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Drugs-Forum Staff Interview with Alfa

By Phungushead, Mar 5, 2015 | Updated: Mar 8, 2015 | | |
Rating:
5/5,
  1. Phungushead
    avatar1_1.gif

    Alfa


    Owner and Administrator of Drugs-Forum since 2003

    This is the final of a series of interviews with members of the Drugs-Forum Staff.

    You can find a listing of all of them here:
    Exclusive Staff Interviews - Your Questions Answered!


    Alfa asked...

    View attachment 42637 How did you arrive at Drugs-forum?

    View attachment 42623 Alfa:

    A friend of mine is a developer and created a small website with an info page per drug and I suggested to add a forum to it. I then helped out a bit. Before it was finished he decided that he didn't want to pursue the project.

    By that time I already saw direction, potential and decided to take it on to see where it lead...


    View attachment 42636 Phungushead asked...

    View attachment 42637 How long have you been a staff member?

    View attachment 42623 Alfa:

    My join date is January 14th 2003, so that over 12 years now.


    View attachment 42635 Nosferatus asked...

    View attachment 42637 What motivates you to do this?

    View attachment 42623 Alfa:

    I strongly believe in what we are doing here and what it will lead to...

    We have only begun our journey. Online media will become more and more influential and ingrained in our lives.

    We have grown to reach 35 million people a year and can grow to much higher levels.

    We can provide so much drug information to such a large audience that it will make a serious dent in anti-drug propaganda as well as ignorant drug use.

    We can give people the tools to really impact their lives. To deal with addiction efficiently and with the full support of an amazing community.

    If we build it, then they will come...


    View attachment 42626 Beenthere2Hippie asked...

    View attachment 42637 Does becoming a Mod involve changing your DF posting style at all?

    View attachment 42623 Alfa:

    Yes, I think it does. It's our duty to run this site as fair as possible, while still making hard decisions when needed.

    I don't submit everything I write or adjust to prevent misunderstandings.

    It also makes a large difference to see the bigger picture. To see the community dynamics & group dynamics going on.


    View attachment 42636 Phungushead asked...

    View attachment 42637 What is your favorite part about being a member of DF staff?

    View attachment 42623 Alfa:

    The amount of effort, work and consideration that goes into running drugs-forum is probably way beyond what people imagine.

    It is very hard to find people who are capable, motivated to put in the hard (and often ungrateful) work.

    We have a really amazing staff team who go to great length to make DF run smooth and treat members as fair as possible. Very level headed, stable and constructive. I am glad to be part of it.


    View attachment 42636 Phungushead asked...

    View attachment 42637 What is the hardest part about being a staff member?

    View attachment 42623 Alfa:

    Naturally there is only so much that you can do. While that is true from a rational perspective, it still sucks big time when friends in the community decide to opt out of life.

    I'll leave it at that.

    I'll add the second hardest part. Life changes us all. And unfortunately I have seen that really great people in the community for whom I have great respect, can at some point go sour.

    People who once were an important part of this community can for unknown reason become very different in behavior. Over agitated, grumpy, antagonistic and heading for the cliffs.

    It's a shame to loose good people. But sometimes its just not possible to reach a different outcome.


    View attachment 42636 Phungushead asked...

    View attachment 42637 What is your favorite everyday moderation task?

    View attachment 42623 Alfa:

    Software functionality design for the new site and testing it out when ready. I get to envision crazy cool stuff, then work with developers to get it built. Test it out and anticipate how the community will like it.


    View attachment 42636 Phungushead asked...

    View attachment 42637 Now, name one moderation task that you legitimately dislike.

    View attachment 42623 Alfa:

    Well, that's an easy question. As you likely are aware of we run a script that flags suspect behavior and messages in order to keep DF free of dealing and behavior that could potentially bring down the site.

    As no script can distinguish between false positives and real problems, someone needs to go through those and evaluate if any action needs to be taken.

    As it concerns a matter of privacy I need to be the person to review these. Even though I have learned to scan text for problematic text and while its absolutely crucial to do this, I truly hate this task.


    View attachment 42628 DeepGreenSea asked...

    View attachment 42637 How do Mods Keep engaged in the site, keep their enthusiasm and activism vibrant, when so much of what is said/asked could seem repetitive?

    View attachment 42623 Alfa:

    Over the years we have lost quite a few mods. luckily we see some return now and then. There are several ex-mods that I would really like to see returning.

    But I think in general (and this seems obvious from the interviews) that its the sense of purpose that keeps us focussed and keeps us coming back.

    DF is not some online forum with people chatting about drugs. What is written on this site affects so many people. The support that is given helps people.

    The thoughts and facts shared shared influence the perspective of others. This is important in regard to policies.


