1450

@Shog9, a longtime Community Manager here at Stack Exchange, has just tweeted that he is no longer working at Stack Overflow:

@shog9: Well... I suddenly find myself in need of work.
If anyone's hiring: C++, JavaScript, C#, SQL + solid background in social software, community-driven development.

In light of this, I would like to take the opportunity to say thank you.

Thank you, Shog. You've been an integral part of Stack Overflow and the Stack Exchange network since the very beginning. You were among the most helpful people on the network, especially for moderators.
Losing your sense of humor, unique sense of communication, and point of view is a deep blow to SE.

Thank you for everything you've done for SE and the community. Good luck in whatever you choose to do next. *salutes*

  • 218
    Not enough sad emojis for this :( – Machavity Jan 13 at 16:51
  • 235
    I'm simply reeling. What the heck is going on? – Rubiksmoose Jan 13 at 16:54
  • 238
    Also destaffed: Robert Cartaino – John Dvorak Jan 13 at 16:56
  • 141
    One of the most professional, well-spoken staff members... Gone. Such a loss. – Spevacus Jan 13 at 16:57
  • 137
    Darn it, Shog, I thought you said you wouldn't die on that hill. What happened? You said something, right? – Frédéric Hamidi Jan 13 at 17:05
  • 28
    Is it too soon to say "We're sorry to see you go"? Bravo SE, Bravo. – David DPG Jan 13 at 17:28
  • 174
    Am I the only one who thinks SE just doesn't care about community's opinion anymore? Obviously, this is an internal matter; but after all we've been through, no sane company would let one of few employees who is in good terms with the community go. I suppose they think they already have enough material to stay alive without our contribution. – M-- Jan 13 at 18:27
  • 182
    This hits me far harder than any moderator resignation. Up until now, I could convince myself that things could get better, since at least one intelligent and trustworthy person still worked for Stack Exchange. – mmyers Jan 13 at 20:19
  • 59
    I guess that's it then. Journey over. Time to log out for the first time in nearly 10 years. – ben is uǝq backwards Jan 13 at 21:59
  • 59
    Half of meta consists of Shog contributions. At least sometimes it feels like this. His contribution to what StackOverflow made great is unmeasurable. Thanks Shog, for everything. – Trilarion Jan 13 at 22:30
  • 98
    Shog, what are you guilty of? Being intelligent? Being reasonable? Being patient? Willing to listen, to talk, to discuss, to explain? Putting your heart and soul into everything you do? – Fabio says Reinstate Monica Jan 14 at 0:37
  • 36
    I clicked this thinking this would be a nice post from one of the CMs thanking Shog for many years of service and that he announced he was moving on. I am.... disappointing to say the least. – David says Reinstate Monica Jan 14 at 2:45
  • 33
    @problemofficer - Yes. – Mithical Jan 14 at 8:05
  • 65
    Shocked but not shocked. Shog9 has always been the pinnacle of professionalism and community spirit, and SO has been moving further and further away from those things. Saddened to see you leave, but I know you will be successful wherever you end up next. The impact Shog9 has had on this community should not be underestimated. – DavidG Jan 14 at 10:34
  • 25
    Seems well-spoken to me, @Möoz. Very clear and concise. Quite elegant by my standards. It helps to understand that moderators don't arrive at decisions like that on a whim, so seeing a message like that makes it very clear that there was an eternity of nonsense that led up to the decision. At that point, one really appreciates someone like Shog who knows where to draw the line, who doesn't waste his time with things that aren't worth the time. The site, and all of us, were better off for it. The plain-spoken honesty was a nice refreshing treat, too. – Cody Gray Jan 14 at 23:33

46 Answers 46

1886
+800

No... Thank you.

My head's still spinning; nothing lasts forever, but... Sometimes we fool ourselves thinking it might. But one thing I know: I'm deeply, sincerely touched by this thread.

I've always considered y'all - the people who make up Stack Overflow - to be my boss, my leader in this job.

And... shit... y'all have been the best boss I've ever been privileged to work for. Quick with both praise and constructive criticism, never too busy to talk, knowledgeable on a seemingly infinite variety of topics but never too good to educate.

I've learned a lot from you over the years. Came into this as green as could be, but y'all were patient and understanding.

You've taught me what true collaboration is.

Thank you for allowing me to serve these past 9 years. Thank you, thank you, thank you.

