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meet the mods

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Throw open the curtains and come meet the people behind href="" style="text-decoration: none">Moblog.

meet the mods is a guide to the href="" style="text-decoration: none">Moblog team. It features mini-bios of the moderators, administrators and management that give so generously of their time and energies to help power the site.

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No! I am Spartacus!! (err, actually, just Alfie)

(viewed 2494 times)
Fair cop Gov', it were me! Back in 2003 I got in touch with Mat after hearing he was working on a mail parser that would allow people to "moblog" from their camera-phones. In early 2003 I had a moblog at Textamerica. I used it every day and really, I loved it. Then one day they simply deleted my account. No warning no nothing. To this day I don't know why they did it; perhaps because of some fairly graphic images of an operation I had on my knee?

Regardless, I was livid. For a while I'd been thinking that I'd like to start a site that let people easily moblog and this was the real impetus. Mat and I got together and the rest, as they say, is history. That history though, wow, we've come a long way. From a one style-sheet 'ZOMG I can post pics from my phone!' to a deep community and loads of projects that have come out of the site.

- What kind of stuff are you likely to highlight on moblog?

Anything and everything - whatever catches my eye. I am most drawn to intimate moments and surprising captures that illustrate the mundane in interesting ways.

- Where do you live?

Londninium, East.

- How long have you had a Moblog?

5 years and 11 Months (has it really been that long?)

- What does Moblog mean to you?

When Mat and I started Moblog in 2003 I was working for a publishing house called Sport Business, doing rather dull subscription marketing. Because I'm fairly entrepreneurial I dedicated all of my spare time (and a good portion of Sport Business' time I'm a little ashamed to say) to finding ways for the site to make money and be self sufficient. This meant working with people like Sony Ericsson, Nokia, Proud Galleries and Oxfam. For me, Moblog was an incredible learning journey. I discovered so much about the web as it was emerging from the dotcom crash and so much about how brands and businesses were largely lost in figuring out what to do with it.

From Moblog came We're Not Afraid back in 2005, after I published an image a friend of mine had MMS'd from a smoke filled tube platform. That project was an incredible journey. The site needed a lot more than just me, and so the Moblog crew helped in moderating and debate - I truly got to know some incredible Mobloggers during that time - almost too many to mention but Joe, Bronxelf, 540air, Piecoplastic were all instrumental in making the site work. So many people that I today still count among my good friends, and people who really understand and know me.

Then we got to do the Big Art Mob for channel 4, another incredible experience which let us actually pay for the first major site upgrade ever. Last year we won a Webby for the slightly bonkers Britglyph, which was built on the Moblog backbone. And now Moblog is, essentially, run by it's members! It has been an incredible 5 years and 11 months. What does Moblog mean to me? It has been my life, my child, my temper tantrum teen, and I love it and the people who make it a lovely place to hang out.

- What is your favourite means of taking photgraphs?

my phone - I'm not the world's best photographer by any stretch, Im a point n click kinda guy.

- If you had to draw a moblog family tree, who would you be linked to
and how?

Whoah! Hard! Erm, like Mat said: Me ------> Everyone. Some of us are friends IRL, some only on internets, but I do honestly feel as though Moblog is a bit of an extended family

- What would you most like to happen to moblog in the future?

One thing that running We're Not Afraid taught me (and Moblog to an extent) is that consensus led decision making is a really really tough thing to get right. Everyone has a voice, everyone has an opinion. Some are better informed, some are led by their passion and, ultimately, every voice is right to some degree. The challenge is in filtering things into a practical roadmap to Make Things Happen.

I used to sign my emails with 'The Department Of Really Moving Things Along' and I hope that through the Bottom-up approach to running the company that is emerging at Moblog we find a way to move things along and listen to all of the voices that need to be heard.

On a practical note, I would like to see Moblog become a service oriented architecture rather than the more platform based one it is today. In a word: API. People want to do *lots* of things on the web/mobile, and a 'Home' platform can only ever do some of those things. Once you have an API people can take what the architecture can do and create their own things. I think this is the future of the Web as much as it is Moblog's, so I would love to see us trying to make that a reality as we really move things along.

PS: The image above is a mosaic made up of every image I've ever posted to Moblog, all 4900 of them.

Posted by Alfie

19th Oct 2009, 12:14   | tags:,,comments (6)

beth wrote this

(viewed 2369 times)

I'm Beth, I'm 5 in Moblog time and a bit older than that in real time. I am from Leeds though I grew up in the Yorkshire Dales.

I have many roles on Moblog - I am a friend, a sister, a daughter, a teacher and a colleague. I'm a site user - a customer ...and a Moderator.

I am here on "meet the mods" so you know who I am and where you can find me if you want to. In addition to my mod duties I also have an admin role on the site, which means I can do a little bit more delving about behind the scenes to find out what's going on should anything go awry with your accounts. You're welcome to contact me to ask me questions, discuss any issues or suggest anything that you think would improve the site whenever you want to.

A tiny amount of the things I like : Making things, talking about making things, putting little objects in small boxes, the underdog, tall people, watching bus drivers wave to each other, binge sleeping, smiles from strangers, things that grow, the countryside, clockwork things, moleskins and fountain pens.

