There was a discussion about a relays advocate in the past meeting, but not much happened after that. A relays advocate should:

  • Be funded by Tor. Full time.
  • Make relay operators happy.
  • Make sure current relays keep running rather than promoting new ones.
  • Should have social skills. This is a "social thing". Relay advocate has to be a "people person".
  • Should be a detail oriented person. Don't forget details. Visualize things in order to explain things better. Don't drop things.
  • Will need a "mapping" of current operators. There should be "relationship maintenance" (e.g. with current non-profits for running relays).
  • Understand some law, some tech, some social skills. Should not be a specialist in every area and task. Should know how to coordinate and how to tell other people to do stuff.
  • It would help if she ran a relay before, but it wouldn't be a requirement.
  • Should be the voice of the operators.
  • Previous experience in "distributed communities" (free software? grassroots?).
  • Should build relationships, not solve problems.
  • Checking on laws/regulations that may screw up relay operators/ORGs in a country.


  • Current relay operators doesn't feel like a community. If a relay goes down nobody notices.

Challenges for the advocate:

  • Reach out to people. Make questions to operators (what do you need, what are the current problems, etc).
  • Manage diverse contexts and situations around the world, or (the lack of) people that have that knowledge.
  • Lot of work. Careful not to be distracted.
  • Work shouldn't be centered in one person. If that person goes away, work must remain. The Tor community and core members should support the advocate to fulfill her work.
  • Some people are comfortable with only running relays. They don't want to get more involved than that.

Ideas that could help make operators happy:

  • Having operators at the next Tor meeting.
  • Make a relay operators summit. No need to provide identity to assist, only know that they run relays. The ideas is to hear what they have to say.
  • Look for funding for travel for the previous points.
  • More t-shirts, less requirements for having one.
  • Gamification project done a while ago.
  • Check with them, periodically. Know their concerns. (should we have templates to contact operators? in the past contact has been done manually, even using pgp keys. Some don't reply but they apply suggestions, like updating versions and such).
  • Notice when relays go down, and when new ones appear in the network.
  • Mapping of experiences with particular ISPs and VPS providers. Maybe collect and send tips periodically to the community.
  • Idea: "Hey, we notice you have a relay. Go pick up a t-shirt and/or a pack of stickers in X or Y".
  • Tor badges for long-running relays
  • Ticket(s) to a relevant event/Tor meetup
  • A funding pool for relay operators meetup, hardware, flying people to places, emergencies

Operators concerns:

  • Law enforcement.
  • Legal problems.
  • ISP questions.
  • Technical questions.
  • Money questions (how much does it cost? is there any funding for this?).
  • Social questions (is this a bad thing? am I doing the right thing?)

We should be monitoring relays. It should be another task (not for the advocate). The advocate should ask someone else to do it and/or the community should support her with these type of tasks. The advocate is a people person.

Last modified 3 years ago Last modified on Mar 20, 2018, 11:58:31 PM