This month’s Inside Scoop is all about super moderator Matt Thalasinos. Matt is a full-time Moderation Specialist with ICUC; with his varied expertise and impressive experience with online communities, ICUC is lucky to have Matt. He juggles a ton of hobbies, career niches, family life, and education. Read on to learn how Matt the moderator does it all! Snoo.ws: Matt, thanks for chatting with Snoo.ws. Tell us a bit about what you’re doing now:
Matt: I am a retired Special Education teacher who has made a career change to full-time Moderation Specialist. I am still involved in teaching, serving as a Homebound Instructor for the district I was with. I also am a working musician (guitarist/vocalist) and officiate girl’s lacrosse and field hockey, though I have scaled down all my part-time activities with the culmination of full-time hours.
I have credits past my M.A. in Educational Administration, Supervision, and Curriculum Planning, but stopped going for my doctorate as my wife of 30 years, Karen, and I raised our two sons.
Snoo.ws: What’s your background with the web? What led you to where you are today?
Matt: I started forum moderation 14 years ago with the NJ.com New York Mets Baseball Forum. My duties changed and grew as Advance Internet took over the moderation of ten states, inclusive of NJ.com. Now a part of our global community here at ICUC, I split time between Advance and TSN. I am currently working at getting involved with baseball chat moderation. I am looking forward to many exciting experiences here with ICUC, gaining more knowledge, and getting more computer savvy.
Snoo.ws: What’s something that you bring to your team?
Matt: My experiences include having been a Teacher for over 30 years, mostly with emotionally disturbed children, writing curriculum, coaching and reffing various sports, management positions, music performance in a wide range of venues, Commander for the local Sons of the American Legion, constructing websites, facilitating the NY Mets baseball forum, and organizing/hosting chat rooms.
These wide range of experiences have given me an “anticipatory set” of skills for predicting behaviors and potential behaviors of posters based on language and their slant or style of writing. I feel that this is an integral requirement for our services.
Snoo.ws: From your professional and personal experience, you seem like an expert in team work. What have you learned over the years about collaborative work?
Matt: Having worked online for 14 years in a multitude of tasks, inclusive of being the NJ.com NY Mets Forum Facilitator, NJ Sports Forums Athletic Director, and now with ICUC as a Moderation Specialist, I have found that the aspect of being a part of a team especially important. This lends to providing a unified approach, a better working atmosphere, and a better service provided to clients. Having a community chat room, coupled with the private chat function, provides a good bonding experience for co-workers.
Snoo.ws: Tell us more about your life off the clock:
Matt: My wife and I have two sons. Our older son, James, is married and a cook/chef in Delaware, and our younger son, Thomas, lives at home and is going to school for Auto Technology.
My interests include designing web sites (I have 7), walking, reading, watching movies, baseball, and football, viewing and reading science fiction, and participating in fantasy sports leagues. In my spare time I serve as the Commander of the local Sons of the American Legion, as well as the Chaplain for the County.
Snoo.ws: What’s your day-to-day like on the job?
Matt: There are 3 components to my job here at ICUC. I work with Lorraine Lee in the Advance Internet hub monitoring the early morning Sports Forums, as well as working several Breaking News Blogs shifts. I also work with Jeff Hoard in TSN reviewing article comments. I appreciate the uniqueness and diversity of the different jobs.
Snoo.ws: What have you learned as a moderator that you’ve been able to apply to your analog life?
Matt: Working and interacting with others online has provided me with more of an enrichment and insight into the different cultures of our global community. I appreciate the friendships being forged with people living in other parts of the world.
Snoo.ws: What do you love best about working as a moderator?
Matt: “…and the number one answer is…” Working at home. I love this aspect of the job; I can work right out of my home office. The flexibility of working on the Internet also allows me to work out of the home as well, allowing me to visit someone out of my area on occasion.
Thanks so much to Matt for his time and giving us a little insight into his experiences online – both before coming to ICUC and now as a moderator. Every month we highlight a different employee in “The Inside Scoop,” showcasing what different members of the ICUC team bring to our company.