost and Mail-in-a-box on DigitalOcean hardware.

Currently, there are two options I am actively considering. The first is a publication on Medium, a popular blogging platform. Publications are "a way to group stories together by many writers or by one writer around a common theme or topic" (via Medium). The interface of Medium is minimalistic and attractive, and is extremely easy to use with their rich(ish) text editor and social media logins. It's fairly performant, and supports several features for building communities, e.g following, claps (likes). However there are a few downides - primarily, a $75USD up front setup cost for the custom domain (gitgalaxy.com), and more importantly, the fact that Medium is a closed platform, with the source being proprietary and hidden. This would fundamentally break the underlying philosophy of Git Galaxy, which is to cover and support open source projects and initiatives.

Option B is slightly more complicated, however it also opens up many other opportunities for Git Galaxy as an organization. It would involve using Jekyll and GitHub Pages and would be completely free, with the added benefit of supporting the underlying philosophy of the organization. However, some tradeoffs would include a slightly more difficult contribution process - writers would need to be familiar with Markdown (a non-issue in my eyes, as Ghost already required this), and also aquainted with Git. On the flip side, there are a number of benefits for Git Galaxy's blog. First, anyone would be able to contribute, aiding the philosophy, through GitHub pull requests. This could also help when an error, factual or otherwise, is found. Secondly, it opens up the chance to roll our own publishing solution, requiring only a compatibiliy with Git to operate, and giving the freedom of choice for writing, even offline.

I believe shifting blog hosting over to a third party would be the best option for Git Galaxy, which currently operates at a significant loss thanks to server costs, backups, etc. Moving the blog to GitHub Pages would completely eliminate all monetary cost, at the possible expense of ease of use. However, Medium would break our underlying values, despite the upfront cost being fairly reasonable.

Discussion will also have to be had about options when it comes to mail servers. Mail-in-a-box is the current option deployed, handling the DNS side of things as well. This server is the smaller than the blog server, however backups have also been enabled for this box, in an effort to prevent loss of important email. It may be more cost effective to set up a forwarding to another inbox, hosted on another third party service, and forgo a custom email domain completely, at least for the time being.

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