You can read more about me over on Interview 52

I operate on GMT or there abouts.

Posted by bettyD

20th Sep 2009, 17:10   comments (7)

The Fool.

(viewed 2092 times)
(Picture Courtesy of Whose Shoes!)

I'm Lou aka Strange Little Girl(SLG)or 'Dailyme' persona, Whose Shoes!

I've had a Moblog for nearly 4 years and 3 months.

Originally from just outside Liverpoool, now living in the South East.

If you want to know more about the real me visit Interview 52!

Like Harimanjaro I didn't set out to be a Mod, but now I find myself with a little more time during the day I'm glad to help with the housekeeping. I like the highlight feature because it expands my view and my thinking and allows me the privilege of someone elses' perspective, especially when 'I Don't get it'. I am mindful too that all the comments I make are on anothers personal blog (unless its a shared or group blog of course)and to that end I choose what I say carefully. If someone has taken a picture to them it has a personal essence, I dont want to trample on that, none of us should.

When I get on the ride I dont want to spoil it.

Posted by Strange little girl

17th Sep 2009, 17:11   comments (12)

Someone's got to do it

(viewed 2085 times)
(Picture by Minkey)

I'm Harimanjaro, or Harry, or Paul in real life. Or, if you believe Nige, I might be Ken Rockwell. Confused? Me too.

I started my moblog a little over three years ago as a way to get back into photography and help me get to grips with those new-fangled digital cameras. I started off posting pictures from my phone but these days I mostly use my increasingly battered Nikon D40, which you can see here getting a good soaking outside the Festival Hall in London.

I didn't really set out to become a moderator, it just sort of happened during a mass Skype call. I'm flattered that anyone trusts me with the job though, and very happy to be able to put a little bit back in to Moblog by helping out. Since being granted my mod powers I've noticed that most of the pictures I want to highlight have already been spotted by other harder-working mods and editors, so mostly I just rotate a few images and remove the odd spam posting. It's a dirty job but someone's got to do it. I care a lot.

Posted by harimanjaro

A Mod Called Sean

(viewed 2139 times)

I'm Seaneeboy. A Boy called Sean. Well, not so much of a boy these days, but I've had the name since I was a teen and it seems weird to change it, even if I *am* knocking 30...

I've been on Moblog for 5 years and 4 months, in fact I signed up only a couple of days after Joe.

Before I was on moblog I'd help set up a online community for university charity appeals / Rag weeks and have been faffing about on the Internet since the early 90s.

I'd like to think I'm an impartial eye on things who, after dealing with various moderation issues on various sites, has the perspective to see when something is a run-of-the-mill issue, or worth full on debate.

I detest the practice of Drive-blogging.

Rest of the time I'm not on Moblog, I'm in a band called March of Dimes (quick plug - ) and work as web officer for a education organisation.

I live in Leeds, centre of the known universe ;)

Posted by seaneeboy

14th Sep 2009, 14:26   | tags:comments (15)

We love the Moblog

(viewed 2033 times)
(picture taken by teflon at ATP 2008)


Born and bred South Londoner, mid-20s, now living on the "wrong side of the river" in sunny Harringay (that's Harringay in the London borough of Haringey) via a four year detour in Glasgow.

Career paths I have considered include writer, documentary film maker, zoo keeper, paramedic and archivist. Career paths I have taken include tape librarian, captioner, fast-food waitress and television researcher (for about two weeks). Currently I work for a charity as a website officer - somehow hanging round here and other internet places taught me enough to branch out and escape the tape library! (Although I bet when I post this there'll still be some broken links...)

How long have you had a moblog?

5 years, 3 months and counting. I should have more posts for that time really!

What brought you here?

Distant connections and phone envy. I met Mat through my then-boyfriend Teflon (and Mat's sister Salome), when we happened to be in Norwich for a student tv conference.

He told us all about his new fangled site, and me, a slow moving Luddite brandished my ancient brick of a Nokia at him and said that 'cameraphones would just be a fad' or something to that effect. I know, I know...

Little did I know that after months of waiting patiently on pavements while Tef took photos of interesting things he'd found on the streets of Glasgow, I'd have my very own phone with camera function and be sitting in a dark room by myself, bored at my new summer job... and wondering what harm it could do to get involved...

What keeps you here?

The people. Originally the fact there was a bit of a Glasgow moblog network, but that became less important as I got to know folks.

The humour, the 'c'mon everybody let's put on the show right here' attitude, some amazingly creative use of words and images and crazy puns which I'm never quite quick enough to join in on.

The ability to document and capture pictures and stories that make me laugh or I think are intriguing.

What made you decide to become a Mod?

See above. Over the years I've found the can-do community attitude of mobloggers so inspirational that I ended up working indirectly with webby things myself as a web officer for a charity. Just by hanging round this place I learned loads.

I think the web offers loads of opportunities for communication and Getting Things Done (as well as plenty for procrastination), and Moblog was probably the first site that showed me all online communication didn't have to descend into snarkiness and trolling. When trolls turn up, everyone just takes the piss. I loved that.

