The Early Days
Originally, Tower organisation was fairly loose. Primary administration consisted of Membership Administrators who dealt with membership issues and raisings. A few other positions were added over the years as more specialized positions became necessary, such as Mistress of Revels to organize real life events and Mistress of the Watch to maintain the message boards. The Amyrlin Seat would also use this group as well as the Hall of Sitters and Warder Council for general advising. This group was collectively referred to as "administration" and reported directly to the Amyrlin Seat with help from the Keeper and Master at Arms who had overall responsibility for the female and male parts of the Tower respectively.
The Ajahs and Companies had various duties assigned to them which made up some extra duties needed at the Tower. Examples include the Blue Ajah helping to keep the Amyrlin updated with their Eyes and Ears, and the Green Ajah keeping their eyes out for spambots, hackers, and other such Darkfriends.
The Departmental Structure
In 2004, the Tower implemented a Department structure to manage the growing number of positions required to offer the various services desired by administration. The structure was discussed and agreed upon at the 2004 Admin Meeting in California. This was a direct response to two growing issues:
- The introduction of new services (such as IRC games and message board events) which did not fit in the current administration
- The growing need of a more structured organisation to manage the current positions and all those being added
Five Departments were created at the meeting, and duties were divided among them. The Departments allowed for both a better management of current services and the introduction of new services which could not earlier be officially supported. For full details on each Department, see that Department's page. A basic overview is as follows:
- Department of Administration - General administrative duties, such as treasury, legal counsel, administrative assistants, etc. Originally headed by the Amyrlin Seat, with many duties also performed by the Master at Arms.
- Department of Membership - The bulk of administration pre-Departments including Heads of Ajah, Company Commanders, Hall of Sitters, etc. Originally headed jointly by the Keeper of the Chronicles (female half) and Master at Arms (male half).
- Department of Information Technology - All technical aspects of running the Tower, including message boards, the main site, etc. A new position was created to be the Director of this Department. This department was renamed as the Department of Technology.
- Department of Membership Services (Later split into Departments of Community Development and Real Life Services) - The "catch-all" Department. Real life events, message board activities, freedays, and other extra services. A new position was created to be the Director of this Department.
- Department of Research and Communications - The Tower Library, Tar Valon Times, Classroom, Book Discussion forums, etc. Originally headed jointly by the Tower Librarian (research half) and Tar Valon Times Editor (communication half). This has since been split and reformed and split again.
In November 2007, a new department (the Department of Moderators) was created to oversee the moderation of TarValon.Net’s message boards and chat rooms.
In November 2008, the Department of Real Life Services, which had seen overseen the official Tower Events and philanthropic efforts was disbanded and its functions transferred to the Department of Administration.
In September 2009, TarValon.Net became officially incorporated. It is now a legal entity.
In April 2010, the need was seen to create a new Department, the Department of Marketing, to deal with the rise in demand for official graphics and to monitor our Cafe Press store and our external online presence.
In April 2011, the Department of Community Development was disbanded. The TVT moved to Department of Marketing, the Guilds were closed and similar discussion forums were opened under the Department of Moderators. The Online activities aspect was moved to the new Department of Community Outreach which was formed from the Department of Philanthropy. The Department of Research officially changed its name to the Department of Research and Records.
In 2014, the Department of Moderators officially changed its name to the Department of Moderators and Operators, in order to reflect its oversight of both forum moderators and chat operators.
In 2020, the Department of Moderators and Operators was disbanded. Moderators and Chat Operators were moved into the Department of Technology, and the existing Mafia Moderators found a new home in the Department of Community Outreach as Game Masters.