Interview: Marcel Klum, Steven Parker, Daniel Fleshbourne, Neowin administrators
Neowin is one of the biggest Windows Enthusiast Community Sites on the Web. Covering all things Windows related, from Longhorn to Linux, from Hardware to Software, as long as it deals with Windows, Neowin has it all. The board has become well known for its fast forum response times and helping members with their PC related problems. To yet enhance the community style of the site, it is now possible to chat live with other members and get assistance or advice realtime.
Marcel Klum, Steven Parker & Daniel Fleshbourne, known on the site as Redmak, Neobond and Voodoo, and the three Neowin administrators, have all kindly accepted to contribute to this interview.
A few details about the boards before we get to the interview:
DELL PowerEdge Series Server
2 X 2.0 GHz Xeons /512kb Cache
2 GB Ram
2x 73 GB 10K RPM Ultra 320 SCSI Drives
1200 GB Monthly Transfer
Creation date of the board
Voodoo - IPB was installed on 9-July 01. Although we have had several boards before settling with IPB including vBulletin & phpbb.
Neobond - Neowin started on Oct 1st 2000 but the community as it exists today started early 2001 even though our earliest (saved) data is from the later date of July 2001.
Number of moderators
Neowin has 36 members of staff of which 22 are forum mods.
Please introduce yourself to our readers and tell us about your background before administering Neowin.
Voodoo - I am a PC Consultant & Repair Specialist living in the UK, I have approx 10 years of PC & software experience. I am also happily married with 2 children.
I have qualifications and experience in business management, sage accounting, information technology/training, marketing & media relations, community project management and credit unions.
I have always been an active member in community projects, from a young age I was encouraged to give back to the community & have done so via:
- STRUT in the community, a charity for disabled children.
- Spring Hill - a summer camp for diabetic children.
- Lincoln Credit Union - setting up a CU for Lincoln (UK)
- Neowin - A windows community website
I started on the working ladder as an IT Teacher AIITT (Associate of the Institute of IT Trainers) then as a computerised bookkeeper AICB (Sage) before going Freelance, contracting in London. Until my first son was born. He has a disability which means I now spend most of my time at home.
This has given me the opportunity & time to work for Neowin. I have been working for Neowin for approx 3 years; I started as a beta newsposter & became an Admin about 1 year later.
Redmak - I've been a network engineer for a computer sales company for 10 years and at the moment I work as a system administrator for a biotech company.
Neobond - I work in the IT industry, currently I work as a Laptop repair technician for various popular brands. I live in Holland and am single white male with no offspring.
Are there other online communities you are a member of, and what do you like in them?
Voodoo - Before I worked for Neowin, I was a newsposter for Demonews.com. Currently Neowin is the only forum community I actively participate. But I am an avid Formula 1 & Starwars fan and I regularly visit websites covering those topics.
Redmak - The only other forums I visit are the Rackshack, Cpanel and Pocomail forums. I used to post a lot on emulation forums but I hardly have the time for that anymore and the emulation communities aren't that much fun anymore.
Neobond - I visit many other tech-related sites but am mostly active within Neowins forums.
"Important to our success is the fact Neowin has been accepted into the mainstream news media community"
What does a day in your life look like?
Voodoo - A day in the Life of Voodoo:
1. Get up, check & respond to emails
2. Approve/Delete News submitted to Neowin
3. Check my list of news sources for daily news. Post any/all interesting news that I find.
4. Check my list of News Sites for news. Post news I have not already covered
5. Check Press Releases List. Post interesting/relevant as news items.
6. Check Forum PM's
-Deal with any Name Change requests
-Replay to members PM's
7. Check Mod forums
-Check Mod Forums & reply/deal with requests
-Update myself on what's been happening overnight
8. Visit regular forums
-move posts in wrong forums
-reply to Site & Forum Issues threads as necessary
-reply to normal threads that interest me
1. Get up, check & respond to emails
2. Go to work and do my stuff there (check Neowin every now and again)
3. Post gamers news, do some php programming. Check the server. Read the forum.
4. Watch tv. Go to bed.
Being three people administering the site can lead to conflict situations. Do you handle your differences by clearly defining each one's role, or do you always try to achieve consensus?
Voodoo - We have a dedicated area where we discuss & deal with any problems; we also keep in contact via IM. We always try to have a consensus for any decisions but for situations were there isn't we settle for 2 out of 3.
What is your best memory involving Neowin ? Your worst ?
Voodoo - Best: All the times Neowin if featured in the press. It is a good feeling that others think Neowin is a good a resource as we do.
See Neowin Press Clippings Forum.
Worst: The times when Neowin has been offline. It doesn't feel right when Neowin isn't there.
Neobond - Best: When Neowin was listed as number 13 Essential websites on the Internet by the tabloid newspaper "The Mirror" in the UK (Daily Mirror: 11th Aug 2003) and when staff continually pull together daily to keep Neowin fresh and popular.
Worst: When Neowin is offline and when a member leaves Neowin because it no longer interests him/her.