Interview No. 83
Interview By: @The-Great-One
Today's guest can be seen in two different lights. As a forum moderator he is seen as one of the best and one of the worst. Also as a review moderator and one of the most helpful review moderators he is. He has been with this site for a long time and his name has not gone unrecognized, he is none other than... @Malachy.
Q: How did you find Newgrounds and why did you join?
A: I found out about Newgrounds in middle school. My school had a CAD class taught in a PC lab near the wood shop. Some of the high schoolers in the class would play games on Newgrounds during class. This was back in the Spring of 2002. The next school year I took a full-year class in the CAD lab (using DataCAD and CADkey if you wish to know) and that Christmas my family got a computer that could finally handle Newgrounds without crashing (our first-gen iMac could never load the front page of NG or run netscape and AIM at the same time). First thing I did with that PC was play some Rooftop Skater. After Christmas break I was in class and wanted to leave a review to some game or toon so I made an account. I originally named it something silly like malroxdevonsux because Devon had been sitting next to me and I had to show him how witty I was to make such a username.
Q: What is The Endless Crew? How did you find it and why do you support it?
A: Endless Crew is Aviewaskewed's personal website based on a long-running comic book club thread he has run. He and I have been good friends on Newgrounds for a long time and I joined his community quite a while ago because I was interested in comics and he has a freaky amount of knowledge about comics and I guess he got sick of explaining it all to me on AIM. I had always been interested in the smaller forum communities, especially offshoots from Newgrounds. I used to have a lot of forums I'd frequent that were made up of fellow Newgrounders: Like Latingrounds - a mostly spanish-speaking group of Newgrounders who splintered off after the Latinos? thread was locked. Some guys you might know who were a part of it were Ozcar and NemoX; There was Spasmbot, which was created by format and populated by tons of folks - it was eventually hacked or something and Format's HD fried so now we're a secret group on Facebook. We still talk all the time; There was even an invite-only forum of Newgrounds regulars I was a member of, CPO - they had some beef with The Alliance Forums back in the day. Sorry, I got off topic. I really like the smaller sub-communities because they feel so much like Newgrounds BBS circa 2003 where you were able to get to know people better and make lasting friendships.
Q: Your first post to the forums was in a thread entitled The meaning of Life?. Looking back at your first post and where you are in posting today what are your thoughts?
A: I think my first post is surprisingly un-cringeworthy. I spent a lot of time away from Politics before going back there so I guess it's a precursor to how I would eventually start posting. For more reflection on my posting you may be interested in this blog post I did on my Newgrounds Anniversary a couple of years ago.
Q: You are a member of a few clubs and crews here on Newgrounds and a frequent poster to The Clubs & Crews Regulars Lounge. When did you come across the Clubs & Crews section and what drew you to it more and more over time?
A: Well, I came across C&C when it was created. C&C was created in 2003 because there were so many "club" threads cluttering up General. It started out as a free-for-all but eventually calmed down. I was drawn to it because it was new and allowed for more directed discussion on topics I was interested in with people I liked. For the most part early C&C threads weren't what you see today - they were more like elementary school clubs you created with your friends. There was the Club a Club Club (for those who don't like clubs) the Blam Club (for blamming) and the Obsessive Compulsive Posters (for those of us who posted a ton). I got really into C&C because a lot of friends eventually left Newgrounds and I didn't like posting in General as much anymore. It's a lot like the reason I joined so many off-shoot forum communities - I liked the more personal level of the threads in that forum.
Q: How did you come about becoming a Forum Moderator and do you enjoy being one?
A: I started out as a review mod over the winter of 2008 and then I attended Montreal Meetup that spring and the annual Mod Meetup that summer (they even moved it back a weekend so that I would be 21). A few weeks later they BBS modded me. I enjoy helping the community out - I am not artistically talented and my writing has gone by the wayside so I was using up server space without much to show for it. Newgrounds is probably the best community on the web.
Q: You are also a Review Moderator. How did you come about receiving this title and do you enjoy being a Review Moderator?
A: I was review modded first and it came at a pretty interesting time for me Newgrounds wise. I was starting to feel like everyone I knew was gone and it was high time I moved on as well. When I was review modded it gave me a kick in the pants to branch out from C&C and Politics Regulars Lounge. I restarted participating in the community again and I attended the Montreal Meetup which really made me fall in love with Newgrounds all over again.
Q: When it comes to you as a moderator, I see you as a Review Moderator first and a Forum Moderator second. Tell me what is the process that a Review Moderator goes through when a review is flagged?