  • 208
    Accepted in less than a minute, +25 under two. Here is the community -- dare I say your community? -- at work. – Frédéric Hamidi Jan 13 at 20:16
  • 141
    I'm not crying, I'm not crying (ಥ﹏ಥ) – Suvitruf says Reinstate Monica Jan 13 at 20:17
  • 355
    Over the years we often disagreed, sometimes argued, got very frustrated with each other -- but it happened because we both cared deeply, and I felt we had productive discussions (and arguments sometimes). Diversity means encountering perspectives other than your own and I think that benefited us both. I learned from you and I hope we continue to interact. – Monica Cellio Jan 13 at 20:22
  • 145
    You always operated on a different level than the rest of us. When even moderators were losing sight of the forest for the trees, you'd identify the real problem behind the symptoms we were so focused on. Not only that, you'd be able to explain it in a way that made it seem obvious all along. I don't know what we'll do without that kind of perspective. To say you'll be missed is a ridiculous understatement. – Brad Larson Jan 13 at 20:38
  • 39
    For the first time I think I should stop moderating SO main. I've kept going all this time for the sake of the community, but losing you is the milestone from which I don't believe there's turning back. So sad to lose you and what you stood for. The company has no idea what they've lost. – Andras Deak Jan 13 at 20:38
  • 52
    it has been a true pleasure working with you, my friend - I hope we can do so again in the future <3 – Jarrod Dixon Jan 13 at 20:47
  • 65
    I wish I could turn back time and tell you and others more often how great of a job you are doing. It probably wouldn't change the outcome, but I want you to know that you have my respect. – Geoff Dalgas Jan 13 at 20:49
  • 71
    I'm supposed to be on strike from SE, but this is too big to leave alone. I'm sorry this happened. You've done your job extremely well. We haven't talked a lot, but there's just something about your way of communicating that's completely spot-on in so many cases. I'm not entirely sure how to sensibly describe it. I've said this elsewhere, but if SE had more employees even just a little bit like you, it would be a significantly better place. Thank you for all you've done. – Zoe Jan 13 at 21:00
  • 44
    Thanks for being a wonderful colleague and human. – Donna Jan 13 at 21:31
  • 55
    I really thought you were part of the furniture. I should know better than that. It's been a privilege to work with you (and yes I do think the relationship between CM's and moderators is work). – ChrisF Jan 13 at 22:15
  • 30
    Out ... of ... words. A million thanks won't suffice for all you've done for the community. – Glorfindel Jan 14 at 6:21
  • 77
    People are saying a lot of nice things, as they do in these situations @lodu - but I'm not perfect, or even good; I made a lot of mistakes and had plenty of off-days. I don't recall the exchange you reference and can no longer look such things up... But I can apologize all the same: regardless of my intent, giving you your worst day on SO is clearly a failure on my part. – Shog9 Jan 14 at 20:19
  • 28
    @Shog9 “But I can apologize all the same: regardless of my intent, giving you your worst day on SO is clearly a failure on my part.” — this is simply moving. This is the level of empathy and humanity that Stack Exchange Inc. will forever lack without you. – user289905 Jan 14 at 22:28
  • 42
    @Loduwijk dude, Shog9 just got fired from his job of 9 years. This is a prime time to practice "if you don't have something nice to say, then don't say anything at all". The fact that he took the time to respond politely to you says everything you need to know about him. – StrongBad Jan 14 at 22:52
  • 84
    I think it's fine that @Lodu shared his experience here. Lest we forget: even Richard Nixon collected accolades upon his death... It is all too tempting to venerate in situations like this, while overlooking the faults. I've been here a long time, written hundreds of thousands of words... And many of those words were far more cutting than they strictly needed to be. Those are facts, and I must live with them. A person who cannot accept their faults or acknowledge the hurt that they've caused is worthless. – Shog9 Jan 15 at 1:33
387

Nowadays I'm always logged out of Stack Overflow so I'm not tempted to contribute, but I have logged in for this.

The world must be crazy. Shog9 is, in large part, the embodiment of what I find amazing, inspiring and humane in this community and in Stack Overflow in general. I can't believe any sane company would let him go away.

A few things I really want y'all to know about Shog.

  • At times I've been at my worst and he was the only one able to see the good in me. He helped me very much before I was hired, when I was at Stack and even after.
  • He has a very fine mind and working with him on anti vote cheat tools (to say one random thing we did) was really fun.
  • I am very proud to be his friend. He is one of the people I wanted to work with when I got hired. He is one of the coworkers I was always eager to meet at the few Stack Overflow meetups we had. In particular, the Denver one was... to remember.

All in all, Stack Overflow is definitely worse off today but I can't wait to see who is the lucky company where he lands next. I might apply too :-D

  • 188
    "Shog works here" is automatically a huge selling point for any company IMO – rossipedia Jan 13 at 17:41
  • 107
    @anonymous ever since they swore not to do it at Friday – John Dvorak Jan 13 at 18:48
  • 34
    Funny/sad background context: Shog posted a farewell to Sklivvz a short time ahead of Sklivvz leaving the company. Shog apparently deserved no such courtesy from current fellow employees. :( – jscs Jan 13 at 23:35
  • 19
    'Nowadays I'm always logged out of Stack Overflow so I'm not tempted to contribute, but I have logged in for this.' - +1 simply for this line. – Script47 Jan 14 at 10:21
  • 2
    (An aside: Other people also said (in comments) that they are logging out (or not logged in). I'm still logged in all the time (even though I'm no longer contributing to SE), mainly because I think that this way, I'll generate less ad revenue. Malevolence? Maybe, call it what you like...) – Marco13 Jan 14 at 14:01
  • 3
    @Marco13 use an adblocker, best of both worlds. – enderland Jan 15 at 4:05
  • Hey, I'm a bit late on this reply, but... Thank you for these words. I don't deserve 'em, but I'm tickled to see 'em anyway - still miss working with ya, three years to the day later. – Shog9 Feb 18 at 3:23
  • 1
    @Shog9 you totally deserve it – Sklivvz yesterday
242

