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Drugs-Forum Staff Interview with Mersann

By Phungushead, Jan 31, 2015 | Updated: Mar 5, 2015 | |
  1. Phungushead


    Member since 2010
    Staff member since 2012

    This is the fourth 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!

    Stay tuned, new ones will be posted regularly!


    Some time around 2009 and 2010, I really became interested in drugs and many topics surrounding them, from their actual usage to drug politics and the societal influence. I researched many things, especially Research Chemicals, and a couple of websites kept coming up. I don't exactly remember why I chose DF in particular as the community where I would register first (and the only drug-related community where I would end up staying), but I remember, that, in contrast to many other places, the no-bullshit attitude and the harm-reduction approach that many members follow, impressed me. No bad recommendations such as:"Just try to mix substances A, B and C!! Where is your sense of adventure!?!?! This is what we did when we were young!!!!"

    View attachment 42635 Nosferatus asked...

    View attachment 42637 How exactly did you become a staff member?


    As has been made clear in many places around the forum, staff members are selected, so I did not ask or apply for it. As it wasn't me who decided to ask myself to become a staff member (quite obviously, lol), I am not entirely sure what the reasons were for choosing me, but I'm sure that rarely being overly aggressive and trying to assist newcomers in this community helped, especially as I would end up co-moderating the About DF-subforum which often is the first place where newbies ask their question.

    View attachment 42635 Nosferatus and - View attachment 42626 Beenthere2Hippie asked...

    View attachment 42637 How much of your time do you generally spend on moderating duties?

    View attachment 42703 Mersann:

    That depends on a lot of things. First of all, often moderating is one of the "things I do on the internet". So I will read e-mails, reply to them, have another tab open with DF, yet another with a news site and so on, and will read an e-mail, read some interesting thread on DF, then attend to a post report, which entails posting a reply, editing/deleting a post/moving a thread etc., just to notice that the radio stream I was listening to just crashed. So I can't clearly define this amount of time.

    Then, it always depends on my life situation. Last year, there were some weeks when I was hardly ever around DF, because I had important things to do in real life. The past couple of months, this has improved somewhat.

    I think the past couple of months, I have been spending somewhat under an hour daily on moderating tasks, but then again I'm currently only doing the basic tasks, no major clean-ups or anything along those lines, which (while necessary in subfora I'm moderating,and I hope to get to some of that soon) would take much longer. However, all of this is a very rough estimate.

    View attachment 42626 Beenthere2Hippie asked...

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

    View attachment 42703 Mersann:

    I'm somewhat more careful with posting stuff about my personal situation now. Other than that, no.

    View attachment 42636 Phungushead asked...

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

    View attachment 42703 Mersann:

    These are two sides of the same coin, I believe. I like the indirect kind of transparency I get, because sometimes as a Palladium Member (which I was before joining the staff) sometimes staff decisions were unclear to me. Moderating Visitor Messages on all kinds of profiles, Social Group Messages for all kinds of groups, being able to see who spread out reputation to whom, some things became a lot clearer.

    Of course, with all this "power" comes a whole lot of responsibility, and I underestimated that before I became a Co-Moderator, although I generally think I am capable of handling this quite well. One needs to remain impartial and just care for the rules, no matter what you get to see, even if you dislike or outright hate a statement that someone uttered somewhere. Even if someone insulted and flamed you, you have got to assess the next situation you encounter with that member as neutrally as is possible (without forgetting the history in case the member keeps on breaking the same kind of rules, of course).

    View attachment 42629 GeographyGeography asked...

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

    View attachment 42703 Mersann:

    While I still officially only 'know my shit', instead of being a 'true resource beyond repute' ( ;) ), I think it was somewhat more rewarding at the beginning, but maybe that was because the curve was so steep for me. I became a Titanium Member after half a year of membership and yet another 6 months later, I became a Palladium member, and it meant a lot to me, as I never thought I'd reach even Titanium Membership until two or three years had passed. I had never been so much out for the staff appreciation, since I have a dislike for many of the unjust hierarchies in the world, but many members I adored and still adore were/are Titanium and Palladium Members, and with my very little experience with regard to drugs, I never thought myself as equals to them, with their often wise and well-expressed thoughts.

    Having said that, being a Co-Mod on here is not the worst position one can imagine by any means, and as long as I can fulfill my duties as a Co-Mod, I don't want to swap with Palladium status at all.

