From technology to politics to video games; these are the random thoughts of a geek with too much time on his hands
Wow, this ended up being MUCH longer than I expected
Published on January 25, 2008 By Zoomba In OS Customization

Three weeks back I made a post asking the community to come up with a series of questions they always wanted to ask the Moderator Team.  Well, after over 70 replies, I was able to extract 20 excellent questions.  Over the next month, I will be asking the mods 5 questions a week and posting the results each Friday for you to read, enjoy and pick apart. 

This week, we heard from WOM, Koasati, starone, Zubaz, Quentin94, Fuzzy Logic, elvee, Jafo, Hankers, Erk, Snowman and even KarmaGirl.  Enjoy!

Introductions...

To start off, I asked each moderator to talk a little bit about how they became a mod, what their skinning background is, what they do professionally, and what they help cover here at WinCustomize.

Wizop WOM
  I became a mod 2 years ago, I think.  Time flies.  Took me 6 months to become a member and that was only after the wife told me I couldn't use her account anymore.  Met a lot of people here that I call friends and only wished that they lived closer.  I'am a non skinner but my ex-wife is a skinner so I know what it takes to skin.  I'am retired from the Army and the Post Office.   I mod Dreams, LogonVista, Rainlendar, Syametrix, ScreenShots, Wallpapers, WindowBlinds and CursorXP. 
Super Wizop Koasati
  I started skinning in 1999. Actually started with wallpapers. Getting past Moderation at skinz.org was tough back then.  I moved on to small skinnable apps like BeatNik, QuickChanger, and several others (just can't remember the names at this time).   I started creating NextStart themes, and later HoverDesk.  I was a beta tester for HoverDesk, until development ceased.   I've make a few WindowBlinds, but nothing special.  I love making Dock Icons for ObjectDock. I've also made a few dock backgrounds.

I honestly don't remember when I became a mod.  I was recruited by DavidK, shortly before he left us.
Wizop starone
  Well, as everyone knows, have just recently become a mod.  As far as skinning, have tried my hand at all of it from winamp (never again), wmp, sys, wb's, icons, cursors, etc.  As far as professional (hum, how far back do you want to go with this?), well anyway, most of the years as a legal secretary.  Have written and published a poem book.   Am retired now and raising my 5 year old granddaughter (very interesting to say the least).

I have been assigned Logon Vista, icons, winamp, and WinMedia for moderation.
Sir Zubaz
  My name is Aaron and I'm not a skinner.  I've been a Stardock app user for years though, back to OS/2 days.  In the past year I've submitted a few things and I have more stuff for personal use that I can't bring myself to submit publicly.

I've been a mod for one year, two weeks although it seems I've been here forever. I'm able to moderate all the galleries but stick to mostly ObjectBar, DesktopX, Soundpackager, and Dreams.  I don't consider myself a good enough artist to moderate anything else unless there's a backlog and I can help out.  I also moderate the forums.  The nice thing there is that we have a good community and it's rare that I have to do anything more than PM a user that we all need to act like part of the community.  I like helping out on technical easy issues so Stardock support can focus on the harder stuff and serve the users faster.
Wizop Quentin94
  I became a member on August 2006, subscribed on december 2006 and became a moderator on November 2007.  I like help around in forums and share my works and little contributions.  I found here so many friends and very nice peoples (Wishing meet them in future), it's a great place, like another home.

I made/make WindowBlinds, Wallpapers, IconPackages, DX Objects, DX widgets, DX Themes, Suites, CursorXP/FX, Bootskins, LogonsXP, LogonsVista, ObjectDock backgrounds and Icons, Rainlendars, ObjectBar2, RightClick, Avatars, Misc. Icons, Xion and Sound Schemes.

I'm a cashier and agent of reception for a cinema operator.  I draw, I've also written poems but never had the time.. Ok never had the courage to meet an editor

I mod DX Themes, DX Widgets, DX Objects, Misc. Icons and ObjectDock.
Overseer Fuzzy Logic
 

I became a moderator on 7th June 2004.

