Community management is an incredibly varied field, and that's proven to be true throughout my over 15 years of experience. Software development can be quite varied too, and I find that the two fields often overlap in some ways — being able to write and maintain software often makes community management work easier, and can help to make communities safer in very direct ways.
I plan to write some blog posts about these experiences someday, especially regarding the emerging field of defensive moderation — my preferred methodology for making communities safer. For now, though, please see below for details on my most notable experiences.
Please note that all logos used below are property of their respective communities. I've re-hosted them to account for bit-rot below, where the licensing allows for it.
- Community Manager, Outreach Member
- 2021 - Current
Quilt is a Minecraft mod-loading project, which appeared in response to a large stack of social and management problems at the Fabric project — another Minecraft mod-loader. It attempts to learn from these issues and avoid repeating them, through a community-forward approach that prioritises transparency and team autonomy, instead of using a traditional top-down structure.
As a Community Manager at Quilt, I'm responsible for directly managing the Community Team and all of Quilt's official community spaces, as well as writing, maintaining and enforcing its community policies. This includes handling staff recruitment and interviews, ensuring the moderation team has everything it needs and supporting its members, acting as part of the moderation team myself, and maintaining tooling (such as Discord bots) that keep the community safe and running smoothly.
- Co-Owner, Admin, Moderator
- 2017 - 2018
Python Discord is an incredibly large Discord community, dedicated to the Python programming language. It's grown practically exponentially since I joined it in 2017 and, while I ended up needing to quit for my own mental health on practically the last day of 2018, I was still quite proud of what we managed to achieve by working together.
For most of my time here, I was a co-owner. Working alongside two other co-owners and a staff team of around 50 people, I helped to oversee all the operations for this community, contributing to its projects, running events and acting as part of the moderation team. I left it when its user count was in the tens of thousands and, since then, it's grown to over 250,000 users, with some policies and services still based on the work I did and projects I contributed to.
- Owner, Sysadmin, Admin, Moderator
- 2010 - current
The Archives was a bustling Minecraft community. Founded by Andrew Godwin, its main pull was its software — a custom Minecraft server named Myne that brought the very first implementations of things like multiple worlds on a single server, finite liquid physics, in-game portals and message blocks, and command blocks. It also provided a service known as The Archivist, a bot that would crawl all the other Minecraft Classic servers and back up their worlds for them, allowing anyone to load a snapshot at any point. World of Minecraft used this as their de-facto backup solution.
Due to the dwindling interest in creative Minecraft and a new community focus on PVP and monetized competitive servers, The Archives' player-base began to shrink in 2015, and the servers were officially closed in October of that year. However, The Archives still exists on Discord, in the form of a lively private off-topic community.
I remain the primary owner of The Archives and have been the owner for a very long time, inheriting it from Andrew when he no longer had time to maintain it. My responsibilities have included web development, writing Minecraft mods and plugins, working on our Python-based custom server, moderation and policy work, and journalistic and creative writing. I was also in charge of the systems administration tasks, handling all the hosting and domain management myself, while we still had servers to play on.
I don't necessarily own all the projects below, but I've contributed something I'm proud of to every one of them. I've attempted to list the relevant technologies in each card, but it's possible I've forgotten some of them over time.
- Backend, Frontend
Benkyo is a project belonging to someone I'm very fond of — it's a platform designed to help you learn how to speak and understand various languages, via decks of cards that can contain audiovisual content. This project uses lots of technologies I'm unfamiliar with (such as Spring, React and jOOQ), and I've learned an awful lot by contributing to it.
- GitHub Repository
Cozy is a Discord bot, designed to help maintain and moderate Quilt community spaces. As the project lead, I've contributed many features to it, including a full message filtering and alerting suite, a threaded suggestions feature and message logging.
This is a fairly large project (as bespoke Discord bots go). I also wrote the framework this bot uses, Kord Extensions.
- Kord Extensions
- GitHub Repository
- Kotlin Discord
Kord Extensions is a Discord bot development framework, designed to provide everything (including the kitchen sink) that you need to write and maintain functional Discord bots in Kotlin. It wraps the Kord protocol library, providing extra functionality and entire systems on top of it - such as the extension system and commands system.
This is a pretty large, complex project. As the only direct maintainer, I'm intimately familiar with its code and functionality. I'm also the person writing the documentation, when I'm able to.
Quilt's website was largely designed by me, with styling built on top of the Bulma CSS framework. The current styling was designed around the styling from the old version of the site, which was created by Forkk. The site is entirely static, generated using Jekyll and a few small custom plugins.
The site's design was intended to match and mirror the official designs for Quilt's branding, with matching colour schemes and automatic dark and light themes for accessibility, as well as a basic low contrast mode for those that need it. It was also intended to provide a full set of components that other web-based Quilt services would be able to use if they wanted to remain consistent, such as the upcoming wiki.