Shog,

You taught me how to conduct myself in a written form. You taught me how to convey compassion and empathy. You taught me the value of a subtle take. You taught me how to help open minds to change without trying to bend them to my will.

You taught me how to moderate.

You taught me how to make mistakes gracefully, and how to own up to them to strangers. You taught me the importance of listening.

Thank you.

  • 16
    It's because of words like this that make this news shocking. Why get rid of your best community people when you (SE) very obviously have a critical community problem? None of their decisions have made any sense lately. – ndugger Jan 13 at 19:50
  • 108
    George, your twitter thread on this is dead on the mark. Two highlights, if you don't mind me copying them here: "That’s someone you write a blog post about announcing their departure. That’s someone who you give time to say goodbye. That’s someone who the severance starts at a minimum of 6 months. That’s someone who you create a new badge for to reflect their contributions." | "...You may not value community moderation any more, @StackOverflow but it says a lot about what you’ve become that you don’t respect the work they did." – jscs Jan 13 at 20:08
  • 6
    I have to agree with you, I'm disgusted to say the least by the way they've managed this. It's one thing to let shog go (which is already a pretty damn massive black mark against whoever decided it) but to do it like this is just shockingly bad and tone deaf. Shame on SE, and shame on every single manager who signed off on this. – Magisch Jan 14 at 12:10
  • 27
    Required reading: The software community that Josh Heyer built Thanks, George. – Resistance Is Futile Jan 14 at 14:24
  • 6
    I think you should highlight that gofundme campaign much more. The more people click that link, the better. – GhostCat salutes Monica C. Jan 15 at 20:15
  • Seems like the kind of thing that might start getting deleted on sight, @Ghost. Hard to say. But it might be best at least to not shout about it. – jscs Jan 16 at 2:43
  • 5
    @jscs I am not sure about that part. It is one thing that SE Inc. doesnt want that you advertise a gofundme that is about taking them to court, compared to a gofundme that simply expresses the gratitude of the community towards a former employee. The gofundme doesnt waste time complaining, it simply explains that people might want to support a former friend of the community. I would very much hope that such a request doesnt get deleted ... – GhostCat salutes Monica C. Jan 16 at 7:59
  • George, my first memory of you on the site was some argument over "cabal" vs "mafia" dragged over from the old TDWTF forums... Followed by seeing your noble efforts to improve a question result in someone trying to drag your name through the mud across the Internet! You've put an incredible amount into these sites over the years, been a steadfast supporter of both the community and the folks running the sites. Thank you for all of that, and for your kind words here. – Shog9 Feb 18 at 3:52
202

Logging in for this. Shog, if you're reading this, I know what you're going through and I'm here for you man. You make up a big chunk of my fond memories of SO's early years. You have shown me true kindness and humility. I have great respect for you as a coworker and a friend. We bonded over food many times. I wish you the best in your future adventures.

Here's the last photo I took of you when we hang out in person, enjoy!

enter image description here

  • 71
    A wild codinghorror appears – Sklivvz Jan 13 at 17:44
  • 19
    Which one is Shog9 on the picture? – Cœur Jan 14 at 2:59
  • 40
    The person on the laptop screen is Jeff Atwood, @Cœur. Shog is not on the screen. – jscs Jan 14 at 3:05
  • 7
    "Here's the last photo I took of you when we hang out in person, enjoy!" ...doesn't this imply Shog is the guy on the right? – Corsaka Jan 16 at 14:09
  • 3
    The guy on the right looks awfully similar to the guy on the Shoq's twitter picture. The way I understood this is that @Jin took the picture of Shoq holding a laptop while talking to Jeff Atwood. – Groo Jan 19 at 21:43
  • 1
    Jin it has always been a pleasure - and as enjoyable as that farewell dinner for Bill was, what I'll always treasure the most was the second dinner you prepared afterwards (where we toasted Bill again). Thanks for the memories! – Shog9 Feb 18 at 3:26
194

I know I won't be the first or last, but I just wanted to say thank you for everything, Shog.

I'm going to share one of my favorite memories, too many Shogs.

Close bug

May all those Shogs live on forever on Stack Exchange.