I 'found' skinning shortly after getting my first pc in May 1999. I started changing the colours almost immediately, then found I could change icons etc with Desktop Architect. I then discovered Neoplanet, a skinnable browser which still works today. By the summer I'd stumbled across WindowBlinds. Suddenly my pc had a new purpose! In 2001 I made my first WB skin, and the rest is history...

Currently I'm working for a small accountancy practice. Mainly running a payroll bureau, but also doing clients' VAT returns etc. Up until last September I spent 15 years as a Payroll Manager for a large manufacturing company.

I moderate whatever needs doing. I don't have Litestep, so that's the only one I don't moderate at all.

Moderator elvee
  I became a Mod almost a year ago and it really took me by surprise.  I don't call myself a Skinner though I have dabbled with Cursors, Single icons, DesktopX, Walls and Suites, but suites are not skinning I have been with Wincustomize since it's inception, coming over from Skinz.org.

I indirectly work for Miss Utility locating underground cables, Telephone and Electricity.

I moderate CursorXP, DesktopX, (themes, packs and widgets.) Misc. Icons and ObjectDock.

Admin Jafo
 

I became a moderator [Wizop] a long time ago...before there was carbon-dating....ah, found it....July, 2001.  We'd all come from skinz.org...where I'd lasted a week as 'admin'.... [I still maintain there's no relation ].... I started skinning in '98 [Litestep and Winamp]...though had done those silly things like changing the shape/colour of your command cursor in DOS.....

My professional background is in Architecture ... started in '72 ... still learning...

I have since been promoted to 'Admin' so can/do access virtually all the galleries/forums/etc., keeping a quiet, gentle finger on the Wincustomize pulse.....

Big Cheese KarmaGirl
  I have worked for Stardock since before there was a WinCustomize.  I actually remember the day that Brad went running through the office talking about the impending demise of Customize and how we needed to create a place for the community.  I don't skin, but I manage the Stardock Design team (at least I pretend to).
Wizop Erk.
  I was asked to become a moderator about a year ago, after hanging around the site, and on #stardock irc on a daily basis since about 2003. I used to help folks out as much as I could, and I think that was 'noticed' by the higher-ups....

My skinning background is mostly of a personal nature ..I do it for myself. I've been around the skinning scene for quite a long time though. I've uploaded a few wallpapers here, but none worthy of checking out - just trust me on this.   I make my own objectdock icons if I need one, though I never share them. I've also made several attempts at ObjectDock backgrounds [with tabs], and succeeded once. I never use it [the background]. I'm currently trying to throw together some xion skins for personal use, but work gets in the way often and I find myself putting things like skinning aside due to being tired. This annoys me sometimes, as I love using Photoshop, but never seem to find the time to fire it up these days. 

My professional occupation is in tourism. I run a visitor information & booking office in Cairns, Australia. It's a job I love doing, because I get to meet some wonderful people from the world over. I have friendships that go back over 10 years with folks from overseas I've met through my job. I've been in Tourism/Hospitality pretty much all my life.

In my position as Moderator here on Wincustomize, I look after ObjectDock, Windowblinds, Rainlendar and DX widgets, along with other mods who help with those galleries as well. I also keep an eye on the forums and skin comments sections when I can. 
Moderator Hankers
  I became a Mod about 1½ years ago.  I don't consider myself a skinner and I'm happy to decorate my desktop with skins from several of the talented skinners here on Wincustomize.

Retired now but in my other life I was in Training and Computer support.

I moderate Winamp, Icon Packages, Xion and ObjectDock and a lot of my time is spent assisting users in the forums (any that Zu has not gotten to yet).
Super Wizop Snowman
  When did I become a mod?  I do believe it was waaaaay back in late 2003. I was 'headhunted' from Skinbase   Been a member here since just a few hours after Jafo signed up. We "originated" from the same skinsite - the mother of all skinsites, the good ol' Brown Site: skinz.org

If it's skinnable, I probably know about/of it. I quit skinning back in February of 2006, and up untill that time I have created some 425 skins for various applications + I keep the largest (known) private skincollection - The Skinventory.

I've been working at a storage facility/warehouse for the largest electronics renting company here in Denmark - L'easy, for the past two years.