A: Sorry dude, can't tell you secrets like that ;). All I can really say is that when a review gets flagged by enough people it goes to the review mods and we get final say on whether a review is removed or kept - we can delete the review, ban the reviewer or clear the flags off the review.
Q: Rage's gift to you: Abusive reviews was made to find abusive reviews and raise Whistle Points. Some may be unsure of the problems in detail that was caused for Review Moderators. Could you clarify some of the problems?
A: It was a mixture of things really. First, a little back story. There weren't always review mods (and likewise, there weren't any BBS mods until early 2003). When the staff implemented a review moderation system there were years of abusive reviews that had never been deleted and needed to be found. The thread was made to help the new review mod team take care of that backlog. As the years went by the backlog was pretty much handled and the review mods needed to work on trying to fix bad reviewer habits before the guy was long gone - which meant they needed to focus on current reviews so they could hand out bans or try and guide users to write better reviews. The thread eventually outlived it's purpose and there were just as many reviews being found by users on their own outside of the thread that meant it wasn't exactly needed to sniff out abusive reviews. We tried to get it to conform to what we wanted it to be but it just wouldn't work no matter how hard we tried. It was just not the right way for reviews to be flagged is all. Of course there's the expected things about it being a constant source of drama or miss-flagging and even fights among users when somebody's review was deleted and linked to in the thread or when they all miss-flagged something and got a whistle downgrade but that was all secondary to the outliving its purpose bit.
Q: After the locking of Rage's thread you would give us Mal's gift to you: Review answers. Later that thread would be locked in place of Review Answers 2.0. Why was that first thread locked and the second one put in its place?
A: I created the first thread before Rage's was locked in response to a lot of misinformation that was being distributed by users in Rage's thread. I wanted to offer an ask-the-experts kind of thread. But when Rage's was locked the thread was inundated with people asking about specific reviews or trying to recreate Rage's in my new thread. Nobody really wanted that. I made the new thread and explained it's existence in the opening post to try and avoid future confusion.
Q: Where is your stance on the Review Request Club?
A: Anyone who encourages really good reviewing to offer the best advice to authors is cool in my book.
Q: When did you become active in the Where is / How to? Forum. What has your experience there been?
A: Shortly after being review modded I wanted to lend a hand helping with the Rage's thread. But I didn't really become active there until after I was forum modded. There was a need for a moderator there because some of the old mods who had hung out there had gone away leaving it unattended for a while. At first I was mostly worried about modding threads that needed to be deleted or locked but the community there is really awesome and I found out that I didn't need to really worry about it that much aside from the mis-placed flash question every so often. They are probably the nicest bunch of users on the site.
Q: When I spoke with EyeLovePoozy, we talked about the different people who wanted him banned, de-modded, and/or just outright deleted. Have you run into any problems like this as both a Review Moderator and a Forum Moderator, if so will you share some with us?
A: No I don't think I remember anyone waning me deleted. There are some users who had it out for me because they took something I did personally, but over time as they grew up they realized it wasn't as big a deal. It's just the nature of the beast of moderating a community that has a lot of teenagers who are bursting at the seams with hormones. A lot of time I find somebody thinks I have it out for them because I'm the only one who bans them but it just turns out that we share the same schedule of activity on the site so it stands to reason that when they are being bad I'm going to be the first one to see it...After they figure that out they cool down a bit.
Q: Who have you met here on Newgrounds over time and come to love. Who have you crossed paths with that you have a distaste for?
A: I've never met anyone who I dislike. I've met a lot of awesome people over the years though. I first met Timmy in stickam and we hit it off because we both like to ski. For the last couple of winters we've tried to meet up for some skiing. There are others who have taken me into their homes when I visit for meetups and I've hosted Evark once or twice at my house to skiing as well. I first met people personally in 2004 when I went on a family ski trip to British Colombia - when I met with some users from the Vancouver area for a whole day. We are still friends on facebook after all these years too!
Q: What can we expect from Malachy in the future?
A: Same old, same old, dude. I would like to host a meetup one day when I've found a region of the world to live in for a longer than just a year or two. I want to get to know a city so I can host a successful meetup of friends where I can show them a little bit of everything that's good about where I am.
Malachy is one of the moderators on here that I truly have a deep respect for, not only as a forum moderator, but especially as a review moderator. Not only that he's just a fun and interesting user to speak with. Although we don't see eye to eye on most things, he can at least have an understanding of where you may be coming from, whether he agrees with you or not is a different matter. Overall he's a grand user whose regular postings seem to go unnoticed due to his moderator status.