    View attachment 42629 GeographyGeography asked...

    View attachment 42637 Was DF more rewarding at the beginning, or is it best now when you are as respected as 'true resources beyond repute'?

    View attachment 42623 Alfa:

    In the first years of DF, the community was much more personal, simply because there were a small group of members constantly present. There were less rules. More banter. And more fun.

    But as the site matures more and more it is very rewarding to see it having an important impact on peoples drug use, recovery, drug policy and lives.


    View attachment 42628 DeepGreenSea asked...

    View attachment 42637 What action/moment in your DF moment makes you most proud?

    View attachment 42623 Alfa:

    Once in a while I receive a message from someone who has used DF to reclaim their life, safe their own or their friends life through the information and support provided on DF. This means a great deal to me.


    View attachment 42632 LuLu81 asked...

    View attachment 42637 What is the one question that people ask, that makes you scream, no not again UTFSE!!!!??

    View attachment 42623 Alfa:

    Its a pet peeve of mine When people post a thread titled 'PLEASE HELP URGENT!!!' but there is no detail to help or answer or even a real question.


    View attachment 42631 Joe-(5-HTP) asked...

    View attachment 42637 How many times per day are you in danger of losing your temper?

    View attachment 42623 Alfa:

    Oh about every time that Phungushead tells me that I can't change Joe's name again to what it was before. It's soo disappointing! :p

    But other than that, not really. DF is rather my cool zone to unwind from the rest of life.


    View attachment 42626 Beenthere2Hippie asked...

    View attachment 42637 How many hours weekly do you spend maintaining DF?

    View attachment 42623 Alfa:

    Between 20 and 55 hours a week. If I don't have work then it can double.

    Most of my activity is related to administrating, management, software development and various backend stuff. It can vary a great deal.

    It can be 1 hour a day when other parts of my life are demanding or 20 hours a day when I am working on a project. I can be very driven.


    View attachment 42634 Nickelass asked...

    View attachment 42637 Is it hard to balance being the admin on this site while dealing with other non-DF aspects of your life?

    View attachment 42623 Alfa:

    It most definitely can. DF can be absorbing. When I have a project that I want to finish then I can reserve a lot of time for it.

    Most urgent things can be going on. The site may go down. A life may be at stake. The sky can come down at times that I should really be doing non-DF things.

    My dedication to DF has costed me a lot in so many ways. In terms of work, money and relationship.


    View attachment 42630 hookedonhelping asked...

    View attachment 42637 Does moderating this board impact your monthly income each month?

    View attachment 42623 Alfa:

    Not monthly. But there have been quite a few times where I had to choose between making a stiff financial sacrifice or pull the plug on DF. After investing so much time and effort into DF and seeing the results I am not willing to give up on it.


    View attachment 42627 D0pe asked...

    View attachment 42637 Have you ever thought about having Drugs Forum products/gear on the site for non profit purposes of raising donations? Do you think something like this would benefit the site in any capacity right now?

    View attachment 42623 Alfa:

    We have some DF t-shirts and apparel available on the DF zazzle & cafepress stores.


    View attachment 42636 Phungushead asked...

    View attachment 42637 How long do you see yourself sticking with DF, whether as staff or a regular poster? (PH)

    View attachment 42623 Alfa:

    If I ever check into a retirement home then internet access / DF access will be a requirement.


    View attachment 42634 Nickelass and - View attachment 42870 John_bob asked...

    View attachment 42637 So say if Alfa for whatever reason can't be admin of the site anymore, either permanently or temporarily, would a mod take his place as admin? If so who?

    View attachment 42623 Alfa:

    In 2010 I have set up the SIN foundation. One of the main motivations for this was to ensure that DF is not dependent upon my existence. The foundation is a registered non-profit which will continue to exist and which can appoint a new community manager.

    It is likely that the new admin(s) would be a ranking moderator.


    View attachment 42624 beentheredonethatagain asked...

    View attachment 42637 If you could add a futuristic function, what would it be?

    View attachment 42623 Alfa:

    An electric titty twister for some members would do nicely. Thank you. :D

    But seriously. If I can dream it then I can build it. And that's exactly what is going on here. So you will see...


    View attachment 42633 Name goes here asked...

    View attachment 42637 What drugs do you use?

    View attachment 42623 Alfa:

    Psychedelics once a year or so. Euphoric stimulants like methylone to increase party pleasure. Cannabis vapor once or twice a week to wind down or enhance the senses.

    Coffee is my drug of choice though. Some nootropics on and off.


    View attachment 42630 hookedonhelping asked...

    View attachment 42637 What is your favorite drug?