For moderation, I'm more or less an "allrounder".

Question 1 -

When you start checking to see what's moderated and you see the artists names (Po' Smedley)
  • Which ones excite you the most before you've opened it?
  • Which artists tend to surprise you the most?  (The least?)
Wizop WOM
  I really don't get excited by any skinner when I'am looking to see what needs to be modded.  I try hard not to be prejudiced by who the skinner is, that way I can be neutral and give everyone a fair shake.  As for whick skinners suprise me, I'd say SKoriginals and I.R. Brainiac.  They do some very different windowblinds.
Super Wizop Koasati
  I honestly try to ignore the uploaders name, and concentrate on the upload.  I can tell you, I've seen more than a few that excited more 'before'   I opened, than 'after' I got it open.
Wizop starone
  Actually I look at the media before the names.  Judge the content and not the names.
Sir Zubaz
  I try to avoid noticing who is submitting what.  I don't want to be biased.  That being said, there are some artists that have such a unique style that it's a thrill to see their work.  I love the ones that push the envelope.  IRB, RomanDA, sViz, vStyler, mikeB
Wizop Quentin94
  I try to don't read the name of the artistes just judge the upload, i always download the skin and install/open it before all (even see the screenshot, the name or the description)   I'm excited by upload with originality and quality.
Overseer Fuzzy Logic
  I never bother looking at names, I just download and test.
Moderator elvee
 

When it comes to Modding submissions, I have to put my personal likes and dislikes on the side. I don't wish to look at names and treat each one fairly.  The community spirit keeps surprising me:) Projects, Contests, You Guys Rock!  

Admin Jafo
  I tend to only get excited by what I call 'reliable names'.... meaning uploads that can be 'trusted' to either work and/or have appropriate permissions .... and thus not be a potential 'drama'.  The process of approving/refusing/checking uploads can be quite tedious....perfect example is the 30 meg screensaver....that had to be downloaded and checked [and installed/uninstalled] THREE times before appropriate permissions were properly included.
Big Cheese KarmaGirl
  No, I really don't look for the names,  just look at the submission.   There are a few that I see the same stuff from over and over again.  I always wonder if they try anything new or if they are stuck making fractals and cutting out clip art.
Wizop Erk.
  I also try NOT to look at the artists name on a submission, so I can be fair & unbiased in my application of it's initial rating, before I 'send it out to the masses' ...but there are plenty of folks here that make quality work that I love to be surprised with when opening a file downloaded for checking.
Moderator Hankers
  I don't check the names. I download, make sure it works,is in the proper file format and ensure that the permission has been included if required.
Super Wizop Snowman
  No artist in particular "excite" me more than any one else. In fact, who made the skin doesn't matter one bit to me. I judge the skin(s) by it's look/feel, not by who made it!   Having been in "the business" for nearly 10 years makes me very hard to surprise. You coulde say that "I've seen it all

Question 2 -

As a moderator, what do you see as your daily challenge?  (Philly0381)

Wizop WOM
  I guess trying to maintain my kool and not get upset when people either rag on you or the other mods.  All you can do is your best and learn to do it better.
Super Wizop Koasati
  No answer provided...
Wizop starone
  Daily challenge is getting it right.
Sir Zubaz
  The biggest challenge for me is walking the line between being "one of the guys" and being Big Brother.  I don't ever want to lose being a part of the community and I think I'd retire if I thought I was losing that.  (OK, now the truth . . . spelling/typing is my biggest challenge . . but you all knew that already, right?)
Wizop Quentin94
  Challenge? My best Daily moderator's challenge is to write a correct english and to be understandable
Overseer Fuzzy Logic
  Finding the time to do everything which needs to be done. There's this thing called real life which keeps getting in the way. Today is typical of late: Got home from work, cooked the dinner, went shopping, cleaned the cooker, then sat down here to type this and have a coffee. Once I've done this quiz I'll be into the shower then off to bed. No time for moderating today!
Moderator elvee
  To be fair and nonjudgmental.
Admin Jafo
  Seeing that everyone is enjoying the site [Wincustomize] and skinning .... as much as they 'should' be, and with minimum 'agro' from what we would call the 'silly people'.
Big Cheese KarmaGirl
  Looking at everything with a fresh eye and trying to see things as others would see them.
Wizop Erk.
  Getting it 'right' ...to my standards and/or satisfaction. I sometimes walk away for a few minutes if I've been inundated with some particularly "questionable" work and have had to rate low as a result. This way I come back with fresh eyes & a fresh attitude for the next submissions. On the forum side, I rarely have to do much other than clean up the odd spam post, as most of our great community are a fantastic bunch, and are old enough/smart enough to take care of themselves.
Moderator Hankers
  There's no 'challenge' being part of this great community.
Super Wizop Snowman
  Picking out the "rotten apples"! With tens of thousands of skins available, it can be hard telling the rips from the real deal.

