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  • Interview with

    Interview with Adrian, and will be available here:
    1. Can you give us a brief bio ?
      My name is Adrian – I come from a small dairy farm in Tasmania, Australia, am 26 years old. I have worked for Internet Brands for 2 years, previously I worked at Ford Motor Company in Australia as a Product Development Engineer, previous to that I worked in manufacturing as a maintenance supervisor overseeing the operation of lots of big machines. I have administrated a large vbulletin forum for about 5 years, and used the product for an even longer period as a user.

    2. What activities do you do enjoy for relaxation ?
      I love the outdoors, any activity that involves being out there “in it”, I enjoy. Travelling, swimming, hiking, motorcycle riding are some of my favorites though. When indoors I enjoy cooking (and eating!), listening to music and watching a good movie or Formula 1.

    3. Can you summarize your educational experience for us ?
      I have a Bachelor degree in Mechanical Engineering, as well as Bachelor degree in Business. I also have a trade certification in CNC machining – it has no relevance to vbulletin whatsoever, but it means I can whip up some shiny aluminium parts . I went to the “school of hard knocks” to learn how to manage forums and social marketing.

    4. You describe what you do on a daily and/or weekly basis ?
      I am not sure you could describe what I do. (Don’t tell my boss that though!!!) I suppose it is just a “facilitator”. I need to ensure that our customer service and development teams are working towards objectives that our customers see as being valuable, and also will be seen as being valuable in the future too.

    5. What is your role within the team ?
      I help with the operations on vbulletin. I also oversee the communities on about 90 automotive forums that are owned and operated by Internet Brands.

    6. Would you have more photos of the new team ? (Example
      I don't – but good idea, I will see what embarrassing photos I can get a hold of! hehe

    7. What are the common mistakes you see Forum Administrators making ?
      Strategy. Not taking a step back, and understanding the direction of their forum/website. What are they trying to achieve? And subsequently, how does every action they make help achieve that?
      I think a lot of forum admins get far too caught up in the “day to day” interaction of their members, and often miss great opportunities for their site to grow. This goes for being too emotionally involved when dealing with members, saying their forum won’t cover certain topics because they don’t think it is worthwhile, not leveraging newer forms of marketing (twitter/facebook etc.).

    8. What Websites do you visit for fun and relaxation ?
      Outside of and the other sites I oversee, I enjoy as I am a bit of an car enthusiast, and the quality of the content there is without peer. I find a great resource, I also like and to learn more from, and I find to be great communities on their own accord.

    9. What do you know now that you would have known 10 years ago ?
      Google’s stock price =D. In all seriousness, not a lot, we always learn new things, and to be disappointed that you should have learnt it earlier means you aren’t focusing on learning more.

    10. Do you know our french support site and if yes, what do you think about it ? Some advice ?
      I am not familiar with it to be honest – but I am still learning a lot of things. I did check it out when you mentioned it, I like it a lot, it has a really nice vB4 skin I think! I can’t think of any advice currently, it looks like you are doing a great job, it definably seems like an active forum! It is really great to see such a supportive community for fellow French vBulletin users, and to me epitomizes the real great value of forums as a technical resource and “support network”.

    11. What was your path to get to integrate the team and why you decided to participate in this project??
      Well I started as a community manager on the aforementioned automotive forums, I am a really “big fan” of forums, and in particular vbulletin (outside of working on the software, I do love it!). Being in that role, I helped with rolling out of vbulletin software on about 50 of those sites (they all used different software platforms), as well as helping scope the expansion of our feature set, drive marketing and community initiatives, and just ensure things are working as harmoniously as possible. I was fortunate enough to be offered the opportunity to work on vbulletin, and I couldn’t be happier to work on something that I really love. I hope to use a lot of the things that I learnt running the forum sites, as well as my experience in working in product development to improve the experience we give our customers.

    12. An addon is he expected soon ? (gallery ?!)
      If I look at vbulletin, I think there are a number of opportunities to expand our existing feature set. Galleries is probably one of the biggest opportunities. I know firsthand that galleries are critical to a lot of communities and add an extra element to a community, creating further addon’s however is all about priorities, and I would see galleries as being very important, but not the most important at this point in time

    13. How do you manage a team ?
      I like to think that I let them (for the most part) manage themselves. I am fortunate enough to work with some really capable people, and I feel that my management is limited to just ensuring that they have the tools to do their job, and getting out of their way. Everyone can get bogged down on issues, or sometimes even start to head down the wrong path, and I think a managers role is to encourage open discussion to help solve the problems, and help them understand what objectives we are trying to achieve. Sometimes when the issues are serious enough, I also think it is important to roll up the sleeves and lead by example too, even just to ensure you have an understanding of what daily tasks your team-mates have to go through.

