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Thread: Silver Shield: GrnEyedDvl Special Edition

  1. #1
    SonofPeverel's Avatar GLORY TOTHE BROTHERHOOD
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    Default Silver Shield: GrnEyedDvl Special Edition

    Recently the fearless, winged fellow, Diamat braved all terrors and stood face-to-face with our merciless overlord GrnEyedDvl. Fearing he would be consumed, I planned this edition as his obituary BUT, alas the noble Diamat has returned with a glorious conversation for your reading pleasure.

    GrnEyedDvl Edition Staff

    Editor in Chief: SonofPeverel
    Fearless Reporter: Diamat
    Artist: Y2Day

    Diamat Versus GED
    Diamat versus GrnEyedDvl


    For weeks I journeyed. Along the way, I met countless adversaries: the great colossus, the giant hypnotoad, the awesome penguin, the backpack of doom, the white man with glasses, and many more. But none posed as great a challenge as the one who sees all and knows all, the mighty GrnEyedDvl. He did not fear Diamat, for he had much power. Legend has it, the great green eye is the maintainer of this world, capable of instantly vaporizing any who oppose him. We respect him. We fear him. Yes, but Diamat saw more in him: a kind heart, a humorous soul. Thus Diamat flew to his abode, bidding for an inquiry. Gracious as the green eye was, he replied to all of Diamat's questions. And Diamat was glad. He knew he needed to spread the word. Behold, children of the green eye! I bring to you his words! Read and feel at peace!

    About You

    1. Why the name GrnEyedDvl? Does it have any meaning to you?
    The name goes back a long time. Probably to before you were born. Green Eyed Rat Devil is what they called Dirk Struan in Taipan, a book written by James Clavell back in the 1960s. That is one of my favorite books of all time, and I stole the name from that. The unique spelling goes back to the old bulletin board systems that predated the modern forums we use today. In the mid 80s there was a name limit of 10 characters, so I shortened it a bit.

    2. Why did you first join TWC?
    I used to own a coin-operated video arcade, and in about 2000 I converted part of the game room into a LAN gaming center. Predictably most of the games were FPS style, but we had a few strategy games as well. RTW was requested by one of my players, so I bought 10 copies of it and installed it on my machines. Not long after that another user pointed me towards TWC for the Carthaginian Archers mod (that really was a weakness in that game) and the rest is history.

    3. What gave you the impulse or motivation to become site owner?
    That was a rather natural progression, not something that was planned out in advance. In 2006 when I joined there were 22,000 members ( I am 21866) and by mid 2007 there were nearly 60,000. That was putting a huge strain on the server we were using at the time, which we rented. Renting a server capable of handling the then current user base and allowing for growth was completely beyond the means of the site financially. The only really viable solution was to purchase our own hardware and host it ourselves, which meant that someone familiar with rack mounted server hardware was going to have to be in charge of that aspect of it. While we have a lot of talented people on the site, none had any real experience with that other than me. At least nobody stepped up.

    So I volunteered to handle the hardware side of things as long as Simetrical could handle the Linux side. This meant I was the only person on the site with physical access to the server, and it also put all the bills in my name since the servers are hosted at a local Denver network center. This also meant that my commitment to the site was now extremely long term. Other staff members (except Garb at the time) have the option of leaving staff whenever they want. I knowingly forfeited that luxury in order to keep the site up.

    When Garb felt that he needed to move on, selling the site to me was the next logical step.

    4. Has your “acquisition” changed how you view TWC? If so, how?
    Becoming owner hasn't changed my view, but the growth of the site has. I mentioned earlier that when I joined there were 20,000 members. Today we have 160,000+ and more than 11 million posts. While we have many long term members (shouts to WBK) the sheer number of "new" users and the many changes to the site over the years have made it quite a bit more than a small community fansite. While everyone in staff (including me) wants to keep that small community feeling, we have to realize that there is much more at stake than a small community website here. TWC is the place when it comes to anything Total War, and because of our success (not to mention the lawsuit crazy society we live in) we have a name and a reputation to protect.