Question 3 -

Coffee or tea?  (ALMonty)

Wizop WOM
  Coffee, coffee, cofee.  An avid coffee drinker but only in the am.
Super Wizop Koasati
  Coffee!! I love coffee, don't like tea.
Wizop starone
  Coffeeeeeee by all means.
Sir Zubaz
  Mostly coffee.  My wife makes it for me if I clean the press.  Otherwise I may have tea to avoid making it myself.  It just tastes better when she does it. 
Wizop Quentin94
  Coffee, Tea, Coca... but mostly Coffee. All the day.
Overseer Fuzzy Logic
  Coffee of course. Tea is for grannies...
Moderator elvee
  Tea is way much better:)
Admin Jafo
  I'm ambivalent...easy-going.... as long as it's a drug I'm FOR it ... [did I say that out loud?]
Big Cheese KarmaGirl
  Coffee....Coffee...Coffee!
Wizop Erk.
  Coffee, ...home brewed [Dripfilter] ..none of that freeze-dried 'instant' crap they call coffee.
Moderator Hankers
  Coffee - made with freshly ground coffee beans. No instant!
Super Wizop Snowman
  COFFEE!!!! Tea is the worst way of getting people to consume hot water... yuk.

Question 4 -

Do you ever get temped to "accidentally" press the exile button when someone is being silly?  (Fuzzy Logic)

[Note: "Exile" bans an account from using the site in the future.  Only Super Wizops and above have this ability]

Wizop WOM
  Hehe, no but I don't have the exile button capability.
Super Wizop Koasati
  Never accidentally.
Wizop starone
 

Aw Fuzzy, silly is part of life.  Have to have humor these days.  I believe it is known as survival.

Sir Zubaz
  I've never wanted to exile someone for being silly.  I have thought that some folks were pushing the line of hospitality and deserved the boot.  Thankfully, we mods have a forum where we can discuss "problem children" and issues.  Usually, as a team, we find a way to address the problem without resorting to drastic measures.  I never take a exile lightly.  I see it as partly my failure for not finding a way to resolve the situation without losing a member
Wizop Quentin94
  I don't have the exile capability. But admitting i've it, no i don't think i exile someone accidentally for being silly.  Exile is the "end option", i believe we can sometimes and hopefully many time find a solution by dialog (Pms or Emails).
Overseer Fuzzy Logic
  Hmmm, you still can't tell when I'm being flip... That was a humourous response to people asking silly questions [Zoomba - I decided to use a few of the silly questions for fun]
As for exiling in general, some one would have to do something really serious for it to get that far. There's an established route to follow when someone misbehaves, starting with a friendly pm. Exiling someone would be a very drastic step, and would be discussed on the admin board before any decision was taken.
Spammers etc are gone immediately, they aren't part of the site or the community. So are warez users - zero tollerance.
Moderator elvee
  What exile button? We get an Exile Button?  
Admin Jafo
  Yes.... used to be almost daily ...now it's probably more 'monthly'. [either means people are getting less silly...or I'm more tolerant, and yes, I have the button.... it's big, red and shiny [well, it isn't....but it would be if I had my way]]
Big Cheese KarmaGirl
  Never by accident..but the temptation does exists sometimes.
Wizop Erk.
 

I think I was holding the door when these were given out ...I missed getting mine. ...umm Zoomba?? 