  • 10
    Shog-ception? Shog-ification? I don't even know what to label this. – Spevacus Jan 13 at 17:52
  • 10
    Ah, Shog9.3... good times – Machavity Jan 13 at 17:55
  • 58
    There are too few Shogs now. I wish there could too many Shogs again. – Mark Amery Jan 13 at 19:57
  • Shouldn't the nine of them have different numbers? – vicky_molokh Jan 13 at 22:12
  • 7
    Now that's what I call getting a good Shogging. – Martin Tournoij Jan 14 at 6:11
  • 4
    That was Shog27. But now it's Shog0 :( – Vivek Mishra Jan 14 at 6:51
  • 1
    Godspeed the crew of Shog17 – AJM-Reinstate-Monica Jan 14 at 13:18
  • Well have to add an Agent entry on Wikipedia. – Maarten Bodewes Jan 14 at 21:47
  • 4
    @Spevacus Shog-puppets :) . Thanks JAL for the chuckle your picture brought. – Lawrence Jan 15 at 13:26
  • The eldritch community manager, yog-shogoth – J Lewis Jan 15 at 15:19
  • 2
    Heh... Oh, I cringe a the thought of some future soul having to sanitize this data, cursing my name all the while... Thank you, JAL! – Shog9 Feb 18 at 3:29
182

There are folks I can't imagine this network be without. (and at this point, a few people I imagine we would be better off without). I think its pretty clear which one I consider Shog to be.

You will be missed - you had a gift for understanding the community and people. I've often said SE needed wisdom, grace and courage, and you're one of the folks who exemplifies all those qualities.

Of many baffling actions the company has done of late - I think this is one of the biggest.

We've lost too many good folks that actually knew what made this place great and made it home and yet, in the rush to build a shining city on the hill, other seem happy to pave it over.

Until recently my dream job was to be a CM here (Applied twice. They made excellent picks that were not me). There's a bunch of folks who... were, and still on the team who I consider friends. Shog? I looked up to. Even if I jokingly refered to him as a miscreant.

I've often talked of moderation as an idea of worth. I don't think Shog's could be questioned. He often made hard decisions, and occationally strange ones (that kinda worked out).

Ironically, when folks in the company talk of "building and growing" the community, we're short of someone who was at the heart of what made this community

(also folks, I know y'all fix my spelling mistakes, but for this once, leave it be. )

  • "and at this point, a few people I imagine we would be better off without" - Surely, about everybody here will agree with this. – Victor Stafusa Jan 17 at 6:34
  • 1
    I'm easily tired of coded references. I was surprised a moderator would think this thread was the place for it. I don't imagine me commenting further would change minds though, when Shog already spoke on this. (1) (2). – sourcejedi Jan 17 at 18:07
  • 3
    Alas. No matter how disappointed I am, as a human being and a moderator - I need to practice what I preach. I will not lower myself to personal attacks. Shog expects that too from what he said on Twitter. This is a line I shall not cross. Not for SO's sake, but because that is what it takes to honour the spirit of the community we built – Journeyman Geek Jan 18 at 1:17
  • 2
    JG, you've been a pillar of your site forever, a protector and guide, someone I could always depend on. Your words mean a lot, and I thank you for them! – Shog9 Feb 18 at 3:34
143

This isn't a good news to hear at all. I'm definitely trying my best to hide my tears. Starting from when I was a new Stack Overflow moderator, till now, Shog has been a mentor and a role model to me and to others in the mod chat room. I would definitely miss Shog, and I am sure that he can never be replaced.

Shog used to work multiple extra hours just to make sure that things aren't going bad. He was one of the main people who were instrumental in getting a lot of the tag issues sorted out on Stack Overflow. Whenever we had any problem, or needed any data, Shog used to always be there and had become an integral part of our day to day lives. I definitely can't imagine how hard moderation would be without him.

Shog was also very helpful in setting up autoflagging in SOBotics, writing some of the autocomments for us. (He even spared enough time for an interview!).

Good luck Shog, I definitely know that you'd make your next employer proud.

  • 4
    Gonna miss your polite but persistent reminders that there be tags to put to right! I was privileged to be able to assist y'all in your work, and am gratified that you found use in my feedback! – Shog9 Feb 18 at 3:30
  • 2
    and I'll definitely miss pinging you for getting the tags right. Those were happy times for sure! – Bhargav Rao Feb 18 at 3:33
125

Shog, the opportunity to work with and learn from you was a highlight of my 2019. Really sad to hear this news. I can't even imagine how different my experience (and hence the community's, too) would have been without the influence and wisdom you generously and patiently shared daily. The next team you work with will be a lucky one. Take care.

