We recently asked Wayne Luke, vBulletin Sales and Jelsoft Site Coordinator, to answer a few questions in a mini-interview regarding his changes in status within the forum admin communities over the past few years.
Wayne Luke was the community manager of Sitepoint Forums for 3 years expanding the site to become a large pool of resources and knowledge for webmasters. While community manager, he managed a volunteer staff pool of about 40 individuals in order to guide and help the community grow to the state it is today. Additionally, Wayne is a Super Moderator at The Admin Zone.
Can you tell us a bit about your family and home life?
Well, I am married with 3 children. The children are two boys ages 12 and 8 and a girl age 8.We have 3 cats, 2 dogs, 2 aquatic turtles and a bearded dragon. I live in a small semi-rural community about 60 miles northeast of downtown Los Angeles in California. We enjoy 320+ days of complete sunshine and are very active around the community. Our area is fairly unique because you can go from desert plateau to forested mountains in 15 minutes. There is winter skiing about 45 minutes away and about 30 lakes within an hours drive. The Pacific Ocean is about 90 minutes away on a leisurely drive so that gives us a lot to do. Lately, we have been working to grow our own food as well in order to get better quality.
Since you've left SitePoint you have taken on a much larger role with Jelsoft. In fact, you are now their Site Coordinator. What do your new responsibilities entail and what plans to you have for improvement and growth?
My new responsibilities are to provide a synergy between the Jelsoft sites, enable the moderators of the three sites to work together and to use this to improve sales for Jelsoft. My goals over the next 6 months are to work with the moderators in order to improve customer relations and the community feel of the sites.
Apart from Jelsoft, what business oriented Communities and/or Websites do you manage?
The only business oriented site that I am running right now is an Online Apothecary and Aromatherapy shop. We sell herbs to people interested in a more natural way of living and improving their overall health instead of relying on chemical medicine. We also sell gourmet teas, divination tools such as Tarot and incense. We will be expanding this summer with a new essential oil line and bach flower remedies. We have plans to unveil an all-natural herbal bath line this fall as well. We also take this business on the road to local festivals and fairs throughout Southern California.
I am also working on a new e-book type project that will cover the 9,000 year history of the use of plants and herbs in folklore, medicine, and religion. Hopefully this will be available later this year as both a subscription website and on CD or DVD.
What about your personal Communities?
Right now, my wife and I run a small community for our religion. We are both certified clergy in our religion which is commonly called "Wicca" and run our own religious group locally. The community site is to allow an outlet for factual information to those interested in Wicca instead of much of the inaccurate representations on the Internet and in print. The site is going slowly as we don't have a lot of time to dedicate to it at the moment. We do want to eventually give out information about religious persecution in society and the workplace regardless of your faith as well.
I also set up a small community where I can have a live server to develop add-ons to vBulletin. This is open to the public, but at the moment not much is going on there because of lack of time. I will have more time in the Winter when festival season is over.
You're a very busy person! Why do you devote time to helping people at the Admin Zone?
I see it as a worthy cause. There are many sites out there and more people without technical expertise will be opening their own communities. After 4 years of running SitePoint's Forums, I have learned a lot from interpersonal issues with staff to handling lawsuits in the community. Most things were learned by mistake and without guidance. For people just entering into the field, I feel that they should be able to draw upon those mistakes. I have always felt that knowledge is simply learning from other's mistakes and is what truly separates us from other other creatures as human beings.
What is the biggest mistake you see Community Administrators make time and time again?
Expecting to put a site up and have thousands of users within weeks. It simply doesn't happen that way. Outside of circuses and amusement parks the "if you build it, they will come" mentality is fatalistic. It takes a lot of hard work to build a community and turn it into a living and growing entity.
How has the internet changed over the last 5 years, and how different will it be 5 years from now?
In the last five years, the Internet has grown from a new technology to a commodity with the fastest saturation rate of any form of media outlet. It took 40 years for television to reach the saturation point that the Internet has today. Over the next five years, you will see the Internet become the primary medium for all communications. As companies roll out higher bandwidth, you will continue to see a combining of technologies into centralized devices. This year, Verizon Communications in the United States is starting a rollout of Fiber Optics to businesses and homes. This will provide up to 100 Megabytes per second access speeds. The city, that I live in, is also rolling out a city-wide wireless network that will provide 500 Megabytes per second bandwith to every home and business in city limits. That is more than adequate for television broadcasts, telephone, Internet, streaming music, movies on-demand and much more. With other technologies such as smart panels, wireless networking, more capable PDAs and portable phones you will never be far from your information.
What does the future hold for Wayne Luke - what are your plans, your personal goals?
Well, I am currently working to get a degree in Naturopathy. When finished this will be a doctorate level degree. Naturopathy is the study of health using herbs and a balanced diet to work towards whole health and a fuller life. Once I have the bachelor's level degree, which should be next year, I am going to work towards starting a Holistic Health center locally. This center will provide counseling and holistic remedies such as herbal preparations, message, acupuncture, reiki and others for our customers. This along with teaching my religion to individual seekers will be my goal. Long-term my wife and I wish to buy 20-30 acres of land in the mountains nearby and establish a retreat center as well were people can get away from the city and reconnect with nature. I would also like to establish a breeding program for endangered creatures of North America such as wolves and deer but that is really long term. Through all this, I see pulling away from the Internet as a source of direct income, probably over 5 years, and only using it as a sales and advertising medium.