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Interview with Jeffrey Field (fattymoon), Host of Electric Minds' "Commons"

by Nancy White

Jeffrey Field is the inimitable "Fattymoon," host of Electric Minds. Jeff's unique approach to hosting builds on his evolving Fattymoon persona, which includes a unique way of "speaking" online.

NW: How would you describe the benefits of having a host or facilitator for a community?

JF: Keeps order (when needed). Facilitates, acts as an info specialist (pretty much all the things Howard elucidated earlier)

NW: How do you describe the role(s) of the online community facilitator?

JF: Depends. It can be someone who makes things happen, or someone who reacts to things happening.

NW: Do you have a particular approach or style of online facilitation that you use? If it varies, why?

JF: I'm Fatty most of the time, but there are times when I need to be Jeffrey (as in the verbal sparring with Tara over Ratboy)

NW: What are some important things to pay attention to when you are training and managing other online facilitators?

JF: Their heart. Does it shine?

NW: What is the worst thing that has happened to you as a facilitator online?

JF: When I was hot and heavy (full time) I missed the sun.

NW: The best?

JF: Witnessing people coming together.

NW: How do you approach/handle conflicts in your community?

JF: Hands off, unless necessary (as in the Ratboy controversy)

NW: How do you approach/handle low activity in your community?

JF: I used to jump up and down and scream and do PR and promo and stuff. Now, because the platform is so unstable, I go with the flow. Of course, with summer here, I can spend more time on Minds, which is a good thing.

NW: Who are some of your online facilitator role models?

JF: Howard. Maddog (when he's a good boy.)

NW: What do you think is your strength as an online facilitator?

The ability to listen. The ability to speak in such a way that the meaning fits the listener's preconceptions. (In other words, sometimes I don't know what I'm talking about, but my audience does.)

NW: If you had to choose one or two golden rules for online facilitators, what would they be?

JF: Rule #1 Be fair
Rule #2 Have fun

NW: What resources or references have you tapped to help you be a better online facilitator?

JF: None (that I remember)

NW: Why do you facilitate online communities?

JF: The money. The fun. The future.

NW: What do you see in the future for online communities?

JF: Foggy vision here.

NW: What will your role be in that future?

JF: I wanta be a star!

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