  • 14
    Oh and hit me up if you wanna make that podcast – Meg Risdal Jan 14 at 1:32
  • 3
    With you (Megan) & Shog9 gone, we lost 2 CMs that were very active in the mod chatroom. I'll miss that a lot. – Jean-François Fabre Jan 14 at 20:23
  • 6
    Thanks @Jean-FrançoisFabre but I couldn't manage to do the job of CM (especially not like Shog)! I was a product manager, but I do care a lot for the community ... – Meg Risdal Jan 14 at 22:35
  • 3
    Meg, we worked together for far too short a time, but I loved every minute of it. I'll never forget your dedication, dropping in to question or clarify even when you were barely out of surgery and could hardly speak. As ill-advised as that was, it spoke volumes about your character - thanks for everything! – Shog9 Feb 18 at 3:36
  • @Shog9 That's obsession! And ditto. – Meg Risdal Feb 18 at 4:36
98

Shog9,

It's hard to imagine what this community would have been like without your guidance over the years. There's probably not a single other person who has had the same influence that you've had. Thank you for spending the last decade writing literally thousands of answers to our questions on this site specifically, and across the entire network. Thank you for your patience and your candor, your wit and wisdom, and your eloquence and grace. Most of all, thank you for your friendship.

This community will miss you, but I'm sure you'll end up somewhere great (and they'll be lucky to have you, too). We all wish you the best of luck, and I hope to see you again.

  • 2
    Bill, the highlight of my time here was getting to meet you in person - twice! I learned a heck of a lot from the example you set, and never once regretted nominating you for mod-ship in that first "election". Thanks for the kind words and well-wishes! – Shog9 Feb 18 at 4:05
94

We may not always have seen eye to eye, but to me that's part and parcel of life.

To me, you are a huge part of what makes/made Stack Overflow (and its friends) what it is.

You will absolutely be missed.

I wish you all the best in your future endeavours!

  • 1
    I remember when you joined the site... You were "the other Tomalak" to me for a long, long time, even as your names changed. Yes, more'n a few times when we didn't get along, but I've always appreciated your persistence and willingness to engage and discuss. Thanks, and best of luck with your future C++ adventures! – Shog9 Feb 18 at 3:32
71

While I have not been a part of this site nearly as long as the many users who will take this news hard, I would like to contribute my two cents to the piggy bank of appreciation for Shog.

Your well-thought-out, often canonical posts on how to properly utilize the Stack Exchange network of sites have frequently guided me in my actions, and provided confidence that I was doing the right thing. Your way-too-detailed reports on experimental process changes scratched an itch I didn't know I had, as I marveled at how intricate even a narrow slice of this community was.

Your influence played a large factor in growing my interest in participating on these sites, and I know your legacy will continue to help and nurture those who come after. I wish you the best of luck on your future endeavors, and I don't think I speak wrongly when I say that we will all keep you in our thoughts.

Thank you.

  • Thanks Das - I'm happy that you found use of my scribblings here! – Shog9 Feb 18 at 3:24
69

Just a huge, monumental loss to our community as a whole. The ultimate peacekeeper, and a person I could not ever win an argument against (a good thing usually in our interactions).

Clearly his value wasn't recognized.

Best of luck good sir, you're one of the good ones!!

  • 2
    Definitely not the "ultimate" peacekeeper - I've poured my share of gasoline on the flames too! But I did try now and then, when I remembered... Appreciate the well-wishes! – Shog9 Feb 18 at 3:39
66

Shog, I first heard of you many years ago when I started being active on SE. Anyone who came anywhere near meta would inevitably stumble upon one of your many thoughtful, insightful and just damned fun posts. You were instrumental in setting the tone of SE and defining the way we, the community, interacted with the company. You affected me long before we ever had any sort of contact.

When I became a mod, you were the ideal I was aspiring to. I wished that one day, this little mod would grow into a full blown Shog. I would watch you handle tricky issues and upset users with a wisdom and grace I couldn't come close to matching. Wisdom is a word that is overused, but you have consistently displayed it in its most literal sense:

1a: ability to discern inner qualities and relationships : INSIGHT

b: good sense : JUDGMENT

If I had to choose one word to describe you, I would go for wise. And yes, I am well aware that you are way too young for that, one has no right to be called wise until hitting at least 80. Nevertheless, that is the word I would choose.

Thank you. Thank you for all the years of effort and thankless work you have put into this place. Thank you for always trying your best. Thank you for teaching me so much, either directly or simply by example. Thank you for your truly impressive ability to cut through the chaff and identify the real issue, whatever that may be.

As others have said, that you will be missed is an enormous understatement. It's not so much that you will be missed as that your absence, more than pretty much anyone else's, will fundamentally change this network and these communities.

Fare well, Shog, fare ye well.

  • 1
    Thanks terdon - I don't deserve any of these beautiful lies! It's been a pleasure working with you all these years, and I've learned a great deal from your thoughtful, well-considered, only occasionally crabby responses to a numerous and varied set of issues. Fare well as well – Shog9 Feb 18 at 4:02
  • Ha! If I made only occasionally crabby responses, I'm doing better than usual! :) – terdon Feb 18 at 13:01
65

Dear Stack Overflow (the company),

Please take note. This is what good will from your community looks like. This is what you've given up in your new pursuits. This is what this community is capable of when you treat it with dignity. This is what we looked like before you decided we weren't "welcoming." This is what you've destroyed.

