User:AngelinaBelle/TM/The people involved

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There are many different types of roles that add to the mixture of Simple Machines, and they all must work together for this organization to thrive. This section highlights the different roles you are likely to encounter, and how they fit into the overall picture of Simple Machines.

NPO Members[edit]

All members of the SMF team, once they are accepted by the NPO board of directors, are NPO members. In addition, the NPO has service teams, including the site, server, and marketing teams. In the future, other software development projects may join the NPO, and their members may become NPO members. Some NPO members do not belong to any of the NPO's service or project teams.

All regular members of the NPO must pay annual dues, or, in lieu of dues, perform volunteer service for the NPO or its teams. All regular members may vote in the annual elections, and in any other polls the NPO may conduct.

If NPO members leave teams, cease performing volunteer service, and/or cease paying dues, they will become emeritus members. These emeritus members may participate in discussions, but may not vote.

The NPO bylaws stipulate that the ratio of non-team members to team members of the NPO must not exceed 30%. If the ratio ever exceeds 30%, or if the addition of a non-team member would cause the ratio by 30%, no non-team members may be added until such time as adding a non-team member would not cause this ratio to exceed 30%.

NPO Board of Directors[edit]

The members of the NPO board of directors are elected to 2-year terms. Elections for approximately half of the seats are held every year, in June, by a vote of all voting members of the NPO. Once the board has been elected, they decide among themselves who will fulfill the roles of President, Vice President, Secretary, and Treasurer. The Board of Directors is responsible for making sure that the NPO's bills are paid and other obligations are satisfied. The Board of Directors may, from time to time, appoint members to carry out some of the duties of the NPO.

Simple Machines LLC[edit]

From October 23rd 2006 until 2011, Simple Machines was a Limited Liability Company registered in the state of Arizona. During 2010 and 2011, the Simple Machines NPO took on the responsibilities of the LLC, and in 2011, the LLC completed a merge with the NPO and was dissolved. The Simple Machines NPO has taken on all of the LLC's assets, liabilities, and business responsibilities. The Simple Machines LLC no longer exists. Some members of the Simple Machines LLC have become members of the Simple Machines NPO.

SMF Team Members[edit]

Did You Know?
The book of Unknown is a tome of priceless information that is passed on to only the most worthy and inquisitive team members. Seek and you will find.

The people behind the Simple Machines Forum are a diverse group of individuals who, in their free time, combine their effort to help make Simple Machines Forum what it is today. Each team member is a volunteer who has agreed to donate their time and efforts to help improve Simple Machines’ products and services. Team members have different skills, and work on different parts of the project.

This project was founded by and for people looking to develop their skills as well as themselves, and this is reflected in the team's core values. As a team, we need to support all team members, and foster adherence to these core values as we help and encourage others and provide opportunities for growth, development and learning.

The SMF team is divided into several smaller teams, each responsible for a different area of the project’s success. This means that each position is a crucial one. Team members should be encouraged to stretch themselves and to try new things and push the team boundaries. Switching teams from time to time is an excellent way for members to learn new skills, apply old skills to new tasks, and provide variety to everyone. As we develop our team members, the whole team will benefit, as we increase the experience of our entire team.

SMF Friends[edit]

Anyone who had a lot of influence in the early years of the project (E.g. Zef Hemel), or any former team member is listed as a friend of SMF. These individuals have a lot of knowledge about the history of SMF, and many of them know a lot about the code. Many of them check in from time to time on the Friends board, and are available and interested in providing experience, knowledge and advice. Some friends have left in order to take on new challenges. Others have left the team because of a lack of time, and may return to the team in the future.

Forum Users[edit]

The users of SMF are the most varied group of people at They are the reason the public forum was established -- to support them. Some users are very knowledgeable, while others are struggling to learn to use SMF. Some communicate clearly, while others are difficult to understand. Some users appreciate the work we do, while others don't seem to understand. Some are easy to interact with, while others are not. As team members, we will treat all of them with patience, respect and fairness, friendliness, and civility, in accordance with our core values.

Always keep an eye out for forum users who are a good match for the team's core values, and have shown skill for developing, supporting, or documenting the SMF software -- most of the Simple Machines team members began their involvement as forum users on

Charter Members[edit]

Charter Members have signed up for an annual subscription. They have demonstrated that they believe in our success enough to make a financial contribution. The money they contribute is important to the financial health of the project. Charter members have a private section on the community forums, and are given a higher priority for support, via the HelpDesk system.

Charter Members are our primary advocates outside of SMF circles. So giving them good support is important to our continued success. Many of our charter members are competent installers and programmers. The vast majority of them are website owners who understand that they don’t have the skills to built their site, and who appreciate our technical expertise and our experience with the software. They are a great source of support, and a great source of honest feedback.


Most advertisers on the SMF site are owners of hosting companies or software companies who advertise to web masters and website owners. If you come across an advertiser using our community, please be considerate and helpful – if we can help their business grow, then they will be able to afford more advertising in the future.

If you ever elect to use an advertiser’s products or services, please take the time to provide them with a testimonial and a comment to let them know that their contributions to SMF yielded them new business, and to help them understand we appreciate their patronage.

The NPO's marketing team handles all requests from advertisers.


There should be friendly competition between us and the developers of other forum software. We should all be able to learn from the good points of other team's designs and implementation. And we should be able to keep the conversation productive and civil, even on private boards. Assume that whatever you say about a competitor will get out, eventually.

With the new license adopted for SMF 2.0, we have a new kind of competition -- forks of SMF. These modified versions of the Simple Machines forum are written by developers who are looking for a challenge, or who want to try taking the SMF code in a direction different from what the team has chosen. Discussions of pros and cons of these choices and implementations could grow heated, but should remain civil and friendly. Some of the best SMF talent will choose to do some work on a fork at some point, and the team can often learn from the experiments of fork authors.


Anyone is permitted to redistribute SMF 2.0, as long as they follow the licensing agreement. Any requests for interpretation of the license agreement should be directed to the NPO.

Anyone who wishes to distribute earlier versions of SMF must have written permission from the SimpleMachines NPO. All inquiries about redistributing earlier versions of SMF should be directed to the NPO.


Bots and Crawlers are not, strictly speaking, people. Most of them are automated indexers employed by search engine companies. Search engines are a benefit to the Simple Machines community. They draw interested users to the site, and help them find answers to their questions.