So although I am terrified about whether I have the time or skills to be doing ANY of this (and there are a lot of others doing a lot more than me) I figure spending a little bit of my day looking for highlight worthy pics, spam etc is a small price to give back. I promise to be upfront if I really don't think I can keep up anymore. Because now I get paid to look after a site, I know how damn frustrating it is when it doesn't work.

Posted by kel

11th Sep 2009, 12:03   comments (15)

Rhys' blurb

(viewed 1961 times)
Who am I?

I am who you see me as, and there's nothing I can do about that, but to help you along the way here's a few pointers;

- Young professional come student
- Part way through completing my degree
- Interested in the built and natural environments
- Enjoys a mixture of the tranquility of country life but the vibrant life of cities
- Loves quality food, but can't cook it
- Loves quality photographs, but can't take them
- Currently living in Bristol, UK
- Favourite quote: 'Denial ain't just a river in Egypt' - Mark Twain
- ...Oh and it would be rude not to mention my delight to be associated with Moblog :P

How old is your Moblog?

I created my Moblog in June 2005, making it 4 years and 2 months old.

What am I most likely to highlight?

It has to be said that I'm a sucker for stunning landscape and seascape photographs - Brownie points go to those incorporating magnificent sunsets. Toddy's recent post ticked all the necessary boxes. Photos of fantastic architecture are always welcome in my book too.

Quirky images, oddities and generally those which make me laugh all have the potential to be highlighted.

A highlight is only part of recognising an exceptional post, however. Sometimes meanings, stories or descriptions submitted with the photograph can be equally, if not more, highlight worthy than the photograph itself.

How do I prefer to take photographs?

I'm probably one of the few mods who doesn't own a 'proper' camera, for want of a better word. I do own, however, what I consider to be a reasonable compact, that is my Samsung NV10. It works and suits my needs perfectly. Any better piece of kit would be wasted with me, without the talent and photographic eye to go behind it. Having said that I would like to invest in a better piece of kit in the near future. On the move photos are usually from my Sony Ericsson C510.

Where do I see Moblog in the future?

Without wanting to repeat what has already been mentioned, I think my views on this are similar to many users of the site and newly recruited moderators. Previously oblivious to the hard work and efforts which went on 'behind the scenes' with regards to the development of Moblog, I just accepted the site and the great community incorporated within for what it was.

Since becoming more involved, I have began to appreciate the enormity of the tasks which have been undertaken and the hard work and sacrifices which have taken place to get Moblog this far. It has had its recent hitches but I believe the future is brighter and the path which lies ahead waiting to be discovered will ensure this was not done in vain.

I would like to see the moderators and community at large strive for a greater, more transparent site which is continually developing so that every single user can make the most of the wonderful site that is Moblog. It gives me great pleasure to be associated with the site and to assist in the little ways I can.

Posted by rhys

10th Sep 2009, 17:49   comments (12)

A turn and a half

(viewed 2036 times)
How long have you had a Moblog?

Since October 26th 2004, so just short of 5 years. This I find mildly amusing given my username, as my moblog will be 5 and I'll be 40 a few weeks later.

How did you find the site in the first place?

I was watching a programme called “Flashmob, the opera” on BBC3 and was intrigued by the fact that it was all filmed live in and around Paddington Station in London. I looked up the programme on the BBC site, from there a link to flashmob and on there a link to something called moblog. I clicked the link, wandered around a bit and was hooked.

How and why did you become a mod?

I was given the privilige of being a mod by Alfie, after a conversation about moblog during a visit to his with SLG and the gang to furnish him with a bike. It's a privilige that I treat with the respect it deserves.

What is your favourite means of taking photgraphs?

I pretty much always use my Nokia N95 8GB. Unlike a lot of people here, I'd feel really self concious standing in the middle of the street with a “proper” camera, like people would expect me to know what I was doing. With my phone I have none of that and can happily ignore strange looks while I snap away.

What kind of stuff are you likely to highlight on moblog?

I will highlight anything that I feel should be brought to a wider audience. I'm not a photographer, so I am probably not the best for analysing a spectacular photo. If I think it's great I'll highlight it, I'll also highlight news items, or things to do with moblog events to bring them to everyone's attention.

Tell us a bit about yourself

Ok, I'm Paul, Husband, Dad, Grandad, or 540air depending on who it is that's speaking. I live with the long suffering SLG and the tribe. I love bikes (especially BMX as I used to race them back in the mists of time), football, golf, gadgets, motorsport of many kinds, beer and people. I would call myself a people watcher, as many times I've sat on trains making up stories in my head about who other passengers were, what their story was etc.

My first few steps on moblog were apprehensive, but the warmth and friendliness of the community even back then, was something that kept drawing me back. Over the years I've been lucky enough to meet lots of mobloggers in real life, too many to mention for fear that I'd miss anyone out. The community spirit from the early days still remains today, which is why I find myself writing this “meet the mods” introduction instead of shouting at the tv watching England beat Croatia!!

Photo courtesy of SLG

Posted by 540air

10th Sep 2009, 13:20   | tags:,comments (11)
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