lines --- we

lines will now be community funded!

i’ve always thought of this forum as belonging to the community, those who gather here and discuss similar interests. the voice of lines is that of many, of us together. we.

by most measures this has always been true. volunteer moderators have helped navigate situations and maintained day-to-day operations. the code of conduct was constructed years ago as a community effort.

there is one final element however which could be perceived as contrary: monome (the company) has always funded the server costs, despite community donation offers. we (me speaking as monome) had felt we should simply cover these costs since the forum originated as infrastructure for discussion of our open-source devices. in recent years we’ve been reducing our commercial activity here by eliminating release announcement and shipping updates. and while sharing and discussion of creative uses of monome devices still feels aligned with the spirit of this space, our support focus has moved to direct email. our decision to do this came from the need to adhere to the forum’s non-commercial guidelines— guidelines which have kept this forum free from spam, viral marketing, and general exploitation. we (the forum moderators) believe that these guidelines (and the effort that goes into enforcing them) is what keeps this place great.

and so, lines will no longer be company sponsored (however benevolent the company may be).

lines is now maintained* by the community itself!

moving forward is our new community email address, maintained by the moderators: @dan_derks @ioflow @emenel @disquiet @glia @papernoise @Galapagoose

we’ve created a paypal account with this same address. @alanza has volunteered to be the treasurer and manage this account.

we’ll run a quarterly fundraiser and provide a complete report of expenses and funds raised.

our first round is live: donate here

the lines server is hosted by digital ocean. our current monthly expense is $68. (this cost was greatly reduced with a huge amount of effort to migrate the email system which brought the monthly expense to well over $100). if you’re considering using digital ocean, this referral link will give $20 to the lines server.

server administration will continue being done by @ioflow and myself

pending discussions

the moderators continue to discuss some subtleties of the non-commercial guidelines. while we certainly need to disallow viral marketing, we don’t want to strictly prohibit small scale projects that might have some amount of commercial future, seeing how many of us here have crossed this threshold at some point.

the Monome category’s future is also under discussion as we consider the possible archival of old topics and categorization of future monome topics.

changes for 2023

a couple days ago we refined some categories.

  • General has been established, which merges Process and Tech along with a healthy scattering of Open threads.

  • Open is renamed Off Topic

we feel this reaffirms the central theme of music, art, and technology and reduces confusion about where to post, given the blurry boundaries between these topics.

we (the moderators, to be clear) are also eliminating the Trade category. we know that a subset of the community will be frustrated by this and the decision has been considered very seriously. the trade category and activity surrounding it has remained the most substantial moderation burden over the years. it has been the primary source of intervention, mediation, and banning. we understand that trade is for some a fundamental component of the art practice discussed here— but managing a marketplace which continues to grow is not our primary goal— in fact, we’ve come to acknowledge that it detracts from the ability of the community to maintain cohesion.

we feel that these changes together will provide a foundation for the community to continue on well into the future. thank you all for your support and participation— this space has been constantly surprising and inspiring. let’s see what happens next.

ps. if you’re like more context about the decision around Trade, check out this post below

pps. if you want more context about discussions around monome going forward, see this post

*this wording “maintained” was changed jan 4 5:46pm est from “owned” to clarify



Is it possible to set up a monthly or quarterly recurring donation? I didn’t see that as an option on PayPal, but I am not a PayPal superuser!

It would be really nice to not have to remember, and thus not be able to forget…

Also, it is an honor and privilege to be able to contribute to the community in this tangible way.

Thanks to you and all the dear mods for all you do, all the time. Wishing you all (and all lines folk) a great 2023!


Hi Ed! If I’m remembering correctly, we went with what seemed to be the easiest and cheapest option for setting up the fundraiser (after a good amount of window-shopping!), which means that it runs for a month and then a new, separate fundraiser will have to be opened. So I believe at the moment a recurring donation isn’t possible.

In the future, we might revisit things to enable this. In the mean time, we’ll figure out the best way to remind people when a new fundraiser opens.


Nonprofit org so that my employer will do a match?


Thank you for this wonderful community and making it possible to actively support it financially.


Thank you all for your generosity! I think we have cleared our goal in minutes! Unfortunately I hadn’t realized things weren’t in tip-top PayPal shape this morning, so it will take a bit before we can “accept” the money… sigh. Should be sorted shortly (say that three times fast)

@awwaiid unfortunately no, at least not yet. definitely something we could think about down the road, but it seemed like small and scrappy was the quickest way forward to start things off.


All good! if it works out, that’s great, but if not, a reminder will be most appreciated… The old memory banks are showing signs of stress…



This is by far one of my favorite corners of the internet so it warms my heart to be able to support it financially :black_heart:

Thank you all for making this place what it is


Glad the trade section will close. It was clearly an annoyance.


So happy to see the move to allow the community to financially support this space. I think it’s the right move, both for y’all as admins and for us as participants.

I will say though, I’m a bit heartbroken to see the trade section closed. This place has become my primary means of acquiring and trying out gear at reasonable (non-inflated) prices or even straight trades, and the system you’ve built for maintaining it has allowed me to feel more comfortable conducting exchanges here due to everyone’s openness and required engagement for access.


20 characters of I hadn’t realized the trade section was still there because I’d muted it.

Completely agree with the rational behind closing it, what started as just a few people knowing eachother more or less from online interaction and trading stuff would inevitably move into an actual marketplace with prerequisites like KYC as it scaled and a system to vouch for user’s legitimacy and avoid fraud and abuse would have to be put in place… Which feels very remote from what distinguishes this place from other online spaces and what makes it worth preserving.

Other businesses seem to have an actual infrastructure to take care of that so let’s leave it to them.

Otherwise, beautiful move, thanks to everyone involved in this effort, these things are never easy to handle.


Though I totally understand the reasons for closing it and support mod sanity over our convenience- i’d love to see another space like that, like some kind of auxilliary-to-lines space for trading. maybe a discord server?


Same. Like, where else am I going to find a teletype with relative ease that allows me to feel good about helping another one of you out? I have no idea.


I support y’all’s decisions here - even as an outsider looking in I could feel that the trade category was by far the most demanding and also something lines did not want to be defined by.

Donated! Good luck, here for the journey. :slight_smile:

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i’m 100% for all these changes.


I’ll really miss the trade category, but it’s a very small part of this community’s importance to me. Honestly I could (should?) never buy any gear again and be in a good place with what I have.

In light of ongoing production shortages, though, I can’t help but feel like we’re pulling up the ladder for newcomers who aren’t as well-equipped.

EDIT: weird, the paypal fundraiser isn’t displaying the progress… it showed mine briefly and now it’s back to $0 :thinking:


Ditto, coming into this rather recently, I would have no chance to find some of the gear elsewhere, and reasonably priced.

I understand and empathise where the perspective to close it comes from though. Would be nice however to know of a good alternative, however.


i very much encourage anyone who wants to start a small community trade platform. forums require very little technical skill to install. a discord channel takes even less.

create the places you want to exist!


I’m here to follow the leader on this. That said, everything that makes this place special is why we have shied away from other platforms in this regard anyway, so starting from scratch seems a shame. I hate feeling like a complainer, but trading is definitely part of the fun for me.