    Follow-up Question: So do you think TWC is on the verge of becoming something much bigger as it keeps expanding? Do you have a vision?
    It could be. As we expand into other games and even other areas entirely, TWC could realistically more than double in size in the next year or two. My goal will be to try to maintain the same sense of community that I found when I joined TWC, no matter how big the site becomes.

    5. Do you ever see yourself quitting the ownership business one day?
    Not likely.

    Your Activity on TWC

    1. How much does TWC occupy your time? Are there real life conflicts? If so, how do you deal with your various responsibilities?
    Most days it's a few hours, sometimes it's more like 5-6 hours or even more. Very rarely I neglect to login at all. Just like anyone else on the site, I have my own life to worry about, but unlike anyone else on the site I cannot just ignore it if there is a problem with the site. Occasionally this causes a conflict, for example the server crashed on the night my wife was taking me out for my birthday once. Those plans had to get mostly scrapped so I could go to the datacenter and replace a hard drive. But it isnt a huge issue. I have been on call 24/7 most of my adult life. Dealing with TWC is no different in that regard.

    2. Are there considerable financial investments involved on your part?
    I am pretty open about site finances. The site generates a "profit" of $3-400 a month on average, and to date all of that (and more) has gone right back into the site. The Vault server for storing mods was one major purchase, the Minecraft server another, and the coming upgrades to the 2 main site servers are another. As long as the site mostly breaks even, then I am happy. This has never been about money for me even though I could probably generate quite a few dollars by covering the site with annoying pop-up ads and crap like that.

    Follow-up Question: You should know, GED, that we truly appreciate all the time and money you put into this, without seeking profit for yourself. But this begs the question: why do you do it? Is it love for the community (or maybe even a bit of nostalgia)?
    It's the community. It always has been. When I joined the site in 2006 it was right in the middle of the entire issue that had half the site in an uproar, and the other half banned. Being a complete noob on the site, I stayed out of that as I had no idea what was behind it all. But when it started to finally shake out and Ian was getting all the issues and bad blood resolved, I was impressed with how he handled it. Even in the face of some pretty rough criticism (even some from me) he held this site together and truly forged it into a real community. And he did it for everyone else, not for himself. It's quite possibly the most altruistic thing I have ever seen happen on an internet fansite.

    That is a tough legacy to follow, but Ian set the course and it has been a successful one for the site. Garb continued where Ian left off, and I intend to do the same.

    3. What is your favorite subforum? Where do you enjoy posting the most? Why?
    That's a tough one. Probably the Athenaeum, because there is always something interesting in there even if I don't take the time to post on it. And also the Fight Club even though nobody ever takes me up on an offer to debate.

    4. What subforum do you wish to annihilate the most?
    The one with the least amount of traffic. If a forum is popular, then it is good for the site. If it is not popular, then it is not good for the site. Especially if there are custom user groups tied to it that eat resources. That is my only criteria for a forum (outside the ToS), how much traffic does it generate?

    5. I have no idea what Minecraft is. Never played it. Yet your involvement with TWC’s Minecraft server seems to be heavy. Hence, what is the significance of Minecraft to a place originally constructed around the Total War series?
    There has been a surge of interest in games beyond the TW series on TWC over the last couple of years. Some of this is because of the modding situation (or lack of) and some of this comes from people wanting to play other games with people they met and hang out with on TWC. And TWC has had to respond to that interest.

    We have done this in a number of ways. We expanded the Other Games forum to include other publishers, and then even specific games such as Mount & Blade. And then we opened up modding forums for some of those games. JimK even recruited several people for modding in some of those forums, and the forums are doing well.

    When Minecraft came on the scene, a single thread in the Other Games forum generated thousands of posts. Ferrets asked for and received a sub forum for that game even though I did not think it would generate enough traffic to justify it. Boy was I wrong. Within a few months it was bigger than Bethesda and Bioware, and is now the biggest game in the Non-Total War Games forum. As it turns out, a bunch of TWC members got together and created a TWC community server and had a bunch of members that played on it regularly. Even with hosting problems and management issues and all sorts of other problems they had a ton of fun. And fun is what TWC is all about.

