A Matter Of Subject
For the record, Grady didn't call me, I called Grady. In case anyone was wondering.
How to become a FSME depends heavily on what forum is involved.
On ATS, the selection process takes a while and is reviewed by all sorts of people. ATS FSMEs are the “classic” FSMEs, and are indeed expected to
be very knowledgeable about the topics covered in their forums.
On PTS, I'm aiming for something similar, but different, because the subject matter is different. In politics, everybody's an expert.
The Amigos gave me the authority to choose PTS FSMEs myself, and -- being me -- I took full advantage of that.
In consultation with my fellow moderators -- members who specialize in reading threads, following discussions and generally keeping an eye on things
-- I asked for and received several recommendations.
Based on those recommendations, I sent offers via U2U, and thus the first PTS FSME cadre in history was born.
Making The Cut
It's worth noting that in selecting PTS FSMEs, I grabbed as many moderators as I could.
That was quite deliberate and I make no apologies for doing so, because I am looking for the best members I can get for these positions, and some of
our best members are mods.
Having worked with them “under fire”, seen how they work with other members and seen how they handle themselves overall, I'd be nuts to not want
to grab them for such important positions, because on PTS, FSMEs aren't just an enhancement to an already successful forum, they are the driving
force for breathing life into forums that have been struggling.
FSMEs with moderator powers are a combination I can't refuse. They can work miracles.
But in addition to mods, there are members whom I think exemplify the traits I want in “forum hosts” for PTS.
They don't have to be experts on politics. Rather, I want them to be experts on discussing
politics, I want them to learn “on the job”,
and I want them to make their forums as stimulating, interesting and inviting to members as possible.
These are the considerations which have guided my decisions.
The Spoils System
Of course I anticipated that in any subjective, dictatorial process like this that there would be allegations of “nepotism”, “favoritism”,
“cliques” or whatever, and that's fine.
This is ATS, after all, and we are encouraged to be skeptics.
Frankly, however, I don't care if my motives are impugned, because I just want to get PTS rockin' ASAP, and the PTS FSMEs are the people I'm
counting on to make that happen.
All of them were invited to be PTS FSMEs by me personally, and that's how FSMEs are selected on PTS. Asking me really won't change much, because
when considering potential PTS FSMEs, I look at what they've already posted, how they handle themselves as members, and whether I think they would be
suited to the job.
Interest alone isn't enough. I want the best I can get.
That said, I urge all members who are not selected for a FSME position to avoid feeling like that's a slight on you. It most definitely is not. There
are a lot of excellent members on ATS/PTS/BTS/ATSNN whom I have not and will not approach for a FSME position.
Nonetheless, you stand out as excellent members, and I know it.
But if you should ever chance to receive an “I Want YOU!” message from me, it will be for one reason, and one reason only.
Because I consider you the best member for the job.
(So there's my big secret.)