    14. What is the first thing you do when you wake up and the last before going to bed ?
      Both are the same. Check my emails. =D

    15. We speak more and more about IPB, what do you think about it ?
      I think it is a great software. I have been fortunate enough to use lots of different types of forum software as an admin, a lot of them are really good! IPB I unfortunately haven’t, but I like using it as a user, I particularly like their gallery system. Being that I love forums, I care a great deal about forum’s “progressing” and evolving with the Internet, I feel they have a much bigger part to play in the Internet than they are often given credit for, and having a strong, competitive environment is critical to ensure that forums do indeed “progress”.

    16. [I]Which hack is your favourite ? Why ?[/I]
      That’s like choosing your favorite child! I will choose a couple of them if I can.
      I like the “Thank You” plugin is great because it is incredibly simple… and effective. As is “Sub-Forum Manager”.
      The iTrader plugin is really useful (and popular) on the sites that I oversee as well.

    17. What is the future of ? Changes are planned ?
      At this point, we don’t have any drastic changes planned. We intend on maintaining it as it is for the mean time. The site will be upgraded to vBulletin 4 at a point in time. As I spend more time understanding the community there, and how we can serve them better, there may be changes that get implemented.

    18. What are your favourite books, movies, music, games, food ?
      Books, I really like “This I believe”, I find it really reflective, and it is fascinating to understand what people believe in. I also like Homage to Catalonia by George Orwell.
      Movies, Godfather 1 and 2. Although more recent favorites include “Into the wild”, “Gran Torino”, “Lost in Translation”, “Lantana”, and I love the French “Taxi” movie series too.
      Music, it changes by the day, and it can be quite eclectic. The Beatles would be at the top, other acts like De La Soul, Oasis, Rage Against the Machine, New Order appear highly, as does BB King, Camile, Cubanismo, Lupe Fiasco, Ben Harper, Atmosphere, The Cat Empire… I could go on
      Games, I enjoy the social aspect of playing games, everything from complex board games like Puerto Rico, down to a game of Canasta. I find it is more about the people you are with than the actual game, although I admit I am far too competitive, and a sore loser!
      Food, all of it! Particularly things that have been BBQ’d, and contain pasta

    19. Where do you think you will be in 10 years ?
      Not sure. I think, with me, whatever response I give will probably be wrong. If you asked me 10 years ago, the last place I would have told you I would be is in Los Angeles working on forums. I do, however, really enjoy helping people, and trying to get “the best” out of them, and I do love the Internet industry, it is incredibly exciting and fast paced, so at this stage, hopefully something that encompasses both of those aspects, but in a greater capacity.

    20. If you were director to internetbrands, what would you change ?
      I would like to see us be more aggressive in following trends in usage on the Internet. We are great at identifying companies that are on the forefront of their respective categories on the Internet, and integrating them. I would like to see us be more involved in actually being on the forefront to begin with – I think we have a lot of knowledge built, based on our experience with acquiring these companies, and I think it is knowledge and experience that we can leverage to accelerate the Internet’s development to a more semantic environment.

    21. Why is there not yet vBulletin French Official site?
      We have a lot of markets that would benefit from their own official site, a French one is definitely near the top of our list, we have a lot of really enthusiastic French customers, and it would be great if we could serve them in an improved fashion. I would like to, at some point, to get to that, I don’t know when that would be however. Currently we have been focusing wholeheartedly on the further development of our vbulletin core product, in the future we will definitely spend more time on how we can support regional areas in a stronger fashion.

    22. Do you have a message for vBulletin community french members ?
      Merci de votre confiance

    23. Can you tell us something about you that we don't already know ?
      When I was in Grade 10 at high school, my music teacher (who had taught me drums for 2 years), called my parents in to tell them – in his words “Your son is musically challenged, and has no rhythm”. Heartbroken, my lifelong desire to be the next Bernard Purdie evaporated in front of me, I think to the relief of our neighbors though.

    24. Do you want to add something ?
      I hope everyone is as excited as I am about 4.0.4! I think it is going to be a strong step forward with vBulletin4.

    25. Give us exclusivity, something that nobody knows about VB4!
      There are over 12,000 sites out there running on it already, including VWvotex, the 15th largest forum out there. Which I find amazing for a product that has only been available for 6months!
    Last edited by IB Adrian; Fri 28 May '10, 1:25pm.
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