    View attachment 42623 Alfa:

    I have no idea which drug to favorite. I like so many. Depending on set and setting and all in good time. In appropriate dosage and purity.

    I am fond of psychedelics, euphoriants that are forgiving in use.


    View attachment 42630 hookedonhelping asked...

    View attachment 42637 What is your least favorite drug?

    View attachment 42623 Alfa:

    Cocaine without a doubt. To me cocaine brings absolute boredom. An total absence of all things interesting, colorful or intense. Its the opposite of psychedelic to me.

    Plus I have seen how it can change characters and makes some people self centered or paranoid or even psychotic.


    View attachment 42638 TheBigBadWolf asked...

    View attachment 42637 Are you modding when under the influence?

    View attachment 42623 Alfa:

    I don't think moderating under the influence is a good idea. When I am lightly under the influence I will do some tasks that can be done on auto-pilot. But I have the rule in real life and on DF not to take any significant decisions when under the influence.

    That applies to moderating as well.


    View attachment 42632 LuLu81 asked...

    View attachment 42637 If you could choose only one drug to be legalized, what would it be?

    View attachment 42623 Alfa:

    Psilocybe mushrooms because of the positive effects on people's lives and the absence of addiction.


    View attachment 42628 Penguin Harmonica asked...

    View attachment 42637 Does it irritate you when people misspell your name as Alpha?

    View attachment 42623 Alfa:

    No, its understandable. I could change my avatar to the picture of the Spanish warlord, but that would be boring.


    View attachment 42626 Beenthere2Hippie asked...

    View attachment 42637 Do you have pets?

    View attachment 42623 Alfa:

    View attachment 43224


    View attachment 42626 Beenthere2Hippie asked...

    View attachment 42637 What are your hobbies?

    View attachment 42623 Alfa:

    Anything that goes over 200 km/h.

    And DF of course. I certainly do not dislike DF management from under a palm tree on a white beach. I hope to revisit that again.

    My hobbies tend to grow somewhat big. So I'd better not have too many.


    View attachment 42626 Beenthere2Hippie asked...

    View attachment 42637 Are you in a relationship at the moment, or flying solo?

    View attachment 42623 Alfa:

    I am flying solo. But that is not an invitation to any obsessed ladies out there.


    View attachment 42626 Beenthere2Hippie asked...

    View attachment 42637 By nature, do people consider you an outgoing person or a reserved one?

    View attachment 42623 Alfa:

    Reserved most of the time, until I have something useful to say.


    View attachment 42626 Beenthere2Hippie asked...

    View attachment 42637 What makes you laugh? R-E-A-L-L-Y laugh?

    View attachment 42623 Alfa:

    I enjoy dark or sarcastic humor.


    View attachment 42634 Nickelass asked...

    View attachment 42637 PC or Mac? And why?

    View attachment 42623 Alfa:

    I don't use fruit as hardware replacement. I had a mac and asked the apple store to install windows on it. They were not amused. But I got it done anyway.

    I will likely return to Linux soon.


    View attachment 42630 hookedonhelping asked...

    View attachment 42637 What does your avatar say about you?

    View attachment 42623 Alfa:

    Probably that life is never boring and in continuous flux.


    Don't know what else I can really say on this one, except: Thanks man... From all of us. If it weren't for you, this would be, well... nothing.

    __________________________________________________
    All Interviews:

Comments

  1. Joe-(5-HTP)
    That's great. And of course, those are only the cases you receive messages about...


    lol I guess it's nice to know PH stands up for me.


    Nonetheless DF really is dependent upon your existence Alfa. Even though you've tapped into a need the world has and drawn many others here who feel similarly, I think this interview shows that your success and ability running DF is tied to what you sacrifice for DF. It's a beautiful example of what humans can do when they focus on what they know is right and work for it. There's nothing more profound in life than that.

    Nice, he didn't say anything about obsessed males... LoL.
  2. ianzombie
    I have enjoyed this series of SINterviews. It was a great idea.
    Keep up the good work everyone.
  3. marathonmel7
    Yeah I really appreciate everyone taking the time to answer all of the community's questions! It's nice to get to know those that run this amazing place! DF has saved my life and I am eternally grateful for that! I will do whatever I can to help keep it going and hope to donate more in the future.
  4. R_Vrataski
    What Alfa has done and continues to do with the site (not to mention all he has sacrificed) is truly remarkable.
  5. Alfa
    Thanks for the kind words.

    Yeah, thankfully I have never had to deal with any obsessed males. But indeed the same goes for any obsessed person of any gender.
  6. Name goes here
    Great read. I've throughly enjoyed the interviews but the man behind the mask shows a lot about why this community exists. Thanks for the read.
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