    MC as a platform is extremely moddable, in ways that the TW series could never hope to be. And its highly addictive, and has the added bonus of being fairly lightweight on server resources. Most multiplayer games have a pretty hard limit on how many people can play at one time on a single server, if they even have a dedicated server platform to start with. Minecraft doesn't have those limitations because it is such a simple game. A decent server can literally hold 1,000 or more players at the same time. This was a chance to actually give something to the members of TWC that they could enjoy, and not have to really worry about whether or not someone wouldn't be able to play because of resources, and do it without breaking the bank.

    6. How is the “War on Spam” coming along? Any end in sight? Or will I have to buy a Louis Vuitton bag after all?
    As long as there are ISPs out there who turn a blind eye to spam, there will never be an end. The bigger the site gets, the bigger target we become. I have actually gone after at least one SEO company so far for their practices, and if another one causes us problems and I can nail them on it I will go after them as well.

    General Questions Pertaining to the TWC Community

    1. What sort of users do you dislike the most?
    The ones that always want to play victim, the ones that claim staff are "out to get them". Though I must confess I get a few laughs out of it, especially when someone I have never even seen before accuses me of being biased against them for some reason they pulled out of a hat.

    2. Are there any major improvements you would like to see in users’ general behavior or are you overall satisfied?
    The majority of our members are well behaved and mature, and quite a few of them are great debaters and posters as well. Overall I think if you compare our member base with the base of most other sites out there, that we have by far a larger number of members who actually think about what they post instead of just posting crap for the sake of posting crap.

    3. How essential is staff (Hex, moderation, content staff, etc.) in helping you run this site?
    It's the other way around. They don't help me run this site, I help them run this site. There is no way one single person could ever run TWC, even if that is all they did 24/7. My job is to provide them what they need and get the hell out of their way. Particularly with Content.

    When you run any organization, whether it's a company, a website, or a volunteer organization (and TWC is a bit of all 3) then you need to find the best people you can find for a particular task, give them some guidelines, and then trust them to run it. You can't always be breathing down their necks, and if you have to micromanage them then you have the wrong people for the job.

    So the various department heads of TWC have full control of their departments. It's extremely rare for me to overrule anyone on anything, even if I disagree with them. Those disagreements can often lead to a better solution than if everyone had exactly the same thoughts about everything.

    4. What do you think of the CVRIA, in terms of its functions and significance to the operation of the site?
    I think the Curia is a great tradition, but that as a body the Curia generally is wasted talent. The trick is to find something that the Curia genuinely cares about that doesn't infringe upon staff duties but that the rest of the site will like. It's not easy.

    Generally Curial members are heavily involved in the annual site awards, which is great and I think everyone on the site loves to participate in that. But other than that the Curia has never really found its niche. That is one reason I proposed the Curial Action Team and the Product Reviews forum that came with it. Hopefully it turns into other things the Curia can do that are good for the entire site.

    5. Are you planning any great changes to TWC in the future?
    Nothing I am prepared to make a public statement on.

    6. If you could improve one thing about TWC, what would it be?
    Your signature?

    The sometimes strained relationship between members of staff and general membership. Mostly this is a product of failed communication, but often it's also the result of someone disagreeing with a particular policy and instead of trying to see that policy from the aspect of a rather large website that has a large member base to manage, they look at it through their own personal life experience. A great example of this would be the word censor. You can always see people saying stuff like "but everyone uses the word xxx" when in reality this is not the case.

    Matters of GREAT Import

    1. Do you like my signature?


    2. Write the first thing that comes to mind upon seeing the following word: DEATH.
    See Question #4.

    3. Why have you not yet become a SHUMMITE MONK?
    I will do that the day after I become a liberal.

    4. Isn’t Obama the most awesome President of the United States EVER?
    See Question #2.

    5. When will Diamat become a member of Hex?
    How much is Diamat offering for the position?
    Last edited by SonofPeverel; December 02, 2012 at 05:00 PM.


