An introduction to the Overlord

— 5:32 PM on September 21, 2006

Welcome to my little blog space here at The Tech Report. This is not my first writing piece for the site (I did some Forum Update posts some time ago, much like Cyril’s Forum Tidings, which are far better) but this one looks to be a bit more permanent. I’m not sure what I’ll talk about in the future or even how often I’ll post. My dream is a weekly post, goal is monthly, and reality is anyone’s guess. My own personal website seems to have slipped to a monthly schedule, so that doesn’t bode well for my dreams.

For now, I shall concentrate on my area of responsibility. As the forum administrator, I’m often confronted with the finer points of the interactions between semi-anonymous individuals. And by finer, I don’t mean “choice, excellent, or admirable.” In moderating an internet forum, I deal primarily with negative behavior. Whether it’s spam, trolling, warez, or other unwanted things, it’s my task to deal with it so the TR Staff don’t have to, since we’d all rather have them writing reviews. Not only do I have to deal with the negative, I must actively seek it out. This constant scrounging for the deepest depths of human depravity (hyperbole) wears heavily on my mortal soul (dramatic emphasis). I am fortunate to come away from this search empty-handed more often then not. In any case, this job isn’t easy or pleasant. However, it is necessary and I do it to make TR better, primarily to give the other staff more time to do the things that we all come here to enjoy.

To be honest, I couldn’t tell you the day I started as the administrator for The Tech Report forums. Oh, I can tell you the day I received admin privileges, however, that’s not really the same thing. Three Tech Report regulars (of which I was one) were given administrative privileges for both the forums and the new ja.zz comment system (new at the time). Damage was looking to reduce his workload in moderating so he could work on more important things and, of course, the fun things. For despite the grandiose reputation of moderators, it is rarely fun. I’m sure that reviewing hardware isn’t always fun and games, but we’ll just ignore that for now in the interests of making the contrast look more dour.

But going back to these three regulars, we were given the rights and the permissions, but we never formally got the notice or even the full responsibility. Sometime between then and now, I started just taking the responsibility to do things that needed to be done. It was such a gradual process, that I don’t think anyone could go back and pin down when I became THE administrator. Perhaps in a future post, I could outline more of the steps as they took place. That will require more time for research then I have now, due to my procrastination on meeting the deadline for this first post…

Of the three, I’m the only one that’s still active. That was a gradual process as well. In one case, I believe it was mostly a time issue. For the other, it’s not my story to tell. I definitely miss the assistance or even the partnerships that could have been. An overlord’s position is a lonely one and I’ve been doing it alone for so long that I’m unable to share the burden. Whether that’s merely a trust issue or a “control freak” issue is certainly up for debate.

Anyways, I hope this blog can serve to be an outlet for me and an insight into the extremely important (sarcasm) position of the forum administrator. The agenda for next time will likely be moderating philosophy. So be sure to take good notes. ALL HAIL THE OVERLORD.

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