Find out which character from Desperate Housewives knockknock would be and his idea to start a virtual book club!
What's been your most memorable experience as a moderator so far?
Reading a post on World Aids Day last year from a user about their experience of living with HIV. It was just massively humbling and was so refreshing to see such honesty and vulnerability around a topic that is effectively taboo.
Do you ever have any difficulty balancing TheSite.org's editorial line with your own personal beliefs, how do you deal with this?
Yep! Normally it's when I'm moderating a post that's quite close to something I've experienced personally. When that happens I usually just draft a post, leave it for half an hour and then re-read it to check I still think it's ok!
What do you do other than moderating?
Well, I work on Do-it, YouthNet's volunteering website, regularly get out and pound the pavements of East London as I'm training for a half-marathon, watch (probably) far too much telly, carry out my duties as a community governor at a local school and cook as often as I can.
If you had to be locked in a lift with another person who would it be and why?
Hmmmm. That's a difficult question! Going for the dead role-model option, I think I'd choose Harvey Milk, the first openly gay man elected to public office in the US, who was subsequently assassinated. I just find him a constant source of inspiration for his willingness to stand up for what's right and for having the courage to be himself even though that endangered his life.
If you could change peoples' opinions on one subject, what would it be and why?
I'd like to think it would be something really noble, like the case for same-sex marriage equality. However, it would probably more genuinely be something absolutely trivial, like winning most of the UK round to the fact that Seinfeld is one of the greatest comedies ever made.
"I think we all get so caught up with wanting to seem perfect and sorted and that our users show each other (and mods!) that were not alone in finding life incredibly difficult at times."
Do you learn from the users' experiences?
Oh yes. I think what I learn is (at risk of repeating myself) about the power in being totally honest and vulnerable. I think we all get so caught up with wanting to seem perfect and sorted and that our users show each other (and mods!) that were not alone in finding life incredibly difficult at times.
If you could set up one new forum what would it be?
Another tricky question! I think it would be a books and literature forum. I studied English at uni, so I miss having a designated space to discuss literature. Maybe it would be a chance to have a virtual book club, that would be quite cool!
How does being a moderator fit with your career aims, if at all?
I don't think it fits with my career aims directly, but I think there are loads of things I'm learning that are more broadly applicable, for example listening skills (although in a written sense),being balanced and unbiased and honing my insight.
What's your favorite thread at the moment?
I'm currently really enjoying (if that's the right word!) Fear of myself (Gay), mostly for the kind of reasons I've already mentioned. I'm finding the honesty of users discussing something very personal the act of coming out and coming to terms with sexuality incredibly touching. Although, I will say I don't rate my own rather rambling response to it!
If I was... I'd be a... because....
If I was a character from Desperate Housewives, I'd be Bree Van de Kamp because I'm a bit of a neat freak.