The EcoPort Foundation
Member's Rights and Responsibilities
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Questions, comments and suggestions: t.putter@ecoport.org

The most fundamental attribute of the Foundation is that it is a membership-based, and member-driven enterprise as variously explained in this Constitution. Therefore, this section briefly and generally describes the definition of membership.

Anybody who is a registered user of the EcoPort database and service at http://www.ecoport.org has an automatic right to choose also to become a Member of the Foundation. Within EcoPort (the database, as opposed to the Foundation), registered users (members) have general- and authoring-privileges denoted by EcoPort terminology: 'Level 100' and 'Level 200' users, respectively.

Both Level 100* and Level 200 EcoPort database users will be eligible for Foundation Membership, but it is envisaged that only Level 200 users will have voting rights in Foundation elections to appoint office bearers such as board members and others.

A Membership Working Group will be established to refine the rights and privileges of Members. This will then lead to the definitive stipulations of what precisely is required for Foundation Membership.


* Levels in EcoPort:

Public users are the baseline level of users of the EcoPort service. This refers to any member of the general public who finds EcoPort on the Internet and uses its information. Such use is free of charge and subject only to EcoPort's copyleft stipulations. No explicit act of registration is required. The system-wide rights of public users is that they can read anything anywhere in the database. (Exceptions apply when an author has blocked access to a 'work in progress'.)

Level 100 users are registered in the EcoPort database. The numerical value '100' reflects a way to administer and manage authoring: the act of writing information into the communal database in real-time. For example, Level 100 access allows such authors to add new Glossary terms, References into the Bibliography sub-system and to write other, relatively minor changes into the database.

Level 200 users have more authoritative authoring privileges. They can adopt technical records and then have password-protected access and control to writing and managing the adopted record. Becoming a Level 200 author requires a dialogue with the EcoPort supervisor, wherein aspirant Level 200 authors explain what they want to write into the communal database.

Level 300 users are called GateKeepers because the serve a guiding, editorial and content oversight function to those Level 200 authors 'allocated' to them. Typically, Gatekeeprs practice oversight responsibilities in discrete thematic subject areas of the overall EcoPort universe. For example, 'birding information' forms a virtual sub-database inside the larger EcoPort. The Birding GateKeeper would therefore support and monitor all database changes written in by Level 200 authors in this thematic subject. GateKeepers have authority to administer the accounts and some aspects of the procedures, rights and privileges of the Level 200 authors within the scope of the GateKeeper's theme of interests and responsibilities.

GateKeepers may also function as web masters in control of Affiliate Websites hosted by EcoPort. These Affiliate websites provide an opportunity for GateKeepers to design user-friendly access HomePages and associated web pages, that customise their experience and use of the communal EcoPort 'knowledge warehouse'. For example, see: ICOSAMP, EcoBirds and HagaHaga.

Level 400 users are called "Domain Facilitators' where 'Domain' refers to a 'virtual assemblage' of information and knowledge in the EcoPort 'warehouse', which are information elements (memes) part of a broad topic such as 'Fish Food Safety' or 'Soil Biodiversity' etc. Thus, there emerges a hierarchy Public User > Level 100 Author > Level 200 'Expert' > Level 300 Gatekeeper > Level 400 Domain Facilitator > Levels 500 and System Administrator explained below:

Level 500 is a Supervisor's role responsible for the overall content logic and integrity of the entire knowledge universe that is EcoPort. One important function reserved solely for the Supervisor, is the creation of new records in the database.

For further explanation, please contact the EcoPort Supervisor.

The System Administrator is the person in charge of all IT aspects of the EcoPort system and service. As such, he deals with all non-content aspects of the 'engineering' of the system and its Internet/www technology.