Jim V used to be the Communities Manager and moderate politics, entertainment and other forums. He had a vital role in making the boards what they are today and he's a bit of a legend aong the community :)
What's been your most memorable experience as a moderator?
I was racking my brains for a particular example of all those great moments, funny times, insightful posts or just happy events but in the end nothing is ever going to top staring in disbelief for about 15 minutes at Jake0's masterpiece (click the link and prepare to laugh).
Do you ever have any difficulty balancing TheSite.org's editorial line with your own personal beliefs, how do you deal with this?
TheSite.org, as a charity and as an organisation that seeks to include as many people as possible, uses a series of rules that restrict the posting of offensive or discriminatory material.
There's always been a part of me that believes in the idea of completely open debate, especially in the way that this can highlight the bigotry and ignorance that often creates racist, sexist or offensive postings.
So sometimes I would prefer people to be called to account for their beliefs on the boards, rather than banned or their posts removed.
But, ultimately, I understand why we do what we do; I guess sometimes I'd like a good argument more than we've got the capability to cope with as a charity.
What do you do other than moderating?
Well I'm the communities manager so most of my time tends to spent focusing on community offerings for TheSite.org and do-it.org (our volunteering website). This involves everything from day-to-day running of the websites user-facing sections (and dealing with problems or getting bugs fixed) to shaping what the future offerings will be like and making them a reality.
I also work one week a month on askTheSite, our expert advice service, helping out advisors with technical problems and making sure everyone is getting answers to their questions.
If you had to be locked in a lift with another person who would it be and why?
I'd want to be locked in a lift with the Reverend Al Sharpton, beyond his remarkably varied life (so there would be no chance of running out of things to talk about) he just has a way of speaking that I find fascinating and couldn't imagine growing bored of - no matter how long the fire service took to arrive.
If you could change peoples' opinions on one subject, what would it be and why?
If there's one incredible thing about the internet, it's the ability to be part of a huge group of wildly different people from all across our planet
The value of early films. May seem trivial compared to so many other subjects but it's something I really care about. Just because something was made before the Jazz Singer doesn't mean it isn't a brilliant film (check out It with Clara Bow or Nosferatu to see what I mean). And Buster Keaton pisses all over modern comedy.
Do you learn from the posters' experiences?
Every single time I look at the boards. If I didn't learn from everyone, I'd never be able to spend so much time reading them.
For me if there's one incredible thing about the internet, it's the ability to be part of a huge group of wildly different people from all across our planet, all talking, all discussing, all sharing their experiences. It's something that has never existed until now, and something that can only improve the world we live in.
If you could set up one new forum what would it be?
'Let me tell you a secret'
An anonymous forum where people can post secrets without revealing who they are on the boards. (and yes I'm obviously nicking the idea from the fascinating postsecret)
How does being a moderator fit with your career aims, if at all?
Well I'm enjoying my work at the moment and modding is a big part of that; so since I want to keep doing what I'm doing I guess it's an important part of my aims. To be fair though, I tend to react to phrases like 'career aims' the way vampires do to 'garlic bread'.
What was your favourite thread?
I'm still tipping the gallery thread in Entertainment - some beautiful pictures and nice and relaxing. Like a cubist version of Cash in the Attic.
If I was an animal I'd be a whale because I love swimming and need to justify my blubber.