Interview with an Editor: bldarter
by cmic

The following interview with bldarter was originally published in the World/Francais newsletter.

Thanks for talking to the World/ editors of dmoz.

Can you tell us a bit about your background? Where are you from, where do you live, what was your first computer, what is your favorite music, film, book, pet? [Anything you want to share with us, it would be fantastic if you can join a picture!]

My name is Brad Banner. My very badly done web site at will tell you more than you want to know about me. There are even some photographs of me (and my leg) :) on the site. I'm a little more gray headed now and my leg is all better :) I built Bookmarks/B/bldarter/Test as a place to share some of the resources that have helped me the last three years.

Genetically I'm Scots-Irish with a little Cherokee. I'm a Methodist Christian, Democrat, Freemason, Aggie (Texas A&M alumnus), Girl Scout leader, widower, gardener, ex-city councilman, and Texan. I was born in Littlefield, Texas in the Texas panhandle near Lubbock. I lived there until I started college at Texas A&M University. I went to university there for seven years as an undergraduate and studying for my Doctor of Veterinary Medicine degree - . I am a veterinarian with my own practice in Merkel, Texas (near Abilene). I have a ten year old daughter and numerous dogs and cats.

I'm fairly eclectic in my musical tastes. This is "my" radio station on Launch Yahoo. I have several "favorite" songs. "Come Monday" by Jimmy Buffett, "Good Old Boys Like Me" by Don Williams, "Texas Flood" (or anything else) by Stevie Ray Vaughan, "I Can Only Imagine" by MercyMe, "Night Rider's Lament" by nearly anyone, "Desperados Waiting for a Train" by Guy Clark or Jerry Jeff Walker, "I'll Fly Away" by nearly anyone, "The Dance" by Garth Brooks, "You are My All in All" by Dennis Jernigan, "I Believe" by Diamond Rio, and any of the songs mentioned in Bookmarks/B/bldarter/Test.

My favorite movie is "Steel Magnolias." I read extensively (mostly fiction). Some of my favorites are "Ender's Game" by Orson Scott Card, "Lonesome Dove" by Larry McMurtry, anything by J.R.R. Tolkien or Frank Herbert or Pat Conroy, Christian books by Philip Yancey and C.S. Lewis. I could go on forever on this one :)

What was your first category in dmoz? Do you remember it? Who was the meta who joined you? What was your first motivation when you applied? When was it?
My first category was Regional/North_America/United_States/Texas/Localities/M/Merkel. leidale joined me to ODP on 30/Nov/1999.
Do you have a pet category, a category that you're proud to have built? Do you still have time to edit there?

I have several pet categories. The ones on my dashboard are the pets I chose to keep. Like my music and reading tastes, my cat building tastes are eclectic. Society/Religion_and_Spirituality/Christianity/Organizations/Renewal_Movements and @linked categories. Health/Conditions_and_Diseases/Food_and_Water_Borne and @links. Recreation/Pets/Fish_and_Aquaria/Freshwater/Species/Invertebrates/Triops. Literally hundreds of Texas localities. Regional/North_America/United_States/Texas/Arts_and_Entertainment/Literature/Authors and most of the @linked cats. Society/Ethnicity/Celtic/Scots-Irish .Arts/Music/Styles/Regional_and_Ethnic/Latin/Norteño. And many more. My most recent cat build was a couple of weeks ago - Arts/Music/Styles/Regional_and_Ethnic/Latin/Andean.

You were promoted to Admin last year. What is your main satisfaction in that "job"? Is it worth the price? ;-)
My main satisfaction is being in the best postion to try to help editors do the best job they can building the best resource they can. I am "the quality control" admin. I try to find ways to stop spam so that editors don't have to deal with it. I try to find ways to get rid of hijacked sites so that editors and users are very unlikely to be surprised by a site that has been hijacked to porn and the like.
For you, what is the main goal that the ODP should achieve in 2005-2006?
Work with technical staff and all editors to make the hardware and software work much better. Build the best resource for users that we can. Look for innovative ways to package and promote ODP. Get the junk sites out of the directory and keep them out.

Thanks for your reply, I really appreciate the hard work you are all doing and I'm sure the editors feel the same.


- cmic

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