Posted in online community, Safety/Privacy, virtual worlds, web business

My Interview on the Community Signal Podcast

This past month, I had the honor of being interviewed by Patrick O’Keefe, for his community management focused podcast, Community Matters.  You can download it on iTunes or your favorite podcasting app, or stream it here:
On the podcast, we talk about many things, but our focus was on the treatment of those staff on the front lines of community – the moderators and engagement staff that actually interact with customers.  I feel very strongly that while some of the burden of choosing and keeping a potentially toxic job is on the employee, an equal, and in some cases larger, portion of that responsibility is on the employers and brands hiring those individuals.
Often times, they are highly marginalized team members – many are contractors with little or no interaction with the larger team or the client/brand team.  They are usually paid very low wages, even state-side, being told that they should be “happy” with their work-from-home status.
And that’s just when the content they are handling isn’t toxic.  On most moderation teams, they have to screen out all the “bad” content, so that the audience doesn’t see it.  But the moderators still see it and are usually not given the support required to handle emotionally volatile content.  Even in communities for children, moderators can come across triggering content and some teams do not prepare their staff for that possibility.  “Becoming numb to it” is an awful skill to have to develop on the job.
I also worry about the increasing trend to offshore moderation work to low-wage countries.  As an employer, I understand the urge, but it is difficult to maintain high quality with non-native speakers, not to mention the difficulty of oversight of procedures regarding the emotional well being of those moderators.  Just because they are offshore, doesn’t mean negative content won’t affect them the same.
I am interested to hear your thoughts on this topic.  Let me know what you think in the comments or via twitter.
Posted in trends

What I’m consuming…

Podcast-wise, mostly.  Thought I would share. 🙂


Creativity’s top 5 podcast – Fantastic, short, succinct weekly digest of cool ad and media campaigns from around the world.  Great inspiring stuff, consistently.
Buzz Out Loud – been listening to for years and recently TRIED to stop.  But I felt guilty for some reason and caught back up.  Seriously, they are on episode 1021 and I think I tuned in around 250.  Yikes.
MMO Report – I lurv this podcast.  Casey Schneider is hilarious and adorkable.  Plus you learn MMO industry news and funny gamer insults.  And where else would I learn about an in-game WOW tweet app.
Sesame Street Podcast – Whatever.  I work in kids media.  It’s a short bit of one of my childhood babysitters.  I don’t watch all the time, but I do watch. 😉
X-Play’s Daily Video Podcast – Honestly I don’t watch all thetime, but I do tune in from time to time.


CH Orginals – Not sure why I subscribed to this, but the consistently amusing short comedy clips have stayed on my queue for the past month.
NPR: Wait Wait Don’t Tell Me – I love this Chicago public radio news quiz show.  Saw them live twice this year.  Yeah, I am that girl.
Slate’s Political Gabfest – another that I have been listening to for about 3 years now.  Always smart, funny and cool tidbits to keep me feeling on the smarter end of the citizen spectrum.
This American Life – Sometimes heartbreaking, sometimes funny, almost always great.  This is the stuff roadtrips are made of for me.
The Moth Podcast – found this via This American Life, as they get a bunch of their stories form them.  A NYC/LA and traveling spoken word outfit.
You Look Nice Today – Merlin Mann, Scott Simpson and Adam Lisagor have a demi-deity status with me.  Their brand of humor is my fav.  They are not the most freuent podcasters, but I love them.
Web Soup – Talk Soup format + MMO Report staff = awesome
VHI Best Week Ever – They are on hiatus until next year or something, but I still love this video podcast.

I have half become one of those “Oh, I don’t have a tv” people.  But, to my credit, it was because I thought I was leaving. Not because I think TV is bad.  I love TV.  It had a huge hand in my upbringing. 😀

Posted in online community, virtual worlds

Kids Online updates

So I just realized all the frantic activity I have done trying to make sure all the Kids Online unconference follow up has been updated, I forgot to mention any of it on my own blog.  Oh the horror!

So, the unconference was a success. We started a wiki ( and listserv ( to keep attendees up to date

A handful of us went to the FOSI annual conference in DC last week.  It was interesting to see what government and the executive level of the bigger communities are thinking about and concerned with (everyone’s hearts are in the right place).  FOSI has a youtube page that they promised to upload the panels and Tanya Byron simulcast on (not there yet though)  If anyone have notes form that conference, please let me know.

Then we had a conference call this week (notes are here) and made a calendar of Industry Conferences that many of us would be interested in knowing about or attending (let me know if you want to help maintain this or have any good adds).  We decided that the main goals of the group should be:

  • to aggregate our non-proprietary resources for managing online communities for kids,
  • start thinking about what we as a group think best practices for running kids online spaces are
  • become a catalyst and info resource to help parents/teachers and other people who work with kids about the concerns and goings-ons in the kids online space

I also wanted to get going on a weekly podcast.  I think if everyone can send me the hot news and trends, etc that they think would make sense for those in the industry, I will aggregate and read weekly and then broadcast out.

Let me know if you want to help out with any or all of this.  Also let me know if you are not on any of these lists and want me to add you