Credit: yoppy (CC BY 2.0)

Credit: yoppy (CC BY 2.0)

Friday marked an incredible milestone for one of my moderators: Heidi Wilmott, known on as ninjanurse, has been a moderator with me for 10 years. 10 years! It’s amazing.

It’s rare to manage the same community for 10 years, let alone to have a moderator with you, at the same community, for 10 consecutive years. I have managed from the start, and the community will hit 14 years online on Thursday. Heidi has been a member for more than 12 years and 3 months and will have been a staff member for 12 years come June.

I think that Heidi’s accomplishment says some interesting things – about her, the community and me.

What the Milestone Means

For Heidi, I believe the milestone demonstrates some of the qualities that make her a solid moderator. To last this long, you have to be a really strong team player. It’s very easy for there to be a bad moment in 10 years. Someone’s feelings are hurt, egos creep in, etc. That hasn’t happened. I’m grateful for her loyalty to me and her obvious dedication to the community.

For the community, it shows that is a place worth sticking around. There are plenty of places to spend your time online (and certainly far more than when we launched 14 years ago). That we are able to long term members is important.

I may not be the best judge of what it says for me. At the very least, I didn’t drive her away. Ha. On a more serious note, it does make me feel good my management style. I’m very detail-oriented, and I expect us to get every decision right (in the end, not necessarily the first time). But I try to do so in a way that puts us all on the same path.


We celebrated this accomplishment on the community, but I wanted to go a little further. After some discussion with the staff, I decided that we would send Heidi and her husband out for a great dinner at a restaurant local to them. I even consulted with Heidi’s daughter, Holly, who I hadn’t spoken with previously, for some advice in selecting the restaurant. I recorded a video to accompany the announcement, so that I could share my thoughts and reveal our plans.

Heidi has been a rock in the community for a very long time. The dinner, and related celebration, are just a small token of the appreciation that we feel for the incredible contributions that she has made to our community.

Question for the comments: what is the longest that you have had a moderator on your staff?