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  1. #1
    SitePoint Addict jpease's Avatar
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    Sitepoint Mentors: What are your qualifications?

    I'm not trying to pick a fight with the mentors here. But the "Mentor" status gives a bit more weight to their responses. The word "Mentor" implies that they have practical experience to share with us.

    An important part of any mentorship is knowing the unique qualifications of your mentor and respecting them.

    Basically the Sitepoint forums span 5 areas: Website Content Development, Website Design, Website Programming, Website Hosting and Website Marketing / Business.

    Specifically within these 5 areas, I would like to know the qualifications of our "Mentors". Have they worked professionally in these fields, or fields directly related to them? Do they currently work in those fields full-time, or is it a hobby? Other than the fact that they have a lot of posts, or have been good citizens in the forums, what do they actually know?

    Again, I'm not challenging their knowledge. But I am genuinely interested. I personally will be more likely to take your words seriously if I know that you know what you are talking about.

    Of course, if you don't personally have the qualifications in these 5 areas - I think we deserve to know that too.

    We still need to have "moderators" in the forums to help keep us fiery creative types under control. I know I tend to get a little worked up myself some times. But I don't want to risk taking the advice of someone automatically labeled a "mentor" who may not necessarily be an authority on the topic.

    I really don't want this to be a fight. So maybe the mentors who choose to participate (I wish all would), could:
    1. List their username
    2. Photo (would be nice)
    3. Professional qualifications as a mentor in the web design / development / hosting / content / marketing world.
    Last edited by jpease; Jun 13, 2007 at 15:13. Reason: clarify title

  2. #2
    Put your best practices away. The New Guy's Avatar
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    A mentor is someone who posts regularly in both a helpful and informing manner. They do not need to be at the top of their field to do this.

    There are many other members who "know" more or have more experience. But, mentors take the extra step to help and engage others who seek help.

    It seems like your unhappy about the other thread and are trying to put the mentors on a pistole just so you can knock them down. Being a mentor is hard work and it takes dedication and that is why there have been many different ones over the years. Give them a break man.
    "A nerd who gets contacts
    and a trendy hair cut is still a nerd"

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  3. #3
    Is Still Alive silver trophybronze trophy RetroNetro's Avatar
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    They are Mentors for the Sitepoint community, not necessarily the web design industry.

    They each have their own skillset and experience level in some field of web development (otherwise they would not have ever joined up here) but their Mentor status is more related to helping with issues concerning these forums and their exhibited willingness to be helpful in general.

  4. #4
    SQL Consultant gold trophysilver trophybronze trophy
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    i don't understand why you are addressing this to the mentors -- your concern about "taking the advice of someone ... who may not necessarily be an authority on the topic" applies just as much to anyone else's advice that you get on the internet

    if you suspect someone is unqualified, maybe you could, in the famous words of the caveman from the geico commercial, do a bit of research next time -- each forum should have a "meet the team" thread

    i don't think any of the mentors or advisors are trying to hide who they are or any of their background

    if i were a suspicious type, i might think you possibly have a hidden agenda with regard to a specific individual, and a public thread wouldn't be the place to pursue that
    rudy.ca | @rudydotca
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  5. #5
    I Love Licorice silver trophybronze trophy Datura's Avatar
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    This is what jpease is talking about: http://www.sitepoint.com/forums/showthread.php?t=484927
    Ulrike
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  6. #6
    Level 8 Chinese guy Archbob's Avatar
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    I used to be a mentor -- back in the day but I had too many other things in life. I was a Ninja Master so I was fully qualified.

  7. #7
    SitePoint Wizard bronze trophy conradical's Avatar
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    I know spikez makes good coffee and Dan can run to the donut shop and back with a doezn krispy kremes in 5 minutes... yeah.. they might be overqualified.

    luckily for me, i am good at foot massages.

  8. #8
    I Love Licorice silver trophybronze trophy Datura's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by conradical View Post
    I know spikez makes good coffee and Dan can run to the donut shop and back with a doezn krispy kremes in 5 minutes... yeah.. they might be overqualified.

    luckily for me, i am good at foot massages.
    … and eating glass
    Ulrike
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  9. #9
    In memoriam gold trophysilver trophybronze trophy Dan Schulz's Avatar
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    I don't run to the donut shop - I'm the one that stops at Subway each day and buys all the Advisors and Team Leaders lunch before I cook the Administrators whatever they want.

