This is something I have been asked a few times and it is an important concern. By posting here you are contributing to a website that is hosted by someone else. What happens to that data, is it safe and how do you know it will be there tomorrow?!
To start with, let me assure you that I have no intentions of closing the site down. Costs are currently minimal and admin overhead is similarly low effort and shared with my other interests and self education. Longer term there may be a time when running this site no longer aligns with my own situation. If that ever happens then I hereby promise to notify the community and negotiate a transfer to a suitable entity! Please note that such an action would occur in consultation with all users here with full transparency and choice
- The website and it’s data are hosted on a virtual private server with DigitalOcean (referral link, $10 credit to you!) at their NYC2 datacenter.
- The server admin and discourse installation follows best practices and the discourse version used is their “stable” branch and all relevant security patches for that branch are installed generally within 24 hours of release.
- Uptime reports and status monitoring can be found here - http://status.clarionhub.com/
- Occasionally I will take the server offline for maintenance. Normally this doesn’t last more than an hour or so.
- Backups are scheduled to run automatically with the data uploaded to private Amazon S3 storage.
- Site admins are listed on the About page.
- Visitor analytics are sent to a private installation of Piwik (hosted by Fushnisoft) which is configured to Automatically Anonymize Visitor IPs, Delete Old Visitors Logs, Respect DoNotTrack preference.
- All email addresses are private within discourse.
- The site uses SendGrid for mail transport.
- SSL is enforced for all connections and the certificate is from Let’s Encrypt.
- Advertising, from google, is still an ongoing experiment for users who are not logged in or have not yet reached trust level 1. The revenue from advertising is not huge but it does contribute a little to costs.
If you have any questions or concerns please let me know either here, in a separate topic or privately.
The site is primarily user driven. The more engaged you are the higher your trust level and the more responsibility and input you can achieve to make this site useful to you and others!
In conclusion, I hope that this makes it clearer about how the site works and what happens to the data and that from their you are able to make your own judgement call about the value of participating.