Interview by: Jamin ColleySpotlighted site: netwerkin.comA note from Jamin: Due to scheduling conflicts and my ineptitude at installing ICQ, we were unable to have the nice one-on-one conversation as in previous interviews. But we still want to thank Randy (XPert) for taking the time to do the interview anyway! Jamin - UBBDev.com:
What is your background with computers, and how did you get started on the web?Randy - Netwerkin.com:
I started in 1977 as a technician in the US Navy. I was an F-14 Tomcat fixer on the USS Enterprise. I spent 8 years on and off of Aircraft carriers. After that I was one of the very first certified IBM PC technicians. I’ve had various positions since and right now I’m the Senior Systems Engineer for New Horizons Computer Learning Centers and manage our Corporate network and our worldwide Online-Live web based instructor led training, Corporate websites, and our ASP based worldwide student tracking and scheduling system. I built my first webpage 8 months ago, it was a huge leap from Engineering and networking to trying to become a “coder”. It has been a great adventure so far, and a serious addiction too. Jamin - UBBDev.com:
How did you brainstorm the idea behind Netwerkin?Randy - Netwerkin.com:
Netwerkin came out of my being fed up with the behavior of people on the boards that I use to frequent. It was always PC vs. Mac, or M$ vs. Linux, or even Quake 3 vs. Unreal Tournament and it seemed that the more strife and contention there was the more these places thrived. I decided to open a cross platform site that allowed people to get or share knowledge on any of these, while attempting to maintain a real feeling of community. I think the reason that we have such a calm environment there is the fact that I have one strict rule. When I have to ban a person I do it without any acknowledgment or fanfare. People tend to get bored if their ignored and find somewhere else to spam and torment. I also built it to celebrate being sober. December 10th was my one year anniversary of not drinking.Jamin - UBBDev.com:
What was your reason for choosing UBB for your site?Randy - Netwerkin.com:
I have always hung out at boards that used UBB so when I wanted to open a board of my own it was a natural choice. UBB has always felt comfortable and organized.Jamin - UBBDev.com:
What do you like and dislike most about UBB?Randy - Netwerkin.com:
I absolutely love the ability to customize the look and feel of UBB. The code is logical and there is such a large community of people writing and sharing hacks for it that even a novice like me can build a functional and good looking site. The one thing that I dislike about UBB is the lack of database support in the backend and single site login. I’m looking forward to the UBB Portal and the modules and hacks that are sure to follow.Jamin - UBBDev.com:
What's your favorite TV show?Randy - Netwerkin.com:
That’s easy, Home Improvement. My wife swears that I’m the computer nerd version of Tim “the tool man” Taylor.Jamin - UBBDev.com:
Are there any tricks of the trade you can share with us, so other members can benefit from your experience?Randy - Netwerkin.com:
Sure, speaking as an Engineer…stay educated about your computer. Be open-minded and try to enjoy what you do and above all patch patch patch, especially if you run your own internet facing server. I’ve never had a server go down due to a Code Red or Nimda type attack. Stay one step ahead.
Speaking as a virtual community leader, treat your members with respect and be consistent in your enforcement of rules on your boards. Be very picky about who you let be moderators because their behavior is going to influence other people opinions of the site overall and think long and hard about ever making another person an admin. I have seen entire sites taken down by choosing the wrong admins. Be absolutely sure that you need more to begin with. My wife and I are the only admins at either of the two Netwerkin UBB’s. Jamin - UBBDev.com:
If you were going to be stranded on a deserted island, and could only have one pair of socks with you, what color would they be?Randy - Netwerkin.com:
Black, they “look” cleaner longer.Jamin - UBBDev.com:
And finally, what are your future plans for Netwerkin?Randy - Netwerkin.com:
Netwerkin.com is fairly set, but Netwerkin.org is new and I want it to be a “media” site. Everything from DVDs to Music software and Graphics. Netwerkin.net doesn’t use UBB because it’s .asp and SQL and it’s focus is the new Microsoft.Net infrastructure.
I will keep doing this as long as I enjoy it. I never ask for any assistance paying for the servers or the software. I do this purely for the love of computing, and showing people that you can be part of a community that lets you express an opinion without being flamed for your choice of OS or gametype etc. Thanks again for taking the time to do the interview, XPert!!