    View attachment 42623 Alfa asked...

    View attachment 42637 What do you like most about DF?

    View attachment 42703 Mersann:

    As I mentioned in the intro, the no-bullshit attitude when it comes to drugs. Drugs are not random toys that you should try to use as excessively as you can, even though other places sometimes make it feel that way.

    View attachment 42628 DeepGreenSea asked...

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

    View attachment 42703 Mersann:

    I think my promotion to Titanium and my promotion to Co-Mod are about equally important for me in my DF history.

    View attachment 42628 DeepGreenSea asked...

    View attachment 42637 Is there anything you would change about the site if you were The Big Boss?

    View attachment 42703 Mersann:

    I'd try to get any form of the (donating members) chat back. I know Alfa is working on this, and I see how much of an issue it is to get a well-integrated properly working chat for a forum as this one (other often-mentioned solutions, such as an IRC chat, often might be simple to realise, but would be problematic for this forum in other ways), but seriously, I miss the ability of communicating with some members in real time. (It always was my favourite donation status extra as well).

    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 42703 Mersann:

    That extremely depends on my day. Seriously, there can be weeks with the most annoying stuff to do, and I just keep calm. Then, another day, for hardly any reason, I feel like losing my temper three times.

    However, I think I'm very good at keeping it together. If I actually lost my temper any time I felt like it on a bad day, I would have ended up in a mess long ago.

    View attachment 42634 Nickelass asked...

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

    View attachment 42703 Mersann:

    Generally not, no. As I mentioned above, being on and modding DF, is another internet task, just like replying to e-mails or researching whatever, even though it involves a bit more care. Sometimes I wish to tell people in real life about something that happened on here, however, and then I'm not always sure whom I can trust and whom I can't trust.

    View attachment 42636 Phungushead asked...

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

    View attachment 42703 Mersann:

    As staff, for as long as I can keep the duties up.

    As a (semi-)regular poster, I don't think why I would go away entirely. Sure, there might be periods of absence for months, maybe a year or so in extreme cases, but if the community stays what it is right now or gets better, I don't see myself going away.

    View attachment 42638 TheBigBadWolf asked...

    View attachment 42637 Are you modding when under the influence?

    View attachment 42703 Mersann:

    Obviously, this depends on the amount and the substance, but the more I am under any kind of influence, the less do I try to attend to moderation tasks.

    If I'm just browsing the forum and aware of any obvious rule breaches (selling drugs, offering drugs, price discussion etc.), then yes, I will attend to them right away. If it's less important, and especially less obvious, then I will not do anything about it until I'm sober again.

    View attachment 42632 LuLu81 asked...

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

    View attachment 42703 Mersann:

    Cannabis, probably. For practical and not so much personal reasons. It's the most widely used illegal drug, and one of the overall less harmful ones.

    View attachment 42634 Nickelass asked...

    View attachment 42637 PC or Mac? And why?

    View attachment 42703 Mersann:

    In my opinion that's a false dichotomy. But if that has to be the choice, then "PC". I'm not going to pay several hundred bucks extra just to have the picture of a partially eaten apple on my otherwise not superior hardware for no reason. (In few cases, I might actually see the reasons why someone does that though).

    View attachment 42626 Beenthere2Hippie asked...

    View attachment 42637 What are amongst the craziest DF questions or posts that you have fielded over the years?

    View attachment 42703 Mersann:

    I don't remember entirely, but when "Some for all" still was part of the "About DF" subforum and the Social Forums didn't exist in their own right yet, there were a couple of crazy threads around. Most of them are deleted once in a while, so I wasn't capable of digging them up.

    View attachment 42623 Alfa asked...

    View attachment 42637 Where do you see DF in 5 years?

    View attachment 42703 Mersann:

    I honestly don't know. 5 years is a better timeframe to get an overview over than, say, 10 years, although the origins of the forum are even older than that, but with technology developing so quickly, I hardly have the slightest of ideas what a discussion forum with all the add-ons such as this one might look like then.

    Maybe it will be more similar to its current state than most of us would imagine. To be honest with you, I like that thought. I don't think that DF should stop developing, not at all, but I think a bit of constancy with regard to its very core won't harm.

    Thank you Mersann - 'mersann' [noparse];)[/noparse] - for the time and effort you put in to make this forum a better place! It wouldn't be quite the same without you.

    All Interviews:


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