My Forum Resume
Jack Eber Carlson
If you have or are planning to start a forum, I would be pleased to offer my experience as a moderator or consultant on moderation and administration.
I have worked with Invision Power Boards, PHP-Nuke, vBulletin boards and Simple Machine Forums. I have written forum rules, designed layouts, enabled and disabled features; I have done practically everything that requires doing on a forum.
Lockergnome Forums http://help.lockergnome.com
Owner: Chris Pirillo firstname.lastname@example.org
2002-present Administrator, moderator
Lockergnome forums is one of the oldest and largest PC help forums on the internet. Nearly six million entries have been posted in the six years since it started. As an administrator and more recently, after merging with another forum, a moderator, I have been involved in all aspects of forum administration. Prior to the merge, I was responsible for planning and implementing a major redesign of the site. I helped write and enforce the forum rules. With the rest of the administration and moderation team, I helped new members with their accounts, edited and deleted posts and spam, handed out infractions to those who violated forum rules, banned accounts or IP ranges of those who repeatedly failed to follow the rules of the forum and created, altered or deleted individual forums in order to better serve our members. I have also set up cron jobs to create backups of the forum and its database on our host's servers.
Scot's Newsletter Forums http://forums.scotsnewsletter.com
Owner: Scot Finnie email@example.com
Scot Finnie is currently the Editor in Chief of Computerworld Magazine. In 2003, while the online editor at InformationWeek Magazine, he decided to start a forum as an outgrowth of his popular newsletter. It was to be a more focused forum than Lockergnome, concerned mostly with the Windows and Linux operating systems and hardware issues. As an administrator, I've been involved with creating an atmosphere that encourages participation and member loyalty. We are proud to be the home of one of the friendliest Linux forums on the internet. Most of my duties are similar to those I performed at Lockergnome. Scot's forum is strongly focused on the community. In 2004 I was honored to be involved in rallying members to help re-roof a member's home on the East Coast whose house was damaged in a hurricane.
Spyware Beware Forum http://forums.maddoktor2.com 2004-present Moderator
The maddoktor forum is associated with the the Alliance of Security Analysis Professionals™ (ASAP).
Volconvo Forum http://volconvo.com
Owner: Stephen Best firstname.lastname@example.org
2005-present Administrator, moderator
Volconvo is a very different forum from Chris' and Scot's. Being a forum that encourages debate on a wide range of topics, moderation is much more a proactive activity. My experience at Chris' and Scot's forums has provided me with the ability to discern when a topic is getting close to bursting into a flame war or a member needs to be reminded of the forum rules. This forum is a frequent target of spammers and people looking to cause problems, so the moderators need to be quick to act and know how to use the tools at their disposal to resolve these issues. This is a very active forum. I tend to stay logged in all day, physically checking new posts every hour or so. As an administrator, I have responsibility for maintaining the backend of the forum. My concerns as a moderator are the welfare of the members and the image of the forum.
Forums are nearly as old as the internet. The first users of the net realized that first and foremost, the internet was a communications medium. Email and bulletin boards were immediately popular as soon as they were introduced, and maintain that popularity to this day, though their form and capabilities have evolved as newer and more dynamic applications have been developed. Yet the ability to communicate remains at the core of the internet.
Early bulletin boards eventually gave way to forums, conversations preserved in a threaded format that permit anyone to add to a conversation on a particular topic. Some of these topical conversations can carry on for years and may eventually contain thousands of postings from hundreds of contributors.
Forums have been formed around a single concept such as gardening or computer support, while others have found success allowing a wide range of discussions with few if any central themes. Though there are perhaps only a handful of popular forum platforms, the content can be as varied as the members who post to them.
I am an advocate for forums and am convinced that no matter what minor changes they may undergo as they become more relevant to a web 2.0/3.0 internet, they will maintain their core purpose as a source of information and opinion, a record of the evolution of the internet itself.