TurkoTek Discussion Boards

Subject  :  The "Administrator" Job
Author  :  R. John Howe mailto:%20rjhowe@erols.com
Date  :  10-08-2001 on 07:46 a.m.
Dear folks -

In Richard Farber's "Input" post he alludes to how helpful Steve Price is in his role as site administrator.

This, I think, is a point that deserves a little "insider" elaboration because this is a place where truly only a few of us know what goes on.

In my own professional field we talk admiringly of skilled "facilitation."
"Facilitate" is a fancy, dressed-up "ed school" term referring to efforts to "smooth the way" for learners.

Performed at the highest skill levels facilitation is entirely unobstrusive and often invisible or nearly so. In my staff, we give "invisible facilitator" awards for exceptional instances of facilitator performance.

Steve Price's work as site administrator is the "sine qua non" of Turkotek. This site would simply not operate if he did not do the adminstrative things he does.

The work load is very heavy. We estimate that Steve averages perhaps 20 hours a week in his administrator tasks to keep Turkotek operating smoothly. A half-time job, and he's already fully employed at the university.

Not only is this administrative work done well and willingly, it is done most frequently so that it is entirely invisible to Turkotek users. So the first thing to say is that an "invisible facilitator award is certainly due Steve and that doesn't really nearly say it.

The second thing to think about is how to relieve this burden. Steve, in fact, enjoys his Turkotek work (else we likely wouldn't have gotten this far) but it sems to me that its never-ending pervasiveness is likely ultimately to wear Steve down and we need a strategy to spead this administrative work.

And we have a beginning one, despite not being very successful to date in implementing it. Our strategy is that Daniel and I have volunteered to learn enough about handling the administrative work on the board so that Steve can take an occasional break. We have agreed, I say, but I have myself not so far found the time to implement my promise much. I am acquainted so far with only the humblest of administrator tasks.

I need to redouble my own efforts in this area but we also need to think about whether there might not be other strategies, perhaps involving other people (notice that our current one centers again only on "insiders").

Thanks for any ideas anyone has in this area too.

And, Steve, it's not visible at all to most of those who use Turkotek, but thank you a great deal for making this site possible.


R. John Howe

Subject  :  Re:The "Administrator" Job
Author  :  Steve Price mailto:%20sprice@hsc.vcu.edu
Date  :  10-08-2001 on 08:37 a.m.
Hi John,

Thanks for the very kind words; I appreciate them. Nobody likes flattery more than I do, although I think the topic of this Salon ought to be directed at issues other than my impending beatification.

The workload is highly variable, ranging from almost overburdening (this happens when the software becomes recalcitrant, and when the topic generates lots of external images) to not very demanding at all. It's highly rewarding in many ways, and only occasionally frustrating.

The salary stinks.


Steve Price

Subject  :  Re:The "Administrator" Job
Author  :  R. John Howe mailto:%20rjhowe@erols.com
Date  :  10-08-2001 on 11:30 a.m.
Dear folks -

It did seem to me that a fairly concrete description of the character of the administrator's role needed to be more public and I did want to acknowledge the largely invisible work that Steve does all the time and without fail.

But I was additionally pointing to a real place of vulnerability. We are at the moment utterly reliant on one person to do the administrative tasks that are essential to Turkotek's continuance.

Now maybe that's "our" problem (we "owner-managers") but I'd still like to hear from others who might have some notions about how we could shore things up in this area.

One related thing I should say: learning and performing the administrative tasks is not limited by geographic location. Step-by-step directions can be provided by email and access to the administrative software can be provided on the same basis.

So if there is anyone in our community, even at a distance, who might be willing to learn to perform some minimum set of administrative tasks and to perform them occasionally so that Steve can "have a life" outside Turkotek, please contact him or me.


R. John Howe

Subject  :  Re:The "Administrator" Job
Author  :  Filiberto Boncompagni mailto:%20filibert@go.com.jo
Date  :  10-18-2001 on 12:54 p.m.
Dear Steve,
If I understand well, a notable part of the job for the Administrator is in dealing with images - bugs aside.
So, why not put on Turkotek a section containing advice for posting images on the site?
One should state very clearly not to send images bigger than, say, 100 KB and try to induce the senders to optimize them (crop, sharpen, adjust contrast and brightness etc). For this simple image editing one doesn’t need Adobe PhotoShop: there are around a lot of simple free programs. "Irfanview" is a good one, for example, and you can put in the same section a link to the related website for downloading.
If such technicalities should discourage people from posting, one can always say that they are also free to ignore the suggestions…

About increasing participation - I know it’s in an other thread, but allow me to give my opinion here: I found Patrick’s idea "a section similar to the (little used) area of Idea Exchange For Rug Clubs could be used for suggesting upcoming topics" a very good one. I vote for it.

The "Salon Device" and the "Show and Tell" are working remarkably well, keep going!



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