Scalability in SD and why it’s important.

What is scalability and why it is mentioned so often in SD?

By Haydenator 19/08/2012

As our members are aware and some visitors may have noticed, we’ve been undergoing some major transformations in the past week. Our front page and charter have undergone large revisions and our new forum platform with subdomain are part of slew of major changes completed as we prepare to power out of beta. For the policy side of the charter and the forum platform, these changes have been done to fit in with our scalability mandate.

…but what is scalability?

Scalability is the ability of SD to handle growth with our structure, policy and systems. It is forward looking and we use a lot of scenario planning to suss out what areas could cause problems as the guild ages. It’s not just measured in the number of members we may have, it’s also measured in time.

Take for example a strip of blu-tack (a malleable adhesive people use to stick lightweight objects to surfaces). If you grab the strip by both ends and pull suddenly, it snaps. If you pull slowly, it stretches but it can only stretch so far before eventually breaking apart. In both cases, there is a point of failure where the blu-tack can no longer handle the change. All organisations can suffer the same fate.

In respect to our forums, if ten members were to make one reply every day for ten days, it would have the same impact as fifty members making one reply for two days (all other factors remaining the same). Now like the blu-tack analogy above, if our systems are not strong enough to handle either of the situations, we’re in trouble!

This is why we’ve moved from a forum which was a plugin inside of a wordpress installation, to a stand alone forum application. Awesome new features aside, we’re planning ahead and while we cannot imagine every conceivable situation, this was a concern we decided to resolve now, while the guild is in beta, then later on when the guild has started to settle.

While scalability is an important factor in assessing how the guild will function over growth and time, it isn’t my measure of our success. I measure our success in two simple ways:

Are our members happy and having fun in our guild?


Am I happy and having fun in our guild?

The size of our guild has no impact on how successful I perceive us to be! I am just as dedicated to five of our guildies, as I am to fifty or five hundred. It does however, as the scouts say, pay to “be prepared!“.

This is why scalability is important and is the motivator of many of our recent major system changes.

See you all in game soon!

Guild Leader of Sweet Disposition

Posted in Info, News

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