  10. #10
    Ex-SitePointer silver trophy
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    Hello Mr. Pease,

    Thank you for your message.

    Being a Mentor isn't about being an expert, it's more about setting an example for others to follow through your actions, about helping to locate problem threads within the community and helping people as best as you are able, in addition to other things. Being a good citizen in the forums is the most important thing in my eyes. This can't be overrated. Good citizens are what keep these forums going. Knowledge is of little value inside of a person unable to communicate it kindly and respect the opinions or contributions of others. So, being a good citizen is very important.

    I don't know if you have ever managed a community before. If so, you might already know this. But, what matters is that the administrator(s) of the community feel that a person is qualified - not that members do. Not that it wouldn't be nice if they did, but being a staff member on a community isn't a popularity contest, so no one needs to campaign, so to speak. So, while I can understand your perspective, to ask all Mentors to profile themselves for you isn't really appropriate.

    Now, if you want to know a bit more about staff members, I'd recommend that you check out the meet the team threads, as Rudy advised. For the most part, there is much to be learned there as far as the backgrounds of the members of our staff.

    But, again, being a Mentor doesn't mean being an expert. No one is asking you to take their words seriously. All members that participate here participate because they want to - you take their words at face value and use them as you will.

    I hope that that helps.

    Thanks,

    Patrick

  11. #11
    SitePoint Addict jpease's Avatar
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    First, I honestly had absolutely no intention of making any reply on this thread at all, let alone "knock them down" as some have suggested.

    I disagreed with two mentors on another thread, and now I'm a bad guy?? If you can find any personal attack by myself in that thread against any mentor, please show me - and I will promptly apologize.

    Second, I wasn't asking the mentors to share anything I wouldn't share myself, or that couldn't be discovered from the links in my sig. I know that my work isn't perfect, and I'm sure many people could shoot it down if they so choose. I know I have a lot to learn, and many areas to improve in.

    Third, as astute readers pointed out - the other thread did prompt this thread, but not because I was hoping to shoot anyone down. I know that the "Mentors" have a lot of work. I have run web forums before myself, and been a member (although not always very active) here on Sitepoint for something like 5 years. For that work they deserve respect.

    On the other hand Sitepoint is specifically a web technology forum. The first definition of the word "mentor" on Dictionary.com is "a wise and trusted counselor or teacher".

    Mentor does not mean good citizen.
    Mentor does not mean moderator.

    Thus, using the terminology "Mentor" instead of "Moderator" in the context of a web technology forum would give the natural impression that such individuals are in fact "wise and trusted counselors" regarding some aspect of the topic around which the entire forums are built -> web technology.

    According to Patrick's definition of how "Mentor" is being used on the Sitepoint forums - it is clear that it is a matter of the wrong word being used, which would obviously lead to confusion.

    Sitepoint (an authority) has labeled the individual as a wise and trusted counselor, when their knowledge in the topic of discussion is apparently irrelevant to that designation (based on Patrick's comment).

    Thus, what I was asking for in this thread was openness and transparency. Give us a little info about who these mentors are.

    For example, "I have never worked professionally in web design, but I wanted to build a personal web site. This was when I first came to Sitepoint 2 years ago. I'm not an expert in the field, but I love the community here and I love to help!"

    Or, "I have worked professionally in web SEO for 5 years. I came to Sitepoint to share ideas and experiences with like minded individuals."

    For their work all the moderators deserve respect. Since confusing labeling of these helpful individuals has been chosen, we should be able to find out whether they are "good citizens" or "experts in the field". I'm not sure why Patrick feels that asking for such is inappropriate.

  12. #12
    SitePoint Author silver trophybronze trophy

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    Quote Originally Posted by jpease View Post
    On the other hand Sitepoint is specifically a web technology forum. The first definition of the word "mentor" on Dictionary.com is "a wise and trusted counselor or teacher".
    And that's exactly what Mentors are at SitePoint: they are counsellors and teachers. Not necessarily about web design, programming, etc., but about SitePoint Forums. The rôle of a Mentor is to assist and support members about the forums, and also to act as eyes and ears for the Advisors (moderators).