  2. #2
    Shankbot de Bodemloze's Avatar From the Writers Study!

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    Default Re: Silver Shield: GrnEyedDvl Special Edition

    No one has commented on this?

    Epic work Diamat.... how you got he who must not be named to agree to this I'll never know.



  3. #3
    Diamat's Avatar VELUTI SI DEUS DARETUR
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    Default Re: Silver Shield: GrnEyedDvl Special Edition

    Thanks! But thank GED as well! His responses were great!

  4. #4
    Narf's Avatar Reach for the stars

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    Default Re: Silver Shield: GrnEyedDvl Special Edition

    Lovely, gives nice insight, while being lighthearted and fun.


    Diamat. GeD. Kudos to both of you.
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  5. #5
    Aikanár's Avatar Shadow of the past
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    Default Re: Silver Shield: GrnEyedDvl Special Edition

    Great interview!

    Son of Louis Lux, brother of MaxMazi, father of Squeaks, Makrell, Kaiser Leonidas, Iskar, Neadal, Sheridan, Bercor and HigoChumbo, house of Siblesz

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  6. #6

    Default Re: Silver Shield: GrnEyedDvl Special Edition

    Awesome. You really have a knack for this, Diomod

    Under the patronage of the formidable and lovely Narf.

    Proud patron of Char Aznable, Audacia, Lordsith, Frodo45127 and Doctor Shuu.

  7. #7

    Default Re: Silver Shield: GrnEyedDvl Special Edition

    Great interview guys .

  8. #8
    DekuTrash's Avatar Human Directional
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    Default Re: Silver Shield: GrnEyedDvl Special Edition

    Great interview, interesting to find a little bit more about the guy who owns the place.

  9. #9
    Polycarpe's Avatar Back into action!
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    Default Re: Silver Shield: GrnEyedDvl Special Edition

    Quote Originally Posted by DekuTrash View Post
    Great interview, interesting to find a little bit more about the guy who owns the place.

    I share the same opinion, great work Diamat.

  10. #10
    Mhaedros's Avatar Brave Heart Tegan
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    Default Re: Silver Shield: GrnEyedDvl Special Edition

    Nice issue, if not that long
    Under the patronage of Finlander. Once patron to someone, no longer.
    Content's well good, innit.

  11. #11
    Magister Militum Flavius Aetius's Avatar Aetī Avēas!
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    Default Re: Silver Shield: GrnEyedDvl Special Edition

    Awesome work guys.

    2. Write the first thing that comes to mind upon seeing the following word: DEATH.
    See Question #4.

    3. Why have you not yet become a SHUMMITE MONK?
    I will do that the day after I become a liberal.

    4. Isn’t Obama the most awesome President of the United States EVER?
    See Question #2.
    Best Part here. GED, Palmetto and I are the conservatives of the MC servers. Yes, there's only 3 of us.

  12. #12

    Default Re: Silver Shield: GrnEyedDvl Special Edition

    Yet again great interview!

  13. #13

    Default Re: Silver Shield: GrnEyedDvl Special Edition

    I genuinely love this, Rep to you dear Diamat, rep to you

  14. #14
    Gigantus's Avatar You should always listen to your inner voice! - Agreed, but which one?
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    Default Re: Silver Shield: GrnEyedDvl Special Edition

    Delightful reading, thanks.

  15. #15
    Augustus Lucifer's Avatar Life = Like a beanstalk
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    Default Re: Silver Shield: GrnEyedDvl Special Edition

    They really made significant advances in upgrading GED's AI since last time I was here. He almost seems human!

  16. #16
    General Brewster's Avatar The Flying Dutchman

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    Default Re: Silver Shield: GrnEyedDvl Special Edition

    Very nice this

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