Even though most of my encounters with Shog were trying to argue him into a different position, I never distrusted his motives or efforts, even if I thought he or his method of defending a position was wrong. Despite my disagreements, I respected that he was ultimately doing his best to create an environment that fostered a healthy community of capable individuals to make Stack Overflow the best resource for information it could be. I know he cares about this site and the people who use it.

Respect is earned, not entitled. Whatever Shog's mistakes and failings might have been, he earned our respect. You have a great deal to learn from him, and that only makes his dismissal (regardless of whether you fired him for specific actions or simply laid him off) even more poignant.

Sincerely,

A frustrated, unwelcomed user


To Shog:

Thank you, Shog, for everything you've done for this community! This is Stack Overflow's loss. I know it's hurtful to be suddenly removed from a position where you could help the community you care so much about, but I am certain that you will be better off going than staying in this environment.

  • Thank you, jpmc26. This is what being part of a community is all about: learning to work with one another in order to build something great. We've butted heads plenty of times, but never for naught. – Shog9 2 days ago
  • @Shog9 No, really. Thank you. I know I am often not the easiest person to listen to, so I am grateful to hear at least some good came of it. I am grateful that you looked past my failings and tried to find something worth listening to in what I said. – jpmc26 yesterday
64

Shog, I'm sorry to see you go. Really sorry as in being sad over this. Sad for myself for losing someone I respect and value, and sad for Stack Exchange that lost its best Community Manager and its best and most solid bridge with the community, bridge that survived many storms.

I was going to call you Josh to make it more personal, but this chat message from the past made me think twice and use the name you prefer, Shog.

To this day I sometimes recall the time you called me "king", and it makes me so happy each time!

king of pings

You are the real king, Shog. Now without a crown, or a diamond, but you don't need those to rule. Show the world what you worth, and I wish you the best of luck wherever you go.

Shadow9

P.S.
Your coffee is getting cold.

  • 33
    I will miss Shog's stats. – Journeyman Geek Jan 14 at 0:34
  • 3
    @JourneymanGeek: Now how will we know which of us is chattiest in the TL? – V2Blast Jan 14 at 10:41
  • 8
    I'm not sure it will matter any nore – Journeyman Geek Jan 14 at 11:27
  • Why are you burning? – Peter Mortensen Jan 15 at 5:46
  • 2
    @Peter anger at SE, so it looked fitting. It express my internal feelings. – Shadow9 Jan 15 at 7:11
  • 1
    ShaWizDowArd, how will I ever keep track of your names now... Appreciate the words and well-wishes, hope to keep in touch! – Shog9 Feb 18 at 4:07
  • @Sho well our names were always alike - remember the song? Thanks for dropping by, and yes I really wish you'll keep in touch with all the good folk around here! :) – Shadow9 Feb 18 at 8:16
52

There are the announcements which catch you off guard. There are the ones that come out of left field. There are the statements that seem to be spun out of thin air.

And then, there's this.

Damn.

I honestly can't really string together besides a simple "thank you". It was your guidance and involvement on Meta Stack Overflow that made me stick around for probably far longer than I should've, and I feel to some extent you've helped me look and think critically at questions, and not think that everything can be solved in the same way all the time.

With that, take care, and maybe our paths will cross again one day.

  • 1
    Thank you, Makoto. One of the highlights of my job here was the times when I'd jump in to answer a question... And find that someone else had already posted an excellent response, leaving me with nothing to do but click "upvote". When I saw your name on the homepage after "modified...", I could just take my hands off the keyboard. – Shog9 2 days ago
50

The incident which illustrated to me most what sort of person Shog was, was the Min-Reprex: a less awkward name for MCVE. The community overwhelmingly showed its opposition to it and Shog came back with MCVExit redux: I don't need a milkshake to know when I've missed the mark.

He listened, engaged with the community, and returned with a solution which settled folk.

That's exactly what SE is missing and will be missed with Shog's departure.

  • We all make mistakes; we should all strive to learn from them. If I would not do so myself, how could I ever ask that of anyone else? Thank you, Script47! – Shog9 2 days ago
49

Unfortunately, I spent most of my "initial" years on this network just on Stack Overflow, looking into the purely technical stuff. I only came to understand the real (human) powers of this network lately. I asked about "moderation statistics" some days back, and shog9 ... just put that up. No fuzz, just the maximum amount of transparency that was possible to provide.

And now I am very sorry that more and more great people are leaving this place (MSE). Be it voluntarily, or unfortunately: not so voluntarily as it seems in this case.

I made it my policy: every time when I read a new post from model users, (or model community managers) to also read at least 2, 3 of their older postings.

And each time I learn something new and helpful about working together with other humans. And now, no new posts will come in from you.

Thus: I am very sad to see you go, and I am wondering how much can be taken away from this place before nothing of relevance is left.

And know this: in case you (and other former SE Inc. employees) will ever write up a book about your time at this place, I will happily order a paper copy of that! Meaning: don't be shy about blogging or tweeting about anything you got on your mind ...

