PURE Community Governance

PURE is an open community run by gamers, for gamers, offered as a gift to the gaming public.  Our Community Purpose and Values define the nature of that gift, and guide us in protecting and evolving it over time.

However, merely stating our Purpose & Values does not make them real.  Manifesting them requires work to be done and decisions to be made.  That’s where community governance comes in.

Community Governance

Service Leadership Philosophy

PURE is run with a service leadership ethos, in which the role of community leaders is fundamentally to support the volunteer teams and the community in furthering our Community Purpose.   There are two key things to understand about this philosophy:

  1. The primary beneficiary of leaders’ work is the community, not the leaders themselves.
  2. The community is doing most of the work to further the Purpose.  The leaders’ job is to provide the necessary support and cohesion for the community to do that work.

Decision-making

Final day-to-day decision-making authority rests with the voting members of PURE’s Core Leadership Team, the current roster for which can be found on the Volunteer page.  Decisions are made by majority vote of the voting members.

In line with the service leadership philosophy described above, the Core Team fundamentally serves the community.  Should the community-at-large ever express a forceful desire for a different Core Leadership Team, the current team is ethically compelled to surrender the position.  There are not currently formal procedures in place for this, but if the community continues to scale, there is a good chance we will create those procedures as part of the process of non-profit incorporation (see Legal Structure below).

Volunteer Organization

The PURE volunteer organization is a group of PURE community members that do the day-to-day work of maintaining the community and furthering the Community Purpose.  The volunteer organization is part of the PURE community; all volunteers are community members themselves.  The volunteer organization is led by the Core leadership team.

Volunteers are selected to join the organization based on their ability and commitment to support the Community Purpose, and their fit with the roles we have available. These criteria are assessed based on written applications, video interviews, and prior interaction.

For more details on our volunteer organization, see our Volunteering page.

Legal Structure

All of PURE’s assets (finances, domain names, servers, etc.) are legally the private property of an individual (Chris Feagles, a longtime member of PURE’s core leadership team). We have investigated incorporating as a non-profit, but the process is too expensive (both time and money) to be feasible for us at this time.

Financial Records & Projections

We maintain both historical financial records and future financial projections.  They are updated twice per month.  They can be accessed from the Info menu of our Reddit forum, and are also linked here for convenience:  PURE Finances

Separate Financial Accounts

Community funds are stored in their own bank accounts and PayPal accounts.  There is no “co-mingling” with funds belonging to any other person or organization.

Public Administrative Enforcement Logs

We believe that fair rule enforcement requires transparency, so that reasoning is clear and open to questions and criticism.  When substantial administrative actions are taken against players for violating our Community Rules, the incidents and the reasoning is posted in our public log.  This log is also available from the Info menu of our Reddit forum.

For unusually high-impact incidents involving broader community discussion, we publish more elaborate formal rulings; example here.

Security

Another core responsibility of governance is security of the community’s assets.  Although most individuals are trustworthy, it only takes one bad apple to severely harm an organization.  At PURE, we take security seriously and go through great effort to protect our supporters’ funds and work from accidential or intentional harm.

Financial Security

Our PayPal account and bank account each use a unique, strong password of randomly-generated characters.  Our PayPal and bank account credentials are known only by the minimal number of volunteers required a very limited number of key volunteers required to maintain community operations and continuity.

We empty our PayPal account into our bank account monthly to minimize the risk of a PayPal account freeze.

Network & Information Security

Access to internal systems and information is highly segregated such that volunteer teams are given access only to what is necessary for the performance of their volunteer duties.  For example, software developers have permissions to change settings on our test server, but not on our production servers.  Our Communications team has the ability to edit most community documents, but cannot access the Operations team’s list of system account credentials.

Permissions are managed on a per-person basis wherever possible.  Some services only allow certain functions to be performed by one specific account, and in these cases, we share the specific account with a minimal set of people.  “High-security” shared accounts (for example, accessing our PayPal funds or our domain registration) are controlled tightly, with distribution only to highly trusted community members when absolutely necessary, and with precise tracking about who has been given which account’s credentials.

All permissions (with the possible exception of shared accounts) are revoked when an individual leaves a volunteer role.  For some lower-security shared accounts, credentials are only changed periodically, even if some account users leave volunteer roles in the meantime.