2019 Moderators' thoughts

I’ve put this off until I’m just about out of time.

I want to start by saying that I continually advocated for all Nodders. Back with Happy, she tried to bend when she could, like posting some “Fun campaigns” for us like I suggested to her. But as you know, Happy moved on without telling us at all, and regular campaigns weren’t there. And so, we waited…

There were so many things the original Mod Squad (Ruth, Bob, me) had to keep under our hats. We represented Tomnod, but we represented Nodders, too. Loyalties sometimes conflicted. Our feelings sometimes were conflicted. Sometimes, we just had to remain quiet…keep everybody happy… not rock the either side…

Since it doesn’t matter any more, I’ll give a couple examples that were hard for the Mod Squad. Early on, a graduate researcher interviewed some of the top contributors. One question made us each gasp-- the question was how would we feel if we knew or learned that anything we mapped was just put on a shelf and nothing was done with the results? We were aghast! It introduced distrust about Tn that had never been there before. And what were we to do with that? It was an awful position to be in… The outcome? Make up our own minds… shrug.

Another example in those first two years was the increasing uneasiness from Nodders that we were tagging post-military actions, such as tagging mosques amid block after block of bombed out blackened ruins. Rumors began. Mods had no info; we couldn’t give direct answers. It was a tough place for a Mod. We prayed we weren’t lying in the answers we gave. To be flatly honest… we had no answers, EXCEPT that Happy said we could sit out any campaign if we weren’t comfortable doing it.

I will never, ever forget tagging HUGE bomb craters…I still think of those people, making new lanes around bombed out bridges and highways… the boards people laid across crater-corners in order to cross to homes and businesses. It is breathtaking and humbling to see how people in other countries must live and how resilient humans can be… especially in the face of cruelty of misused power.

Despite feeling uneasy about the lack of info to the (many) questions nodders raised, I was still 100% behind the purpose: To See a Better World. My imagination soared with what DG / TN might accomplish!!

I liked DRAW when we marked hut / building footprints so humanitarian workers could spray for mosquitoes, and estimate population so workers could provide mosquito netting. I also hated DRAW when we drew around hi-rises and houses, but found some nodders used their time to draw male genitalia… real unhelpful… graffiti and poor performance I’m sure led to DRAW being withdrawn. :-1: I had enjoyed it and missed it.

From the beginning, I tried to be playfully imaginative… and gleefully found some people after my own heart…like @Jim7 and those who enjoyed my offerings of dry catnip, catnip :tea: and :shrimp: cakes. I really enjoyed when we tagged ships & boats and I pretended (imagined) being a cat lying on my belly as I floated by on white puffy clouds and dropped tags down on boats as I passed by… And when I jumped from cloud to cloud to reach a yacht where they had a :fish: fry and :fish_cake:s. That was a fun campaign!

Most everyone from the beginning got along. But there were a few that, because of culture or some other ‘difference’ with me, made it difficult for me to be a mod and do my job. Happy told me to ignore it…which I found hard since I hate to ignore anyone. Some more recent issues concerned anger about moderator duties, which are listed in TOS incidentally. Again, hard to ignore. What felt hardest for me was the disrespect. … I never disrespected anyone.

Probably what hurt me most was last April. Some people didn’t know we tagged bomb craters in 2016’s “Ramadi: Damage Assessment” (Ramadi: Damage Assessment ) or that in April 2017 I posted about the gas attack and subsequent 1 bomb strike in Syria. (Syria - gas attacks kills upwards of 100 ). A year later when a new chemical weaponry attack was suspected, and the US, UK, and France led strikes against 3 sites in Syria, and again, I posted a simple link to the story, one of you tried to get me in trouble-- not realizing the history on Tn of posting current events and also our post-war humanitarian tagging. I know who reported me— thanks bunches. You could have simply asked and I and other nodders would have explained…

For the most part, I’ve enjoyed the time I’ve volunteered here. Mostly good times. Good friends. Bonds with people whom I’ll never forget.

As for Tomnod, I’m thoroughly disappointed. They’ve had several years to make new programming for us, if they wanted to do so. I don’t believe any of us should hold our collective breaths waiting for anything new. They lost sight of their own lofty desire. They seem to be more focused now on space and bigger endeavors than us little folks. I could be wrong (shrug), but I doubt it. They left us when Happy moved on (she never even said goodbye), and didn’t pump much oxygen back in here with Mel coming to take over.

Again, I’ve always advocated for us. We are the most tenacious and loyal group to ever give Tn our time. We hung on even when they didn’t. This endeavor did not fail because of us… It’s sad that Staff ignored the workers they had waiting here. We could have done so much more on other campaigns while they were ignoring us. Such a shame.

I look forward to where we are headed… to our next reinvention of our online time.

By the way, did anyone notice that Mel didn’t even thank the Moderators for our service?

So, I will, beginning with the original Mod Squad.

Ruth, I’ve missed your Southern Charm and down to earth wisdom. I sure hope you are still with us on “this ball of mud” as you called it. But if you have slipped the earthly bonds, and are floating about the universe… would you first whack WV4 so it stops twirling and starts working again?.. and say hi to the creator for me. Catch me some sparkly stardust, k, and sprinkle it on to some puffy clouds. We sure looked at a lot of “dirt” in the old campaigns!

Bob, from our first meeting with Happy & Ruth, we knew you were ill. So when you weren’t here the last two years, I understood-- but I missed you. It was frustrating. I always hoped you’d come back. Now, it’s nearly 7 months since you died and I still think you might pop back in…someday. Hope you’re with your beloved dogs… running in the Rainbow Dog Park. :dog: :dog: :dog: :dog: Throw sticks!

@Jim7 thank you for agreeing to help me. After all the years, especially two years with it all on me, I was real, real tired. I lost some of my zeal… I felt beaten up… It’s been fun / enjoyable watching you carry on with your imaginative posts. And as always, I love your stories – you really should start writing! Your imagination was beginning to recharge mine. I look forward to working together in the next adventure, and I look forward to what I’ll learn!


I hope you’ll post your thoughts here, too, Jim.


Plenty of us appreciated what you wonderful mods did and this forum was a fun addition to TN. Sometimes, when my eyes started to swim, after looking at a gazillion tiles, it was fun to just get away and come over here for some fun. I never spoke or added much to the forum but y’all just know that you were valued.

As for TN going the way that they seem to be, know that it is the way of this sad world. I’ve built up a long list of companies from nothing to greatness (IMHO), only to watch as buyouts destroyed every single one of them.

Hope to see you “out there” when some other entity pops up to serve and support mankind and needs crowd’s eyes.


@Newtonian Hey! you coming over to the new forum? Write to @Jim7