The only sense I see in this: shog9 has the chance of finding a job in a better place now. Farewell.

  • 2
    Nothing unfortunate about it, GhostCat - it's folks like you who reminded me on the regular why I was here, who and what I was working for. It's been a pleasure, and... While I won't be posting moderation stats, maybe I'll get a chance to delve into some of that good sweet technical stuff again after all these years distracted. Thanks, and see ya 'round. – Shog9 Feb 18 at 3:38
46

Just, wow. Truly shocked.

Wherever you go, you will make them better by being around. And the loss here is... monumental.

You’ll be sorely missed.

Can we close shop now? Let’s all go to Quora, Reddit or whatever.

This place is looking more desolate with each minute. 😢

  • 18
    When you're really looking for a place to go, look at my profile. – MEE - codidact.org Jan 13 at 21:12
  • 1
    Quora? Mostly for entertainment, nothing else. They are also under pressure from investors, like Stack Exchange. They (Quora at least) are moving in the direction of Yahoo Answers (which ... – Peter Mortensen Jan 15 at 5:40
  • ... is odd indeed. – Peter Mortensen Jan 15 at 5:42
  • @Peter, frankly, I don't have much use or interest in either site. I was mostly signalling a "all is lost, abandon ship, look for any piece of flotsam to hold you". – yivi Jan 15 at 7:44
  • 5
    Codidact could be a new place... but it doesn't exist yet. I'm also concerned about some users choosing go there because they reject the CoC, and not because of the other failings SO Inc. But those fears might be unfounded, we'll need to see. Sadly, I have no knowledge C# nor much interest in getting into it. I wish they had chosen a something less microsofty. – yivi Jan 15 at 7:48
  • 1
    Thanks yivi; it's always been folks like you who've made this whole thing work by learning and passing on what you learned. Appreciate it immensely! – Shog9 Feb 18 at 3:56
45

I've never been a community manager or even a moderator, just a user (primarily of SO initially, now others). But whenever I saw a post from Shog9, my feeling was always "The adults are here and paying attention. Everything will work out ok now."

Thank you for being the adult in the room. I'm afraid we'll miss your unfailingly thoughtful presence more in the future than we can ever imagine, even as we all proclaim to know how much you will be missed.

  • I wish I could have guaranteed that things would work out... But the best any of us can do is try to make the most of whatever situation we find ourselves in. Glad I was of some use - thank you, tmpearce! – Shog9 2 days ago
44

I've not yet made my mark upon Stack Exchange's network like many others have, but even I can see the impact that Shog has had.

There exists no better shining example of a community manager than Shog. Whether it's replying to recent, niche bug reports or wording a proposed (now completed) change to moderator tools, Shog has always been consistently professional and well spoken.

Despite the most obvious question of Why? burning deeply in my head... I have to focus on thanking Shog for his many, nuanced, and sometimes humorous, contributions to the site.

I'm not confident that anyone could meaningfully replace the level of integrity, wit, and attitude that you put forward on a day to day basis.

Thank you, Shog, and good luck.

  • 1
    Thank you, Spevacus, for these memories - I'm touched that you remembered even something as long ago as that "ads" post! Ah, so much fumbling around trying to figure all this out... Glad to have you along! – Shog9 Feb 18 at 3:28
  • 1
    Lurking for so long paid off! Thank you for making those memories, and I hope you take them right along with you into whatever your next adventure is. @Shog9 – Spevacus Feb 18 at 13:11
44

Shog9, in every capacity which brought us into contact, you served your role well. Even when we disagreed¹, I knew you were listening and trying to understand — and that's a rare talent in today's world. I cannot imagine what shenanigans must be employed to justify letting you go as being "an investment in the community". As a former moderator, I saw what you were doing for the community, and it was always a net gain.

Job. Well. Done.

¹ You were usually right.

  • 1
    Thank you, Caleb. For this, and for all of the hard work you've done over the years, building, guiding, teaching, leading... The success of your communities owe more to your work than anything I've ever done or said; I'm happy I was able to occasionally be of some assistance. – Shog9 2 days ago
42

I ruminated some time on what to write, but didn't end up coming up with anything witty, or poetic, or worthy of the occasion. So I'll just leave with this:

I've always known you as a honest, dependable and compassionate person and community manager. We didn't always agree, but you were always fair and willing to take responsibility for your actions.

I cannot fathom what led SE to make this move, but it is to their eternal discredit. I hope your next employer will see your true value and treat you better.

  • Thank you, Magisch. It has been a pleasure to work with you for so long, to learn from one another and together accomplish much. – Shog9 2 days ago
37

Shog9 has been remarkable through his entire time here. Few people write as eloquently, retain as cool a head and decent a manner even when in a sea of acrimony, or can reason with the same clarity about the complex system of software and norms and people that makes up Stack Exchange. He is a loss to the company, and to us. And for him to be canned without warning, after a decade of often supererogatory service to the company, is an injustice - as was the similar canning of many of his peers.

