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Accepted Lava's moderator application

Discussion in 'Archived Applications' started by Lava, May 4, 2014.

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  1. Lava

    Lava Public Relations SteamRep Admin

    Messages:
    5,850
    SteamRep Admin:
    STEAM_0:1:46187366

    1) Applicant Name and Info: (copy and paste the usual several lines of IDs from SR profile)


    | steamname: Lava [MCT]
    | steamID32: STEAM_0:1:46187366
    | steamID64: http://steamcommunity.com/profiles/76561198052640461
    | customURL:
    | steamrep: http://steamrep.com/profiles/76561198052640461

    2) How old are you, what city and area do you live in?


    I am 26 years old, and I'm living in REDACTED
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    3) Please tell us a bit about yourself (job, school, hobbies, other)?


    I'm a recent college graduate, and unemployed due to a tough job market, but as a student I worked in information technology and customer support for 5 years. I have a sort of passing interest in computer security, was fortunate enough to have some real hands-on exposure to it when possible from my jobs, and often studied it on my own time as a sort of hobby. Incidentally, I found a serious security vulnerability here on steamrep not too long ago, which was privately reported to Mattie; he had the vulnerability fixed within 48 hours of getting a hold of him, and within about 1 week of me first reaching out to steamrep admins. That is what the note on my SteamRep profile is for.

    A lot of my time recently has been devoted to Mann Co Trading, a SteamRep partner, which began after I graduated from Penguin's Mann Co University. I worked my way up to a moderator, and I now spend hours each day on Pink Taco's Unusual Trade Server. There is a strong liklihood that I will be promoted admin in the near future (few months?), after I've met the requirements and demonstrated myself, which would include an MCT admin status on my steamrep profile.

    Outside of computers and such, I am a big fan of My Little Pony. I've met about half of the production staff, and I work at several brony conventions, ranging from 900 to 8,400 attendees. I meet regularly with other staff for the respective conventions, either in person or by audio/video conference, to plan and discuss different parts of the convention.

    4) Why do you want to be an SR mod?


    I've always had very strong feelings about honesty and integrity, from an information security standpoint, and from a general integrity standpoint. I even go so far as to pride myself that all of my items have a clean history and are not only non-duped, but have never been involved in a scam throughout their history. I like helping new users - and even got my Professor Speks for putting the breaks on an attempted shark - and would love the opportunity to help out at SteamRep. I have had a passing interest in volunteering for over a year now, but had no way of meeting the stringent requirements. Practically Any partner community out there required people to have several years experience in staffing with other partner communities in order to be accepted, so before Penguin's Mann Co University there was almost no way for someone outside the super-secret-club to get started. This appears to have not worked out for the various communities as a whole, as the more seasoned admins retire and few if any people can meet the strict reputation requirements for staffing servers and websites.

    Over the past year (or longer?), SteamRep has been overwhelmed with reports and appeals alike. The staff are becoming more and more thinly spread, with some becoming less active, and SteamRep is falling into disarray because of it. Many reports go ignored for months, and by the time they're finally processed the scammer is either long gone, moved to a new alt account, or cashed out. As this happens, appeals go unanswered often for more than a year, and SteamRep is losing credibility for it. In staffing at MCT, I often have people ask "why bother?" when I tell them to report spycrab runners if it wasn't for thousands of dollars; unless SteamRep can meet their need for more staff they will become less relevant over the next few years as people give up reporting. I'm willing to contribute my time to helping SteamRep get above water.

    Mohandas Gandhi once said "You must be the change you wish to see in this world" so I intend on volunteering my time in fixing these issues with SteamRep. I know the task of moderating a website, especially one for gaming, or with this level of drama, is a thankless, unrewarding task often subjecting you to abuse from disgruntled visitors whether or not you're on duty. I've taken a fair share of abuse in my personal life, and I believe I'm thick-skinned and patient enough to take whatever they can dish out, but I'll leave it up to people who've seen me work at MCT to back up that claim. I fully understand that I am applying to such a position, without pay or compensation, and committing a significant portion of my day-to-day life. I am doing so only in the hope that I may do my part to alleviate the workload on SteamRep and preserve their reputation, the thing most crucial to their existance.

    5) How much time can you donate to SR per week?


    I would realistically be able to commit somewhere from 10 to 30 hours per week, including weekends but allowing for occassional days, depending on my workload for MCT, and other commitments.

    6) Do you have any prior admin experience, or similar, and please elaborate?


    I have considerable experience with website administration and customer service. I worked for 5 years in a university information technology department, providing phone/email/in-person support to users in my department. During this time, I maintained (often single-handedly) and developed for about a half dozen different university websites and servers for various purposes, providing everything needed from infrastructure to end user support via the [email protected] queue or telephone. My role over the past 2-3 years was somewhat autonomous and dynamic, in that I would be working on a website project, asked without notice to update an unrelated server, and then while updating be interrupted by a call from a user having trouble with their email client; but I consistently dealt with frontline customer support on a daily basis.

    In addition to IT customer service, I have worked as security staff at several brony conventions, including Canterlot Gardens (now defunct), Trotcon, and BronyCon. I am managing a handful of staff for at least one of those conventions this year. Contrary to popular belief, convention security is not a "bouncer" role, but (at least at conventions doing their job correctly) a customer service and safety services role. Even with confrontational attendees, 99% of the issues any individual will encounter can be resolved verbally, calmly, and professionally, and attendees are actually more likely to listen and cooperate with a friendly, empathetic staff member than a cold, abrasive, rude, or confrontational staff member.