Moderator Hankers
  There is no 'Exile Button' on this rock.
Super Wizop Snowman
  No never.

Question 5 -

Have you ever been tempted to just throw your hands up in the air and walk away? (reworded vStyler)

Wizop WOM
  No, never have, but I have had to bite my tongue a few times and not lay into someone like I would if we were face to face.  Have to remember that I represent Wincustome, so I have to watch what I say.  To bad, so sad.  Hehe.
Super Wizop Koasati
  Yep.
Wizop starone
  Hum, throw your hands up and walk away?  Shucks no.  Gotta have challenges.  Sort of like doing a blind I'd say - very challenging.
Sir Zubaz
  There have been times when real-life (tm) has weighed heavily upon me and crap happened here that made me want to walk away.  But in the end . . . this place is home and it improves my life.
Wizop Quentin94
  Not really, i love challenges. But we are humans (at least some of us), and someday that could happen.  Happened only once, when someone didn't understand me (not a language problem but don't want listen), but in this case i passed it to another mod, and looked at it later
Overseer Fuzzy Logic
 

Not for a while... though if I don't get any free chocolate soon I may just go walkies...

Moderator elvee
  No way. It becomes 'stop and regroup time'.  
Admin Jafo
 

Once or twice.... but I'm a sucker for punishment.  Actually...it's a great community [WC] ... great Proprietors [Stardock] ... great bunch of people to get to know and be involved with.  I wouldn't be seen dead anywhere else [silly saying...implies you'll see me dead here - which I'd hope won't be the case...at least not before I finish typing this]...

Big Cheese KarmaGirl
 

Nope.  Too many cool things happening all the time to ever get discouraged by any minor conflict.

Wizop Erk.
  No, never ...I really think they'll have to surgically remove me if it ever came to that point.   
Moderator Hankers
  There have been times and probably will be more. We are only human (except for Fuzzy - he has pointy ears).
Super Wizop Snowman
  Oh yeah, many a time!! But in this business you don't quit - you die

Comments (Page 1)
on Jan 25, 2008
Question 6 - Are there any plans for more of a moderator presence in JU at some future date?
Heh . . looks like we crossed over. 

Zoomba . . thanks for doing this.  It was fun.    
on Jan 25, 2008

Question 6 - Are there any plans for more of a moderator presence in JU at some future date?

If JoeUser 2 proves a success, maybe.

on Jan 25, 2008
Wow I don't believe it, I'm first for a change. I just want to thank all of you for taking the time to share not only what you mod but for giving us some personal info, back round. It's nice to be able to put a personality with a name.

Cheers it's Friday, do you ever get weekends off? Well according to the weekend uploads I'd say no.
And again I say thank you. You all do a great job!!!  
on Jan 25, 2008
Oh man I don,t believe I am #5. When I started out There were no comments. Well I do type sloooow  
on Jan 25, 2008
Impressive!!!
To Jafo: sorry, but I working now on my new ScreenSaver project.....sorry, hm,
40Mb
on Jan 25, 2008
Real people performing a necessary function.     
on Jan 25, 2008
Thanks to all of you for making this is great place to learn about skinning, and just to hang out. I realize your dedication and hard work make it all possible.   
on Jan 25, 2008
Super Wizop Snowman
Oh yeah, many a time!! But in this business you don't quit - you die



on Jan 25, 2008
Really enjoyed the article. It gives a feel for the people we interact with on a more personal level. Look forward to more.  
on Jan 26, 2008
Loved this! It's nice to hear from the movers & shakers of WC. You all sound like really dedicated people; such great personalities. Thank you for sharing your thoughts with the community! Looking forward to more.   

on Jan 26, 2008
Great read...hi youse guys...big thank you for all you do.  
on Jan 26, 2008
It's nice to read of everyone's background.

P.S. Hi Christine!
on Jan 26, 2008

To Jafo: sorry, but I working now on my new ScreenSaver project.....sorry, hm,
40Mb

That's OK, mate ....I need to have something to complain about....otherwise people would think it was all too easy....

on Jan 26, 2008
Im a Teamster.. I need no reason.. just an ear to bend ...
on Jan 27, 2008
Moderators are real people...wow!