Like a few others, I've thrown some money into the fundraiser George Stocker has set up to ensure both that Shog lands on his feet and that the company cannot financially pressure him into signing away his right to speak about his time working for them. Shog was well-loved here, and so I hope that more people will do the same.

  • Thank you, Mark - for the support, and the kind words. See ya around... – Shog9 2 days ago
31

Shog, wishing you much luck with your future adventures. You were a fixture and an omnipresent voice of reason for the community.

Thank you so much!

  • 1
    Thanks, waffles. You should know: on my last day, I still had hundreds of Data Explorer tabs open. I lived in your work for the better part of a decade... – Shog9 2 days ago
30

Someone whom I was used to seeing on meta. Your contributions to this community don't have an end. There are countless things that you have taught me (maybe all of us) and you aren't even aware of that.

Who will get people shogged in the chatrooms now?

Some things that made shog, shog for me:

  • Shog's quick replies on bugs and issues.
  • The ability to sum up things in simple sentences that people fail to explain
  • Solving disputes, writing amazing guidelines that formed the pillars of the main SO community

Thank you!

  • 1
    Thanks weegee - what a long, strange trip it has been. – Shog9 Feb 18 at 3:53
30

I must say... I'm stunned and baffled. Shog9, you've been a mainstay of the community since well before I started participating. You'll definitely be missed.

  • 1
    Thanks EJoshuaS - appreciate it. It's been fun watching your path here, and I wish you all the best! – Shog9 Feb 18 at 4:03
30

A clear eye and a ready wit. Unfailingly, unflinchingly forthright. Always an understated but decisive presence; a lens collecting and focussing the meta-knowledge as it accumulated; the Merlin to our Arthur.

What a tragedy. Anyone that would dismiss you like this doesn't deserve your skills, talent, and care. I can't imagine it's easy. But no one can take this away from you:

You were absolutely fundamental in building one of the wonders of this decade. The artifact and the people could not have made it this far without you. You should be deeply proud of your time here.

All my respect. I can only hope that I am privileged to cross paths with you again on these webs. Whatever project you put your hand to next will be fortunate to have it.

  • Thanks jscs - it's a big world but a surprisingly small community... I have confidence we'll meet again! – Shog9 2 days ago
26

Tons of people have said it already... But you will be missed, Shog9.

I know we didn't interact much since the relatively short time since I was elected as a mod on RPG.SE, but I learned a lot from you - whether about the Stack Exchange network, community management, or just... community interactions in general. It's always been interesting talking with you, and I appreciate your willingness to listen to people and hear them out.

You were always able to talk to people during difficult/complicated times, and (usually) get them to listen even when they didn't want to hear it. It is truly an impressive and fairly unique skill.

It's pretty obvious that you've brought a lot to this community, so I'm confident that you'll thrive wherever your life takes you next. I hope you keep making communities a better place, whether as a regular user here or wherever you work next.

  • 8
    P.S.: What will Nog Shine do now? – V2Blast Jan 13 at 21:59
  • 11
    Gone Shine, of course. – terdon Jan 13 at 22:17
  • 1
    No(g) Shine.🙁😢 – Nog Shine Jan 18 at 9:35
  • 2
    Thanks, V2Blast. We didn't get as much time to chat as I might've liked either, but I know well the role you stepped into and the work you put in getting to that point. RPG is an interesting site: lotta folks have sorta grown up there, even people who were technically adults already... It's been a privilege to watch y'all work through some really gnarly problems, as a community - I dare say I've learned more from that than I've ever taught. Hope to see ya around... – Shog9 Feb 18 at 3:59
  • 1
    @Shog9: Thank you for the kind words. :) – V2Blast Feb 18 at 4:05
  • 2
    @Shog9 That meant a lot to read. Thanks, Shog. I hope to see you around too. – doppelgreener Feb 18 at 12:38
26

Shog, in the hopes you read this.

My heart goes out to you.

Words do not do justice to the feelings that are swirling through my head. The questions this raises are another matter...

Many of the times we interacted together revolved around bad activity.
We have fought whole sock drawers together. We banished countless spammers (remember "I LOVE CORN SO MUCH").
You have been a rock that us mods could always trust and call for help. You have been the cool and clear head and the firm and direct one. Truly this is a loss for the SE community. Shog you did so much. You had a reputation for saying the things we wish we could say. You were always "the one" we could ping, it seemed you were always here.
You touched so much of this network, so many of us.

Your absence is going to leave a big hole to fill.

However this really went down, we will never know - it sucks.

So Long, thanks for everything, and all the fish.

Farewell

  • 4
    Reminds me of something like "farewell winter bash" – U10-Forward Jan 14 at 6:52
  • In reality it's all just one spammer that loves food :P – user651518 Jan 15 at 1:25
  • Thank you, David. And... Let's be honest: corn is pretty great! – Shog9 2 days ago

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .