Behind the Scenes of Web Communities Panel Featuring Jessamyn West and Rob "CmdrTaco" Malda

Sunday October 9, 2011: 4:30 pm to 6:00 pm -- Downtown Library: Multi-Purpose Room

One of the things that makes the Internet such a great and useful place are all of the resources created by huge numbers of strangers pooling their knowledge and work. While the content for these sites is created by a large number of users, behind the scenes there are a small number of administrators and moderators working to maintain a certain level of content and steer the sites in a particular direction.

Join us for a discussion of the strategies and guidelines that keep online communities running smoothly led by Jessamyn West of, a community weblog known for the high quality and wide-ranging "best of the web" posts by its members., a subsite where members can ask and answer questions, is a phenomenally useful site and a model for how open forums can be focused and tended. Metafilter enjoys international popularity, and members regularly gather for meetups in cities around the world.

Jessamyn West is an author, community technology librarian and community manager of the group blog She lives in a rural area of Central Vermont where she teaches basic computer skills. She assists libraries with technology planning and implementation, helping them with Wi-Fi and websites and making sense of their systems and maintains an online presence at and

Also joining the panel is Rob Malda, known as CmdrTaco, a founder and former moderator of Slashdot, one of the web's most enduring news communities for nerds. CmdrTaco was a central figure in the Slashdot community for 14 years, and has recently left Slashdot and now blogs at Under Malda's leadership, Slashdot pioneered self-moderation systems and tools to manage web communities that are still years of ahead of many major sites.