    Although I have limited experience administering a game server, I believe these patience-building customer service skills are especially relevant to moderating websites with the hostile attitude characteristic to gaming communities - especially at a place like SteamRep where people's reputation and real-world money are at stake - more so even than technical experience from moderating a specific type of server. However, should technical experience in moderating a gaming community be a requirement, I am continuing to learn the technical and practical aspects to managing game servers at MCT.

    7) What do you foresee as challenges as an SR mod?


    SteamRep is an overall larger and higher profile community than Mann Co Trading, and flame wars or similar emotional outbursts are not as uncommon as on MCT's forums. While I am quite thick skinned, level-headed, patient, and difficult to offend, some of the drama in reports (or later on appeals) will likely be more taxing than I'm used to.

    One thing I often find difficult at MCT, as do other moderators here, is that users are often unwilling to put in the effort to file a complete report when they're actually scammed. I often have to watch the same person scam multiple people, with my hands tied and knowing fully well they are a scammer, and without all the necessary evidence for a scammer tag or server ban there is nothing I can do until the victims come forward. It's often the same techniques too, which I recognize happening from a mile away.

    8) Can you accept the fact that you must enforce per SR rules and guidelines?


    Yes.

    9) Do you feel you will have any issues denying appeals or accepting reports?


    No.

    10) Do you handle instruction and direction well?


    Yes.

    11) What do you feel are your personal shortcomings or attributes you can improve on?


    I tend to get sidetracked or distracted a lot. I may work on something like handling paperwork for racism, but find myself in a debate about whether/why backpack.tf is gridlocking the TF2 economy. When dealing with hundreds of scam reports, which is more than I currently handle, keeping a single-minded focus on my work may be worth working on.

    12) What contributions do you believe you will be able to make to SR?


    I feel my two greatest assets to contribute are my integrity and my level-headedness.

    By the nature of trust, there is little I can say to back up my integrity. I do very little cash trading, and had less than a full page on SourceOP which is now gone. I did report a serious security vulnerability to SteamRep once, which could have been used in some very devastating ways if I were more malicious, but to me unless you're a scammer then responsible disclosure (or full disclosure depending on the responsible party) seems like the natural way to go. There is really nothing I can say to back up the claim I'm trustworthy though, because anything I say about myself could also be said by a scammer. Therefore, I'll just leave my integrity up to reputation, and skip directly to level-headedness.

    I am quite capable of dealing with hostile individuals or working under pressure, but I am always thinking ahead and making rational decisions. This may be a confrontational attendee at one of my conventions, this may be a trader who is angry over a tag/ban, or this may be someone in my personal life who is difficult to deal with. Losing your cool does not make the situation any better, and the only way to get rid of a problem stressing you out is to confront it rationally; if you lose your cool, it will only get worse. Hence, I've learned and drilled into my head over the years of my life to always think and act with a level head, and have a well-thought response and plan, even if only over the course of a few seconds, but never to act on impulse. TL;DR, don't panic if things look hectic or bleak, unless you want them to get worse.

    13) Do you have any interest in eventually becoming an SR Admin? If so, what kinds of things would you like to do? (Example- community relations, appeals, scam reports, etc.)


    Yes, I would be most interested in handling appeals. That is one part of steamrep's backlog which really saddens me, because very realistically many of the people there could be innocent, and waiting in excess of a year to trade legally. This hurts them unjustly, and additionally if any of them turn out to be innocent, and wrongfully marked for months to years, it hurts the reputation of steamrep as a whole.

    14) Please list all alternate Steam Accounts by their ID64.


    http://steamrep.com/profiles/76561198081857481
    http://steamrep.com/profiles/76561198081856074
    http://steamrep.com/profiles/76561198084356595
    I created these accounts originally to experiment with small-scale idling. Since then, they've been used for experimentation in cases where a 2nd account was required, and some (unobtrusive) security research. I have also stored items on them when needed, such as crates to save for a much later date or Halloween spells which would disappear if kept on my main account. They are not used for trading.

    15) Do you agree to the Code of Conduct and agree to abide by it?


    Yes.

    16) Have you read the Duties of SR Moderators post and understand it?


    Yes.

    17) Do you have any questions?


    No.
  2. Xenophobia

    Xenophobia Retired Staff

    Messages:
    4,338
    Steam:
    STEAM_0:1:20973413
    I vouch for Lava, he is trustworthy and a hard worker.
  3. Sjru

    Sjru SteamRep Admin

    Messages:
    17,470
    SteamRep Admin:
    STEAM_0:1:13315037
    Steam:
    STEAM_0:1:13315037
    I'd vouch for him, seems like a really nice guy to have in the staff!
  4. Penguin The Fluffy

    Penguin The Fluffy Articus Birdicus Defenderus Retired Staff

    Messages:
    774
    Steam:
    STEAM_0:0:10455403
    I will vouch for Lava as well.
  5. Lava

    Lava Public Relations SteamRep Admin

    Messages:
    5,850
    SteamRep Admin:
    STEAM_0:1:46187366
    Effective today I have resigned from Mann Co Trading. This does not mean I am any less committed to Steamrep, however, and I still wish to continue with my application.
  6. Xenophobia

    Xenophobia Retired Staff

    Messages:
    4,338
    Steam:
    STEAM_0:1:20973413
    Thanks for the update.

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  7. Thomas Matthias

    Thomas Matthias Retired Staff

    Messages:
    4,659
    Steam:
    STEAM_0:0:36213483
    Your application is currently under review.
  8. Thomas Matthias

    Thomas Matthias Retired Staff

    Messages:
    4,659
    Steam:
    STEAM_0:0:36213483
    Approved.
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