David “Historian” DeWald : ‘ I’m so alive’

I bet many of you still wonder how our ex community manager is doing. On his  internet page he noted :

I cannot describe how I’ve felt these past few months as I’ve continued to look for work. Sure I had a job, when many can’t find one. I liked where I worked and the people I worked with. And yes the ending of a nearly 2 year relationship in the middle of all that didn’t help. But I still felt like something else was missing from me.

Enter the new job. On Monday, I start working with BioWare working with the Community around Star Wars: The Old Republic.

I get to work with BioWare… BIOWARE!

I get to work on a Star Wars game… STAR WARS!

And I once again get to be a part of a fanatical, fantastic and fascinating community.

I’m Alive… So Alive…

Nostalgia for a bygone ‘era’ hits him and starts to tell the story of ‘his Acclaim’. We found out how he got hired at Acclaim and the fact that Acclaim Communities didn’t want him there :

… as proof of my competency I contacted David Perry, who directed me to David Jun in Acclaim’s Marketing. He brought me onboard as one of the first volunteer moderators for 2Moons, with 2 other people. One really never made an effort and the other worked out well for some time, but eventually was let go.

I continued to grow the team adding those that I thought really helped the community. I will eventually write about some of them but for now I will only mention Jill Sullivan. Jill was my “wonder twin”… Between the two of us we could do just about any project Acclaim threw at us, in record time and above expectations. It was her video creation for 2Moons that led to David Perry hiring her to work for him, and her encouragement with him and Howard Marks that helped Acclaim hire me. I cannot ever thank her enough for that. She is currently looking for work in the Gaming Industry and I would highly recommend her to any company.

And that brings us right up to the point of me being hired at Acclaim.

Next up, my first few weeks at Acclaim and the challenges of taking on Communities that really didn’t want me there.

In his second post about Acclaim we find about the management system implemented by Historian in Acclaim communities : a hierarchy that consisted of a “Lead” or “Head” that reported to him, and “Second” or “Assistant” that reported to the Lead and filled in when they could not be available and a team of moderators.The ‘head’ had autonomy and power to do what she/he wants, so no wonder that in 9dragons community the head of moderators had tyrannical behavior and was not oriented towards communication and freedom of speech. We shown in many articles this type of behavior. I believe many of you still remember this : ” I am a bitch and I will make your life a hell !” We also find out that the powers to moderate were given to people of 16 years old ( in some exceptions even below). And then we wonder why they behaved so childish.

With 9 communities to manage there was really no way for me to do it all myself so I began to structure them in a hierarchy that consisted of a “Lead” or “Head” that reported to me, a “Second” or “Assistant” that reported to the Lead and filled in when they could not be available and a team of moderators for them. I tried to give them enough autonomy to select moderators themselves but always attempted to checkout anyone they wished to bring on. On a few occasions I would add those who I felt would benefit the community, but tried to respect the wishes of the Lead Moderators.

I did have a particularly hard time with one community; one that I never really got control over. It was based around a game that appealed to a young male, “tween” demographic and the moderators of the community were quite young as well. They greatly resented me coming into the community and setting down rules that were a little more stringent than they were used to. Though I didn’t remove any of the moderators they were all younger than the base limit I wanted set of sixteen years old. For the most part I left them this community alone, only entering it when things got out of hand. This unfortunately gave them the impression that I was only an enforcer and bit of a tyrant. I think that if I had just stepped in and set a new team in place the initial disruption to the community would have saved me a fair bit of grief in the long run.

In the end, Historian learned one thing :

Your loudest and most obnoxious critics are ultimately on your side. They want things to be better, but they just can’t always communicate this in a way that is constructive. As a Community Manager you have to set aside any emotional response and see what it is that is getting them so riled up.

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22 responses to “David “Historian” DeWald : ‘ I’m so alive’

  1. It’s a big difference between the moderators of G1 and what Acclaim had.Historian was dry for 9dragons community.I hope he will not repeat the mistakes he did with Accliam communities.

  2. Because he promoted incompetent people in Acclaim community, players didn’t like him. He loved money more than players.

  3. I am glad that he is out of 9dragons community. Between him and Hyperion, I will go with Hyp, way better and more funny.

  4. For Acclaim all was for money. If you don’t want have a good game, you will not get any money. They never listen to good ideas from community.

  5. I believe one of Hystorian mistake was that he didn’t get the lead in negotiating with Indy21.He tried to sold us nice lies, but at some point, people stopped to believe him and Acclaim. Many left the game.

  6. Hystorian act more like a moderator than a community manager.His top sentence was : no bad words against Acclaim, shut down the criticism. Wrong move!

  7. Histo was not a bad man, some moderators made him look bad.drakenfyre lied to Histo many times and because he trusted her, he believed what she said so like that many bad things were made. He trusted wrong persons.

  8. He had tyrannical behavior and saw players like slaves good for making money. God help STAR WARS community…

  9. i kinda liked historian , the way he was the all meanie and arogant
    but he was way friendlyer in his real life , i’ve exchanged a thought or two back when he was acclaim’s comunity manager 😀

  10. What a Community Manager does?
    Listen
    Respond
    Inform
    Shut up and sit back
    Listen more

    What Histo did ?
    Made money.

  11. One of the most important jobs of the CM is to connect the right internal people with customers and let them work it out. Historian liked to be bossy and arrogant.

  12. I, personally, love honesty and people being themselves, uncensored.
    In my opinion, Historian missed one big point as community manager : making people feel like they’re number 1. That’s vital.

  13. Nice to see so many people in here again.I agree that communication & listening are key to the role as c.m. as people said above me but Historian maybe had others goals than we as players. .Age and experience plays a great part for moderators.

  14. Hm… Well, I for my part won’t buy any BioWare games as long David DeWald works there – And that I don’t refuse to buy any EA games is pretty nice from me.

    I remember also some articles we wrote about David Perry… As long there is money involved, the opinion of the players doesn’t matter at all for him. But, of course, this is only my humble opinion…

    Leaving minors alone with the whole game community was really an awesome idea… Really… I mean… Really… Awesome… Seriously… A double facepalm isn’t enough here.

    The relationship between Acclaim and their community was just dictatorship, without any doubt. I really, really, REALLY don’t miss anything from when Acclaim was the publisher of 9Dragons.

    “They want things to be better, but they just can’t always communicate this in a way that is constructive. As a Community Manager you have to set aside any emotional response and see what it is that is getting them so riled up.”

    I almost wanted to call him smart-ass for this. If memory serves right (and hell, it does!), I tried always to talk with the 9D leads to find a cooperative way, while I was just ignored. As a community manager you indeed have to set aside any emotional response – What David DeWald didn’t do with the 9Dragons community.

    And last but not least, I WISH David DeWald would have take a look at what it was that was getting the players so riled up. MANY issues and conflicts would not have happened – But the leads at Acclaim were never the kind of people who cared about the players opinions.

  15. The situation now at G1 is way better that was with Historian and Acclaim. Hyperion is something else. At least he knows how to interact with us. He tell us the truth, even it is not what we want to hear. He don’t force us to buy stupid mall items. He don’t make events to sell more items. At least he has a logic.

  16. Glad to hear that he’s healthy, but I REALLY feel bad for the SW community. Talk about sensing a disturbance in the Force. It is indeed a dark day for them.

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