Mark Moxon Revisited
You should all remember my first interview with the talented Mark Moxon a few weeks back, when we learned about how he found his way to the land of h2g2. This week we are going a bit deeper and discovering his life as a part of h2g2. I must say he was a good sport about the interview as, while he was talking with me, he was lying in the bed suffering from the flu, poor thing. It looks as if no one is safe from the dreaded thing. Even while suffering,
he happily placed his thinking cap atop his head and went at it, telling me all about his responsibilities and hopes for the future.
As the Editor of h2g2 he is responsible for planning, budgeting, managing and decision making. With so many ideas flying around, both on the site and in the office, with regard to what should happen on h2g2, someone has to write it all down, and that someone ends up being him. He wanted to emphasis to me that the ideas are not necessarily his, they come from everyone on the team and there's loads of input from the community as well. He is the one, however, who ends up collating and scheduling them in the Grand Plan and then trying to manage the team so that they achieve the goals they set out to do.
Like any other business they find themselves with a specific amount of money to work with, and another of his responsibilities is controlling how this money is spent within the main h2g2 project. He points out that it is more to do with jiggling spreadsheets than anything else, and is about as interesting as it sounds.
He sees the h2g2 team growing at a huge rate and, knowing that everyone needs managing, he finds himself responsible for the editorial, art and technical teams, but states that, as the
team grows, there will be some realignment between technical and content management. He also finds that, if a decision has to be made and they cannot agree on what to do, the buck has to stop somewhere... and that somewhere is on the editor's desk. It is a bit of a worry for him at times because of all the other responsibilities he also has on his shoulders, but being a part of the team he is a good sport and does his best to see that right decision is made.
He enjoys his career with h2g2 (who wouldn't??!!) and finds that it is mainly due to the team he works with. He raves about the programmers being the best that he has had the pleasure to work with in all of his years of technical employment. He goes on to say that the artists are exquisitely skilled and only serve to point out how incredibly inept he is when it comes to drawing. He also finds himself amazed at how the burgeoning editorial team is not only
extremely capable, but also a hell of a lot of fun to work with. As for his time in the office, he finds that he hasn't laughed this much in ages, and certainly not in an office. He is quick to tell me his philosophy on management, which is
'have fun... if you're not having fun then there is a serious problem'
and he thinks
'everyone would agree that working for h2g2 is not only fun, it's dangerously so.'