Welcome to the Unicorn Meta Zoo, a podcast by members of the Stack Exchange Community Management Team. If you want to avoid spoilers, jump straight to the audio.


Nicolas Chabanovsky Jon Ericson

Back in May, I interviewed Nicolas Chabanovsky while we both were in NYC for a meetup. Nicolas has been instrumental in helping out international Stack Overflow sites to be among the most active on the network.



Jon Ericson interviewed several community managers at our most recent meet-up. There were three questions:

  1. What, if anything, gets you excited about your job?
  2. How did your life experience before Stack Exchange prepare you for this role?
  3. What is your favorite site?

We're running these interviews for the summer (or winter, if you are in the southern hemisphere) and we'll be back to the regular format next episode.

What do you think?

Take a listen and respond in the answers below.


2 Answers 2


A question I expected you to add (to the usual three) that you didn't: does Nicolas read all four of those languages? Russian yes, but also the others? If not, how do you overcome the language challenges when working to support those communities?

  • 6
    Thank you for the question! I use Google Translate in combination with the common sense, but it is not all the time enough. The best example is the Japanese language. Sometimes it is really hard to understand what the author means in Japanese when looking at the translation. If that happens I ask my coworkers or volunteers to help me with the translation. Without volunteers' help our international communities would feel very isolated, that is true even for SOru. A lot fo thanks to them! Commented Aug 19, 2019 at 11:03
  • 3
    I think @Nicolas has also been very good at creating good links with users on each site, with whom we gather on The Terminal and we clarify posts when necessary. Commented Aug 20, 2019 at 10:06

I have been thinking about it ever since the time Unicorn Meta Zoo interviews have started; is it okay if we do video interviews instead?

  • 35
    There are several downsides to video for me: 1) Harder to edit. (My current process is primitive, but automatic. That wouldn't be acceptable for video.) 2) More stress since we are recording from our homes. (I have family walking behind me while recording sometimes.) 3) Less convenient to consume. (Podcasts are great for driving or while doing repetitive tasks at work.) So I'm not going to say video won't happen, but there are a lot of hurdles to clear before we'd consider it. Commented Aug 13, 2019 at 17:37
  • 4
    @Jon fair enough! Thanks. Commented Aug 13, 2019 at 18:02
  • 20
    No, thanks. Unless something is added that can only be done on video: white boarding, demoing of software / prototypes / web interfaces, presentations with slides, etc. Commented Aug 14, 2019 at 18:22

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