    Of course, Design Team Mentors do know a lot about web design, and Programming Team Mentors do know a lot about programming. But they are not primarily mentoring about web design and programming, but about the respective sections of the forum.
    Birnam wood is come to Dunsinane

  13. #13
    _ silver trophy ses5909's Avatar
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    and a mentor WOULD demonstrate knowledge in their area of expertise. We wouldn't select them if they continually gave poor advice.
    Sara

  14. #14
    Follow Me On Twitter: @djg gold trophysilver trophybronze trophy Dan Grossman's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jpease View Post
    1. List their username
    2. Photo (would be nice)
    3. Professional qualifications as a mentor in the web design / development / hosting / content / marketing world.
    Hmm... why do you want our usernames? Aren't they right there to the left of our posts? Actually, that's a good question to ask, since this isn't my original username. In 1999, it was "goodies". I had that account deleted by W.Luke in 2000 so I could create this account instead; I didn't like the old name.

    This thread is silly.

  15. #15
    dooby dooby doo silver trophybronze trophy
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    All right here you go....

    1/ Username - spikeZ
    2/ photo - no chance
    3/ Professional qualifications as a mentor in the web design / development / hosting / content / marketing world -


    Worked for 2 years as developer for a Manchester based Plc developing ASP/ MSAccess applications,
    7 years self employed as designer, developer, manager, seo, content writer, marketer etc with clients ranging from Large National organisations, International Sports Equipment manufacturers and the NHS.
    Currently employed as Lead developer for a global Investments company based in Manchester developing mail order and redeveloping worldwide site applications.

    Also currently develping MRI scan reading applications for the training of Radiologists worldwide.

    Hope thats enough for you, if there is anything else you would like to know, have a look through the "Member of the Month" threads as most if not all of the mentors, advisers, TL's etc were at one point MOTM.

    Cheers

    Spike
    Mike Swiffin - Community Team Advisor
    Only a woman can read between the lines of a one word answer.....

  16. #16
    Galactic Overlord gold trophysilver trophybronze trophy
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    1. HAWK
    2.
    3. I have worked as a web developer (currently .NET) in a large corporate for the last 10 years. I also own a web design company.

    Having said that, I'm on the Community Team and you'll notice that I have a couple of badges to say that I qualify.

  17. #17
    Life is short. Be happy today! silver trophybronze trophy Sagewing's Avatar
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    I have about 20 years of professional experience, ranging from small websites to massive systems for governments and Fortune 500 companies. I've done sites for non-profits, rode the wave of the dotcom boom and burst, done demos for prominent politicians and businessmen, been part of an IPO, and managed teams in over 10 different countries.

    In addition to doing WWW work, I routinely consult to governments and big companies as a process and methodology consultant to some truly massive projects.

    I've owned my own firm since 2001, and it's been extremely successful in that I love the work and I get to take months-long holidays whenever I want to. My company makes significant donations to 4 charities on a monthly basis and I volunteer for several non-profits.

    In addition to the clients on our [admittedly un-updated] website, I've personally been paid by over 100 small businesses who wanted my assistance in growing and managing their business, and they seem to be pretty happy with the advice.

    Although your original post said (twice) that you weren't trying to 'pick a fight', it's hard to imagine that you made your post out of 'genuine' interest as you said. The mentors on this site have, in my opinion, demonstrated a real desire to help the forum to be successful by answering questions and participating in the dialogs in an effective and positive manner. Nobody is claiming any kind of grand qualifications, but in my experience they are an extremely talented bunch.
    The fewer our wants, the nearer we resemble the gods. — Socrates

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  18. #18
    Follow Me On Twitter: @djg gold trophysilver trophybronze trophy Dan Grossman's Avatar
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    If you put all the mentors together in one office, we'd probably create some killer business.

  19. #19
    I Love Licorice silver trophybronze trophy Datura's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dan Grossman View Post
    If you put all the mentors together in one office, we'd probably create some killer business.
    That is a brilliant idea. I have 40 years of design under my belt.
    Ulrike
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  20. #20
    Galactic Overlord gold trophysilver trophybronze trophy
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    I don't much like people though.

  21. #21
    I Love Licorice silver trophybronze trophy Datura's Avatar
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    You can be in the basement all by yourself
    Ulrike
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  22. #22
    Galactic Overlord gold trophysilver trophybronze trophy
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    I've only just recovered from the last time that happened.

  23. #23
    I Love Licorice silver trophybronze trophy Datura's Avatar
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    Ulrike
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  24. #24
    SitePoint Wizard bronze trophy conradical's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Datura View Post
    That is a brilliant idea. I have 40 years of design under my belt.
    That must be some size pant you wear.

  25. #25
    I Love Licorice silver trophybronze trophy Datura's Avatar
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    Huge, balloon pants. I carry some of it in my big pointed hat
    Ulrike
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