Welcome to the second part of the interview with our Forum Administrator
If you missed pt. 1 of the interview, you can read it here.
Orb3000: In recent times you became the forum Administrator, how do you feel with your new position?
mikechannon: You might think I would feel obliged to say “I feel honored”; but in this case I really do feel honored. I have been part of the community for a long time and now I see the soft underbelly of sweet old xda. It’s quite surprising how MUCH goes on behind the scenes. Of course, the sad thing is, I have to do lots of it. But it’s honest work, keeping the Users happy, and I do enjoy it.
Orb3000: What are the challenges you face being the forum Admin?
mikechannon: There are undoubted challenges. We face an enormous growth in membership, more than doubled in the past year, which of course brings many logistical obstacles. Not least amongst these for me is the Moderation and organization of the forums. We have put in place a revised Moderation system that takes more robust Moderation to each individual Forum and current efforts are being made to hone the methods of dealing with errant Users.
I anticipate new, but ultimately manageable problems, with our diversification into new Operating Systems and manufacturers beyond our old hTC exclusivity. The old battle grounds still remain a challenge though and maintaining our development focus whilst coping with an ever increasing membership looking for simple answers to simple questions, has constant potential to pull us in opposing directions –we only have to witness the tension between novice and senior to testify to this.
Orb3000: Your participation in XDA over the years has been very important keeping the place running in order together with the Admin/Mod team, do you have any future plans regarding XDA? If so can you let us know a bit of them?
mikechannon: Well, we are a team at xda-devs. and I am but one cog in the wheel, but in terms of my Admin function, it is to maintain a framework within which the changing scope of xda (new forums, manufacturers and Operating Systems) can be delivered whilst retaining the xda identity. This of course, is difficult as it’s just too easy to follow what other sites do. We need to stand out in the crowd and retain the developer focus. As other sites sail off into a sea of mediocrity and reminiscing about the good old days, we will build our future on their broken dreams.
Orb3000: What do you do for a living?, I mean apart from XDA
mikechannon: It is often rumored that there is life outside xda-devs. In the occasional five minutes away from xda-devs. I run a small training company. Nothing to do with smartphones or technology, but then we all have our imperfections and it does pay my psychiatrist bills.
Orb3000: As we all know, the forum owners also changed recently. How do you feel working with the new team?
mikechannon: In truth I didn’t know what to expect when the site owners changed. Sadness at losing the old ones for sure – we all like what’s comfortable and familiar. Having said that, the pace of change in the phone market necessitated owners who could dedicate more time and energy to moving the site forward and the original owners recognized that fact.
I can honestly say that the new owners have boundless energy; if moss can grow under your feet they will never know it! Without hesitation and indeed with a fair measure of courage the site was over-hauled, given a new look and feel and dragged without too much kicking and screaming into 2010. I doubt many people realize just how much effort that must have taken and is still taking.
We have a very responsive owner, open to new ideas and giving things a try; one might even say adventurous. Where we were a little stale, we are now revitalized and you get the feeling, we won’t be given the chance to sit down with smug looks on our faces anytime soon.
Orb3000: Initially XDA was an HTC devices oriented site, but lately it has opened to other brands and OS´s. What is your opinion on this topic? Do you think we would continue to open new devices sections? If so, how can this affect or benefit our actual community?
mikechannon: The primary concern from the owner here is the “development” potential of the new device (i.e. the OS) combined with its popularity. Having this priority is really essential, not optional, if we wish to remain a high profile site – and we do! It is increasingly apparent that there is a “war” of the Operating Systems in play; no longer a simple case of two or three more or less popular ones. Further complicating this is the extent to which xda-developers can have a role to play in the exciting world of accessing the OSs and developing them in useful ways to free them from the bonds of OEMs and Telecoms Providers. Some of the newer OSs are pretty much tied down, although I fully expect some will be let out of their prison by keen developers here – and if they do, then expect to move beyond WM and Android.
We leave here the second part of this interview, expect final part 3 soon and please leave a comment.